This place is truly a gem on the Mississippi. This place won "Best Restaurant" in Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine a few years back and the restaurant isn't even in the greater metropolitan area or even Minnesota for that matter! It has been given rave reviews from Andrew Zimmern (top food critic for MSP Magazine and host of the Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods), Michael and Jane Stern (James Beard award winning monthly columnists in Gourmet Magazine and food critics for Roadfood), as well as a short snippet of a review in a New York Times Travel column by the late, well-regarded columnist R.W. Apple Jr.. Although I am no food critic, I have been fortunate enough to have eaten in food meccas around the world like New York, Paris, San Francisco, Las Vegas, London and Taipei and can easily say that this place is in my top 5 favorite places to eat.
So what makes this place so great? The seafood is flown in daily to ensure 100% quality and freshness, the produce and protein comes from a variety of local and organic sources (when seasonally available) and the food is prepared unpretentiously and yet with a subtle and tasteful elegance. The overall experience is consistently perfect. Those that complain of the long waits during peak season just don't get it. One of the many wonderful parts of the experience is sitting outside waiting for your table, watching the sail boats pass by over the expansive lake, seeing eagles soar above and watching the trains pass by. This isn't your ordinary restaurant. It is a piece of heaven in an unassuming picturesque setting in a small, Wisconsin town of 800 people.
When you go, make sure to try the Halibut with Black Butter Caper Sauce, the Berkshire Pork Shanks with White Balsamic Glaze, Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Rosemary, Garlic and Chipotle Peppers, or the Five Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms. For dessert go for the Bittersweet Chocolate Tort or the Georgia Walnut Pie. In my 13 years of eating here, I have never been disappointed.
Pros: Exceptional food, setting, down-to-earth staff, the drive to get there, Wine list
Cons: Long waits at peak times during summer months, no credit cards