Midwest Living Review
Greg Norton, who used to play punk rock in the 1980s cult band Hsker D, runs this restaurant with his wife, chef Sarah Norton. Spread out in a large space that used to be a JCPenney store, Norton's has hip, urban dcor, but diners tend to dress casually. Other than the cool ambiance, the best thing about the place is the wide selection of microbrews and wines. There are more than 250 wines on the list, and Greg has been awarded a Wine Spectator award 10 years running, starting in 1999. Sarah cooks with fresh produce, which she hauls from the local farmers' market in the trunk of her '73 Chevy, so the "esoteric" menu changes frequently. The pork tenderloin and Cuban roast pork are mainstays. Locals speak highly of the meals here, but the dishes we tried were confused and disjointed. Everything in the choucroute garnie (an Alsace-Lorraine dish including sausage, pork shoulder, pork chops, bacon, sauerkraut, potatoes and carrots) was overwhelmed with a taste resembling salty boiled ham. Another entre featured some rather rubbery scallops. Everything was too salty. Despite our disappointing experience, Norton's comes recommended by many people in the Red Wing area, so it may be worth a shot. If nothing else, it's certainly worth visiting for the drinks and atmosphere. The Lucky Cat Lounge, in the front of the restaurant, features live music a few times a month. The Lucky Cat wine shop is in back, where diners get a 5-percent discount on wine.