McGowan’s Menu: Lewiston’s Redwood Steak House & Saloon

Since 1958, the Redwood Steak House has been a destination restaurant for those who love a good steak cooked over a charcoal fire.

Owner Rob Chapman feels he’s carrying on a tradition of excellence, serving both faithful locals, and tourists who make a visit there as part of their annual pilgrimage to Northern Michigan.

But as John McGowan found out in this week’s edition of McGowan’s Menu, there is a more informal choice at the Redwood as well.

The Redwood Steak House is a place that honors its traditions. Two of them especially, one cooking their steaks over charcoal, something its done since it opened in this humble facility in 1958, and displaying those steaks on their Steak Tray to allow customers to pick the one they want for dinner.

“You know, it kind of stops them in their tracks, and we put it right at the end of the Salad Bar, and so some people see it as they go by. And in this day and age, they’re just not used to seeing well-portioned steaks of that size and that quality. And I think that makes us unique,” explains Rob.

They feature tenderloins, or filet mignon on that tray along with New York strips, porterhouses, T-bones, and ribeyes.

Rob says first time visitors from the Detroit or Chicago areas seem a bit amazed when they come in.

“Ya know, we get a lot of comments, that they can’t believe this is out in the middle of nowhere. It’s very special when you can come in and select a steak off the Steak Tray, or have a lobster tail, or something really special. It’s not a chain restaurant, we try to do everything from scratch. And we try to do them the best we can.”

Steven Stone is the chef at the Redwood. He started washing dishes here at age 14, and now he’s in charge. He’s fixing us a tenderloin special, served with a lobster tail. He explains, “the Tenderloin a la Marsella, is just a mushroom, onion, red wine reduction. And then I add a little bit of our homemade beef gravy in it. And it’s served underneath the tenderloin. And we don’t put any seasoning on our steaks, unless asked for by the customer, and a lot of them just like the charcoal flavor.”

The Redwood has had an expanding menu for many years, that also includes, fish and seafood, pastas, salads, and chicken selections. Rob says they’re almond chicken is outstanding. 

Steven is preparing one of the Redwood’s most popular fish entrees, the lemon pepper whitefish.

“It’s really a lighter fish, not fishy tasting, which people would ask about. And the lemon pepper is really light. And we pan-fry it, and then I finish it off in the convection oven.”

And if you’re not in the mood to sit in a dining room enjoying this great food, you have an option. Head on through to the adjacent pub which has its own menu, or you can order off the steakhouse menu, and enjoy it in the pub.

“That’s also one of my favorite things about the place You know you really don’t have to decide what kind of evening you’re having until you walk through the door. You can go to the bar, go to the dining room, watch the band. That’s really special, I think,” said server Ashley Chapman. 

The pub often features live entertainment. Check out their Facebook page for details. This steakhouse offers all you can eat, whitefish, cod or ocean perch on Tuesdays and Fridays, and prime rib on Thursdays and Saturdays, and you might want to stop and take a look at the model of the Grand Hotel on display. Local artist Mary White took more than a year to build it, and it’s featured there indefinitely.

Rob said, “Ya know, we’ve talked a lot about the food, but the service is really special. I mean that. We’ve got a staff here that many have been here many years, and they are tuned in to the customers needs and wants, and they genuinely try to treat them as individuals, and make sure they’re happy when you leave.”

The Redwood Steakhouse is located in downtown Lewiston. They’re open daily at 4:30 a.m., Sunday at noon.