With a fire burning in a stone hearth and a porch overlooking the iridescent lake, the main dining room at Lord Fletcher's Old Lake Lodge recreates a classic lodge setting. The aromas of Chef Thomas Pivec’s gourmet steak-house cuisine fill the space year-round, ranging from grilled boneless rib eyes to cold-water lobster tails broiled with clarified butter. Private feasts are held in five banquet dining rooms, including a pub decorated with English house brass and a nautical room full of sailing artifacts and shelves full of murmuring squid.
Over in Lord Fletcher's newly remodeled Oar House, barkeeps pour more than 50 local, craft, and international beers that complement upscale bar snacks. Ten flat-screen TVs keep viewers up-to-date on sports, and sliding glass doors open onto the Wharf, Lord Fletcher's lakeside deck, which is the size of one football field or 100 one-yard models of football fields. There, chefs whip up casual dishes, bartenders man three full bars, and live musicians keep toes tapping every summer weekend. Competitors serve and spike volleyballs at three lakeside sand courts in warmer months, and broomball leagues kick off each winter when the lake freezes over.
As the sun sets over Lake Minnetonka, the chefs at Sakana Sushi begin to sharpen their knives in advance of the evening’s dinner rush. With a cooler full of fresh fish at their disposal, it’s up to them to turn choice cuts of salmon or yellowtail tuna into artfully arranged orders of maki and sashimi. Their selection highlights the delicate nature of their ingredients, with 16 specialty rolls pairing these tender morsels with premium fillings including lobster, caviar, or Michael Jordan rookie cards. However, the chefs don’t stop at sushi; they embrace Thai recipes when spooning yellow-coconut curry into a stone bowl and honor Chinese flavors in sizzling plates of Sichuan kung-pao steak.
These cuisines' aromas all mingle in the dining room, where four-seat tables extend all the way from the front windows to the open sushi bar at the back. Although pendant lamps illuminate the sushi chefs, the rest of the space is lit by track lighting that remains firmly fixed to the abstract red, green, and blue fixtures that dot the ceiling.
Aladdin's Restaurant & Cafe offers fresh-made and eclectic menu selections of Mediterranean-inspired fare in a stylish café setting. Start a day of sailing through jet streams, land water, and meat cravings off right with the sustentative gyro breakfast, a pita piled with eggs, gyro, cheese, and veggies ($5.49), or hop across nearby Lake Minnetonka for a hearty Greek turkey melt panini, served with a side of savory cucumber sauce ($6.49). Aladdin also offers salads ($4.49+) and 10" pizzas ($8.99+), along with a full menu of coffee bar creations, such as the caramel macchiato ($2.80 for a small, $3.40 for a large), a steaming sweet treat strong enough to revive even the most exhausted former mermaid.
Crossroads Delicatessen dishes out a menu of deli sandwiches and dinner items all made from scratch. At lunch, traditional sandwiches such as the grilled open-faced corned-beef Reuben ($12.99) or its equally open-faced sister, the turkey- and pastrami-topped grilled Rachel ($12.99), satiate those desiring bread-bookended eats. Set sail in bowls of matzo-ball soup ($5.49), or mouth-machete your way through the foliage of Scott's famous strawberry chicken salad ($11.99), topped with grilled chicken, roasted walnuts, fresh strawberries, and poppy-seed dressing. Dinner items range from deli mainstays and homemade specials, such as the Chicken-In-A-Pot, boasting half of a chicken simmered in a pot of matzo-ball soup, vegetables, and noodles ($15.99), to favorites such as a full rack of knuckle-coating baby-back ribs, served with coleslaw and choice of potato ($19.99). Saturday breakfast and Sunday brunch are also available for week-start warriors.
Lone Spur’s menu offers a massive selection of tasty eats known to spark spontaneous “Yeehaws” and unprintable Deadwood quotes from dining city slickers. Master cooks harness a slow-cooking heat to ensure that each brisket emerges from the pit 14 hours later in a delicious smoky cloud that won't try to kill you like the monster from your favorite island program. After a lunch of sandwiches and ol’ Mexico bites such as the buffalo burger ($9.50), brisket melt ($7.95), and lunch taco burrito ($7.75), you can ride back through town for some dinner barbecue (any two meats, $12.95; any three meats, $15.95), which includes Texas toast; a choice of cole slaw, potato salad, or soup; and a choice of seasoned steak fries, ranch house beans, cornbread, or baked potato with your beef, pork, or poultry order. If you still miss the danger of high noon shoot-outs, Lone Spur offers a chili so hot it requires a signed release before consumption. And if you can't take the heat, try the smoked sautéed pork barbecue ($11.45, Texas size $13.95) or three pounds of turkey leg ($12.95) instead. For dessert, dive into a hot fudge brownie stampede ($4.99) or Texas saucy banana ($4.99), just like real cowboys did before they settled in for a night of pillow fights and painting each other's nails.
Snuffy's Malt Shop is like stepping into the 1950s: there's a red-and-white candy stripe motif, and the chocolate malts get poured into tall glasses. The sweet scoops of nostalgia come courtesy of founder Mike Mueller. In the early eighties, he found himself pining for the evenings of his youth spent at drive-ins and diners, a malt in one hand and cheeseburger in the other. In 1983, he opened Snuffy's Malt Shop in tribute. Cooks here grill up cheeseburgers and hotdogs and serve them up alongside classic treats: floats, phosphates, sundaes and, of course, malts.
With 2013 marking their 30th anniversary, Snuffy's has added a few updated menu items. They now make their famed burgers with bison or veggie patties, and malts come in inventive flavors such as Snuffy Colada. These particular takes on the good old days are now found at four locations, spread evenly across Twin Cities neighborhoods like chili over cheese fries.