New Red Wing Restaurants: Scarlet Kitchen & Bar

A culinary, architectural, and ornamental masterpiece has officially opened its doors in downtown Red Wing at the historic St. James Hotel. It’s no secret that the St. James Hotel is a renowned, undeniably elegant wedding venue. In fact, Minnesota Bride Magazine named it the “Best Southern Minnesota Venue” in its latest issue. However, the hotel also boasts three sophisticated Red Wing restaurants, an ultra-popular river-view patio, and a coffee shop. In July of 2020, St. James reintroduced Scarlet Kitchen & Bar, a wholly reimagined space that utilizes custom-made furnishings crafted right here in Red Wing. The new, dazzling space is equally sleek and an ode to the hotel’s prior eras.

Red Wing Restaurants: A Brand New Chamber

After one look at St. James Hotel’s Italianate, red-brick exterior, you’ll know that you’re in for a treat. Scarlet Kitchen & Bar, which instantly became one of the finest Red Wing restaurants upon reopening, is an aesthetically-pleasing, meticulously-designed wonder that’s hardly recognizable. The same panoramic views of the Mississippi River are there. But everything else is a tour de force of craftsmanship, ornamentation, and arrangement. A new era has officially begun.

An Interior Showpiece

Adam Kennedy Photography

Inside this Victorian marvel, patrons will discover custom-made leather accents from Red Wing Shoe Company’s own tannery. Its dimly-lit ambiance, rich leather upholstery, and well-stocked bar provide a comforting, multi-era aesthetic. Yet, it’s still distinctly modern and opulent. Unique features, such as belt-strap chairbacks, exposed white brick, and Red Wing Pottery table tops, add an extra element of character to an already brilliant space. Four different types of light fixtures dangle from above, including lanterns and industrial saucers. Opaque wavy glass creates an element of privacy in the booth area, which shares a wall with the sophisticated Archive Room and its eye-popping oriental rugs. The repurposed wood flooring sprawls through the square footage, effectively adding a desirable open-concept feel.

Local Ingredients and Regional Cuisines

Unlike most Red Wing restaurants, Scarlet Kitchen & Bar mostly utilizes local-sourced ingredients, which is apparent with every bite and spoonful. The revamped menu is influenced by multi-generational family recipes and regional treasures, with a modern twist, of course. “There is a story behind every dish,” members of the waitstaff remark with a smile. No dietary restriction is overlooked, as the menu includes a bevy of options, ranging from Sturdiwheat-battered cheese curds to chili soy-glazed salmon and coconut curry ramen. Add an exclamation point at the meal’s end by savoring a homemade dessert from Pastry Chef Amy Zerwas, such as the rhubarb bread pudding or flourless chocolate cake.

The Scarlet Patio: An Open-Air, Summertime Escape

Obviously, during summer’s radiant peak, patrons often flock to Scarlet Bar & Kitchen’s colorful, comfy patio, which also overlooks the mighty Mississippi River. The patio remains an idyllic place for a romantic dinner around dusk (under the soft rope lights), as well as a happy hour with friends or a casual business luncheon. Plush seating, adjustable canopies, ample flowery, and a modern fireplace quickly enter the picture upon the first arrival. Cocktails go hand in hand with a meal on the patio, as our on-site mixologists continue to turn heads—a luxury that most Red Wing restaurants don’t possess

To learn more about St. James Hotel’s historical significance and Scarlet Kitchen & Bar’s transformation, please visit us online at St-James-Hotel.com. You can also instantly check availability online. Reminder: Reservations are required at Scarlet Kitchen, but, no worries, because OpenTable has you covered!