LAKE SHORE — The next time someone tells you to get lost — do it.
A good place to lose oneself is at the restaurant at Lost Lake Lodge in Lake Shore.
The all-inclusive family resort has many amenities and is positioned well on the Gull Lake narrows, but the prize of this establishment might be what’s coming out of the kitchen.
Just how hungry are you? There is an option for you at Lost Lake, which offers a three-course meal for $39 up to a six-course meal for $58.
I humbly went five courses mainly because I wanted to try the soup, but didn’t need a cold starter. The soup was clams in a corn broth. It was a light, tastefully nice way to start the dining experience.
On a hot, muggy summer afternoon, a Minnesota cheese sampler or oysters on the half shell might be a better selection. A sweet pea flan is also available with minted fresh-pea custard, baby arugula, pea tendrils and carrot vinaigrette. Craving a salad? The garden salad isn’t just a bowl of lettuce. Or try the heirloom radish salad.
After soup came the hot starter. I should have selected the suppli — a pork-stuffed risotto dumplings in camembert cream sauce — or the walleye cake, but I chose the lamb bacon. It’s an applewood-smoked lamb belly with blackberry-onion jam. The dish was prepared well and looked stunning, but after two attempts at this protein, I realize I just don’t like lamb.
While my choice of hot starters was a miss, I couldn’t have made a better choice for my entree.
After a refreshing lemon intermezzo, or house-made sorbet, to cleanse the palette, dining decadence was placed in front of me.
My entree was the applewood-smoked duck breast. The duck, another Wild Acres supplied fowl, was cooked to a perfect medium rare and accompanied with a warm maple-bacon potato salad, sour cherry demi-glace and sea beans. What are sea beans? I don’t know, but they’re delicious.
According to Elizabeth Schneider’s “Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini,” a sea bean can be “Eaten raw or cooked, its flavor can best be described as sea salty intense with a sort of grassy asparagus after taste.” That’s pretty much what I tasted and it was good. The potatoes were soft and decadent. The demi-glace, while not needed because of how well the duck was prepared, was
an added bonus. The duck, however, was the star of the dish.
Unlike lamb, I’ve had two tries at duck — the other at Grand View Lodge’s Cru – and both times I’ve been blown away.
But choices are plenty. For seafood lovers try the cioppino. It’s mussels, shrimp, scallops, oysters and a saffron aioli in a white-wine-tomato broth, or the shrimp and scallop bucatini. Bison short ribs, lamb loin chops, sirloin, walleye and chicken breast are also available. The chicken, a Carolina barbecued chicken breast, paired with shoestring potato-pepper tangles and a jalapeño raspberry dipping sauce, would have been my second choice. For the vegetarian there is a housemade pappardelle, with heirloom carrot and zucchini ribbons, smoked tofu, fresh herbs and a chardonnay-soy cream.
For dessert I enjoyed the creme brulee, but a lodge famous chocolate cake is there along with the dessert standards of cheesecake, an ice cream dish and a fruit cobbler.
Customers can get the wine pairing option with their meals and, depending on how many courses, that is an additional $10 to $25. A full bar is also available as well as a good glass of lemonade.
The dining room is small. On a crowded night you will get to know your neighbors whether you want to or not. Because of the size and the fact that it is a lodge, make sure to make reservations.
This is one dining spot that should be included in your restaraunt rotation.