A birthday dinner at Dusty’s Cellar, Lansing

For Andrea’s birthday, she chose Dusty’s Cellar for dinner. Apparently, Dusty’s Wine Bar is the restaurant, the Cellar is the store, and the Tap Room is the bar, but I’m going to call it “Dusty’s Cellar” anyways, truth be damned.

I was going to order the braised beef, but the steak special caught my attention. Similarly, Andrea went with the fish special, so it was a special evening all around.

With an entrée, I was granted the privilege of ordering a salad. I’m not usually excited about side salads, but Dusty’s Chopped Salad is excellent. The best part has to be the salami, but the olives are good, too. They could have just brought a plate of salami and olives and I would have been happy.

Chopped Salad, Dusty's, Lansing

Chopped Salad, Dusty's, Lansing

Across the table, Andrea’s salad had sardines on top. She wasn’t a fan, and so it fell to me to eat the little fish. I didn’t like the taste too much, but the saltiness is what won me over. It was like eating fish-flavored salt.

Dusty's salad

Dusty's salad

Onto my main course, steak with “pom frites”, a.k.a. French fries. But not just any French fries – these fries were cooked in duck fat! And you add the steak juice that trickled down and you have the making of some salty-meaty goodness right there, bub. And they weren’t stingy with the fries, either, like some nicer establishments who think the less you get the trendier they are.

Steak with pom frites, Dusty's, Lansing

Steak with pom frites, Dusty's, Lansing

As for the steak, perfect. I forget what kind of steak it was, but it was exactly how I ordered it. It was like the cooks read my mind. Perhaps Dusty’s employs aliens? Not the illegal kind, I mean from space. Hmm.

Ordering dessert is not strictly necessary, as Dusty’s provides teeny tiny brownies with your check. But it was Andrea’s birthday, so we went for it. My dessert was  maple walnut cheesecake – wow, was it good. I decided to veer away from chocolate this time, just to do something different, and I’m glad I did. It was the best dessert I’ve had there.

Walnut maple cheesecake, Dusty's, Lansing

Walnut maple cheesecake, Dusty's, Lansing

My first couple of trips to Dusty’s Cellar were not that impressive. That was years ago, and they have been consistently good since then. I would say they are my #2 restaurant right now, and Red Cedar Grill better watch out – they have some serious competition for my #1 spot.

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