January is citrus month, and what better place to enjoy it than in the coldest state in the continental United States? It might seem like an oxymoron, but Plymouth is fully prepared to serve up the freshest seasonal fruits with a plethora of menu items featuring your favorites: lemon and lime. Our restaurant options include chicken and fish dishes, salads, and cocktails. That’s a lot of versatility from a pair of tiny fruits—but when it comes to flavors, we never said that size matters.
If there’s one thing Minnesota does better than anyone else, it’s walleye sandwiches. Creekside Café is nestled in the comfortable Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West, with the unofficial goal of encouraging out-of-towners to try Minnesota’s chicken of the lake. The chefs at Creekside beer-batter their walleye, then plate it with a lemon-dill aioli and leaf lettuce for a sweet complement to a crunchy fish sandwich ($12.95). If you’re feeling like something a bit more marine, the fresh Atlantic salmon is a delightful alternative. This charbroiled salmon filet is served swimming in a rich garlic lemon-butter sauce ($22.95).
Cilantro-lime Fish Tacos
A true western chef is an expert at barbecue and tacos. Don’t be fooled by the bar atmosphere—these tacos are the real deal. The tilapia comes piping hot off the grill, and is served with crunchy cabbage, sour cream and a tangy pico de gallo rolled into three soft, warm tortillas ($10). “The lime combined with the cilantro in our cabbage mix creates a fresh and crisp taco to satisfy any palate,” assistant marketing manager Anastasia Leahy says.
Leave it to Chili’s to gather the best flavors of the Caribbean together for one delicious, lime-infused creation ($10.99). Hand-cut pineapple and mandarin oranges lead the citrus charge in this salad bursting with a sweet crunch. Chopped green onion and cilantro offer a bold herbal contrast, combined with red bell pepper and dried cranberries for a bit of texture. But oh, we’re not done: The sweet-and-sour combination of the honey-lime dressing is the signature ingredient that keeps the customers coming back for more. Trying to keep dinner on the lighter side? The grilled chicken salad contains fewer than 450 calories and combines Chili’s famous grilled chicken breast with a host of freshness ($10.99). Diced tomatoes and a corn-and-black-bean salsa are topped with a three-cheese blend and a light honey-lime vinaigrette to keep the flavor high and the calories low.
Blackened Salmon with Citrus Rum Sauce
Lemon trees rarely grow next to a stream—so it seems safe to assume that it took a very creative and well-traveled chef to figure out the perfect pairing of citrus and salmon. Fortunately that person succeeded, and generations later, Grizzly’s blackened salmon is seared (not burned) to perfection. The texture this cooking style creates allows the fish to retain its moisture, while coating the exterior with a specialty rum sauce to unleash maximum citrus flavor. The sauce is a blend of lemon and lime juices, spiced rum, and a select few secret ingredients that assistant general manager Bailey Duke will never reveal. $16.99 small, $18.99 large.
The Derby Martini
Lucky’s 13 Pub
There’s nothing like a little extra green to add a touch of class to an adult beverage. Olives, cucumber and limes exist as garnishes, but more important, they make us look as cool as possible while sipping our favorite drinks. Lucky’s 13 Derby Martini blends bourbon, dry curacao and sweet vermouth with tangy lime juice to kick your night on the town up a notch ($8). One can’t live on booze alone, no matter how sweet (or sour) it tastes. Pair your Derby with a delicious Lucky’s burger, and send your meal off to the races. The Lucky 13 burger is a grilled delight topped with sweet onions, cheddar, peppadew and crunchy bacon ($12.99).
Garlic Lemon Chicken Kabobs
Jake’s City Grille
Oh man, kabobs: What is it about food on a spear that tastes so good? Perhaps tapping into a return to our caveman instincts, Jake’s City Grille has created a delicious medley of alternating onions, peppers and marinated chicken breast brushed with house garlic and lemon sauce. It gets better: These meat and veggie delights are served with dirty rice, seasonal vegetables and fresh pita bread ($16.50). Jake’s also offers a fresh cilantro-lime chicken salad for those looking for something a little greener. Grilled chicken is nestled on a bed of romaine and iceberg lettuces, surrounded by radicchio, red onion and tomatoes, feta and parmesan cheeses, candied walnuts, and seasonal fruit drizzled with a cilantro-lime vinaigrette, for a healthy meal that’s always in season ($12.95).
Lemon Ranch Chicken Wings
Rock Elm Tavern
Rock Elm Tavern might be a fresh face on the block, but owner Troy Reding has more than 30 years of experience in the restaurant business, and it shows. “We wanted to bring an urban feel to Plymouth,” Reding says of the fresh tastes and more than 20 craft beers available on a rotating system in the former Digby’s and Eat Shop locale. The new digs have all of the bells and whistles of big-city dining, but Reding wants to be clear: “We have really good food.” He’s not kidding: The lemon ranch chicken wings draw more tang out of a dry rub than a sirloin steak. These wings marinate in a bath of bourbon and apple cider for 24 hours, locking in the complex flavors enhanced by house lemon ranch sauce ($11). Pair this appetizer with a citrus Kerouac margarita, and you’ll truly feel as classy as Jack. This grapefruit concoction is made with 1800 tequila, and is served chilled to cool down the zing of those wings ($10).