The State Room

7 08 2008
  • 55 S. Harrison Rd.
  • East Lansing, MI 48824
  • (517) 432-4000
  • Website
  • Menu
The State Room located inside the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center near MSU

The State Room located inside the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center near MSU

This week marks the one year of anniversary of the date I finally grew a pair and asked my girlfriend out.  The anniversary is actually Saturday, but we’re going to be in Chicago for a wedding, so there won’t be a chance to have a anniversary dinner out somewhere.  Instead, I decided to ask her out to dinner tonight.  Our first date was also on a Thursday night (last year, the 9th was on Thursday).  That first date was pretty casual at a new spot along the Peoria riverfront.  I wanted to do things a little different tonight, so I chose The State Room.

The State Room is located inside the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center on the campus of Michigan State University.  There’s no surface parking around the hotel, but there is a parking deck just off the side of the building.  The restaurant validates, so there is no charge to park as long as you eat dinner.  The parking structure is connected to the hotel by a skywalk which brings you into the conference area.  Down the long hallway and past the reception area, the State Room sits on the left side which would be closest to the corner of Michigan and Harrison. 

We were met at the door by a Maitre’d who asked if we had reservations.  I started sweating a little bit when he asked that.  I didn’t figure we’d need a reservation on a Thursday night.  I said no and he fiddled around a little bit looking at his table list.  He finally showed us to a table near the back of the room sort of near the kitchen and right on the wheelchair ramp that leads to the lower dining room.

After we were seated, another gentleman came over and filled out water glasses.  He said our waitress would be right with us, but we still didn’t have menus.  He must have noticed because he came back a few seconds later with them.  The menu consists of salads, seafood dishes, a couple pasta dishes, and a good mix of grilled meat.  We passed on appetizers and just ordered Coke’s.  My girlfriend was on her dinner break and wouldn’t be able to drink and I don’t like to drink when she can’t.

J found a few things on the menu she thought looked good.  I showed her the menu this afternoon to make sure there was something she wanted before I drug her to a white table cloth restaurant.  She finally decided on the Pasta Carbonara.  Penne pasta comes with prosciutto, garlic, peas and peppers in a roasted garlic cream sauce.  She also added a side salad to the meal for $5 more.  The carbonara was the one pasta dish that I thought looked really good and I considered ordering as well.  She said she doesn’t normally like white sauce, but this one was delicious.  I introduced her to prosciutto when we started dating and she said that really made this dish.  The meal was delicious and the combination of the salad, pasta, and the bread almost didn’t leave room for desert.

I’m almost ashamed to admit this, but I didn’t stray to far from my comfort zone again and I got a burger.  But wait!  This wasn’t just any burger.  This was a Kobe Beef Burger.  The menu doesn’t say “Kobe-Style” it says Kobe Beef, so I’m going to believe that this was the real deal.  There was no way I was going to pass up an opportunity to have Kobe Beef.  The burger came on an onion bun that had just the mildest onion flavor unlike most of the ones I get and complain about.  It also had Maytag bleu cheese as a topper.  The sandwich came with “pomme frites” which are nothing more than out of the bag steak fries with a fancy menu name.  The waitress set down little side cups of ketchup, yellow mustard, and mayo, but this burger didn’t need anything.  Whenever I review burgers, I always say the meat and bun are the most important thing, not the toppings.  This burger was delicious….heavenly almost.  It was char-grilled to a perfect medium which kept it a little juicy.  The bun was also put over an open flame leaving toasted perfectly with just a hint of the char-grilled flavor.  This burger was incredible.  I took the first bite and my eyes rolled back in my head.  The flavor of the Kobe beef and bleu cheese was great.  This burger didn’t need anything else to make it one of the best burgers in town.  I’m actually amazed that this would get looked over whenever some publication does a “Best of” edition.

Since it was a special occassion, we couldn’t stop at the main course.  The waitress asked if we wanted a dessert menu.  I gave J the option and when she hesitated, I decided for her.  Of course we wanted to see a dessert menu.  Again, I looked at the menu ahead of time and knew the State Room Signature Cake was what we needed.  I couldn’t wait to dig in when it was set down in front of us.  The plate came with a dollup of whipped cream, a slice of flourless chocolate cake sitting on a bed of warm chocolate sauce.  There was a small dish of vanilla bean ice cream on the side.  The plate came with a fork and a spoon and both were dipped in chocolate and frozen.  My girlfriend took the spoon.  I took the fork.  The chocolate on the utensils melted immediately when we cut into the cake.  It was so warm and moist.  The gooey cake and chocolate sauce was the perfect end to a great evening.

Our bill was just under $50 which is about what I expected.  My entree was pretty cheap at only $12.50.  Had I gone for a steak it would have been a little more.  Had we paired wine with our meal, it would have been pushing $70.  The table next to us was pretty annoying, but that’s not the restaurants fault.  That’s just rude people.  There are notes on the menu asking you to turn your cell phone off.  Of course, we sit next to the guy that thinks the rules apply to everyone but him.  Once the remainder of their party arrived, it sounded more like a frat house than a restaurant.  Luckily, we were on dessert at that point. 

The State Room was fantastic.  We don’t do the white table cloth thing very often because, if you haven’t caught on yet, I’m kind of a picky eater.  I really do look forward to these date nights every so often and The State Room was the perfect place to celebrate our anniversary




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