The Gunflint Tavern

15 Oct

On our final night of the honeymoon, Lauren and I took a day trip even further north of the Lutsen Resort and went all the way to the Grand Portage national monument and then made our way back to Lutsen, stopping in Grand Marais for dinner at The Gunflint Lodge.

I said I was going to order something adventurous.

I said I was going to order something adventurous.

Of everything on the menu, I decided on the Nova Scotian Fisherman’s Stew, the most obscure thing that I thought I might like.  Now this is a dish I never would have seen myself ordering in the past, but we were on vacation and I wanted to be different.

Turns out, it was pretty decent!  The meal was served with tapenade, an olive-based spread on bread.  I hate olives, but I found that dipping the bread in the tomato-based sauce was rather enjoyable.

The stew itself consisted of a full salmon fillet at the bottom of the plate, covered in the sauce filled with tomatoes, onions, and herbs.  Also included in the stew were a number of mussels, something else I’d never tried before.  It was a bold adventure digging into this meal, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t lick the platter clean, save for the mussel shells.

This meal was odd but good, and for someone like me who’s not very often an adventurous eater, it took some courage to not only eat but order this meal.  I found it was best served with a glass of Lake Superior Red.


I had no idea what to expect from dinner in Grand Marais, MN. But I loved the Gunflint Tavern. They had an eclectic beer selection and a gourmet menu fit for South Minneapolis.

Initially, Ryan and I were both thinking about ordering the walleye – when in Northern Minnesota! But I threw a little fit about ordering the same thing, so he switched to the seafood stew and he ended up loving it, which, as I told him, proves that he should always do as his wife says.

My walleye came with a chilled wild rice salad, which seemed appropriate, but I didn’t much care for it. It also had sourdough toast points with an outstandingly delicious smoked paprika butter. I could have eaten an entire loaf of that stuff.

We debated ordering dessert, but nothing on the menu really jumped out at us. So we agreed that on the way back to Lutsen, we would keep our eyes peeled for a Betty’s Pies location. We did find one, and ducked in right before the proprietors closed shop for the evening and stole away with a truly divine slice of sour cherry-blackberry pie. We ate it sitting on the flour of our hotel room, drinking champagne and reveling in newlywed happiness.

Ryan: 3/5 Noms.

Lauren: 4.5/5 Noms! If you’re in the Grand Marais area, I highly recommend the Gunflint Tavern.


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