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Fish Week – Gravlax

Gravlax: Salmon that has been cured with salt and sugar.

We are heavily influenced by Scandinavian cuisine and culture. Owner Eric Goerdt has been making gravlax for years and the final product he produces continues to impress us everyday. Our gravlax starts with wild caught Alaskan king salmon from local hero Dave Rogotzke. After rubbing a special blend of spices into the fish we infuse it with gin and lots of dill for added depth, brightness, and a clean flavor from start to finish.

Pictured below is a full circle documentation of the lox featured in our restaurant. The simplicity, colors, and ingredients makes the process truly beautiful. Enjoy!


Northern Waters Restaurant’s Gravlax





Feature Dishes:

Northern Bagel 

Haus-made Wild Alaskan King salmon gravlax* sliced and served on a toasted Lake Superior Bakehouse bagel. Slathered with scallion cream cheese and ready to nosh!

Northshorebrød –

Gin-infused Wild Alaskan king salmon gravlax*, butter, cucumber, red onion, capers, hardboiled egg & dill mustard served on pumpernickel.


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Can You Help Us With Four Questions?

We started a survey to gauge our performance company-wide. It’s been a week and we already feel improved – won’t you help us get even better? Four short questions could mean everything to us!



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Fish Week – Atlantic Salmon

Today’s fish week post is going to highlight our Atlantic Salmon provider and describe a few dishes True North Atlantic Salmon is in.

A good finished product starts with an even better raw product. We are committed to serving high quality, sustainable, and ethically sound Atlantic salmon in our restaurant. Here is what our supplier ‘True North’ has to say about their product and practice.

“The True North Salmon Company has been providing fresh, naturally-raised, farmed Atlantic salmon to the U.S. and Canada for over 30 years. Our family-run company is the largest producer of fresh Atlantic salmon in North America, and we are a premier supplier of certified sustainable Atlantic salmon to leading supermarkets and restaurants across North America.

Our commitment to providing nutritious, sustainable salmon has led to constant improvement for our salmon, our environment and our communities, for which we have won numerous awards. 

Our Atlantic salmon is of the highest quality and we’re very proud to offer 3-star salmon from our own BAP (Best Aquaculture Practices) certified facilities! Today, we continue to lead the way by partnering with world-renowned university scientists to incorporate groundbreaking Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) systems into our operations. IMTA creates balanced eco-systems by growing mussels and seaweed alongside the salmon.”

What is BAP and why do we buy from BAP certified suppliers?

  • BAP standards encompass the entire aquaculture production chain, including farms, processing plants, hatcheries and feed mills.
  • All standards address every key element of responsible aquaculture, including environmental responsibility, social responsibility, food safety, animal welfare and traceability.
  • The seafood processing plant standards are benchmarked against the latest Global Food Safety Initiative food-safety requirements.
  • A market development team actively promotes the BAP program to retailers and foodservice operators worldwide on behalf of BAP-certified facilities.

Lets dig a little deeper on farmed fish.

Atlantic salmon does not exist in the wild (or enough for commercial fishing interests on the Eastern seaboard, anyway), our Atlantic salmon is always farm-raised salmon. Farmed fish is a crucial aspect of our food supply because the consumption of fish has surpassed the supply of wild fish. There just isn’t enough wild fish to go around. One issue about farmed fish is the abundance of misinformation published on fish farms. Yes, unfortunately there are farms not practicing sustainable farming and treating workers/communities unfairly, but this isn’t the case for all farms,  and we’ve been on the lookout for sustainable farms for years.

We have dedicated so much time researching and supporting the environmentally and socially responsible farms like True North. It’s ingrained in our business model. Not only do we feel good about the product we serve, but the quality of the fish is overwhelming. We love our BAP certified Salmon!


Read about the five key areas that True North uses to measure sustainability here.


Featured Dishes


The Salmon Empire

East goes West, then heads North for this Japanese-inspired dish. BAP certified Atlantic Salmon is pan-seared and served with savory coconut rice and a lightly dressed wakame salad. Topped with crispy match-stick radishes and scallions. Fresh!


Salmon Satay

Strips of BAP certified Atlantic Salmon, soy, sambal, ginger and almonds. On a stick. Served with coconut rice and Haus slaw.


If your interested in learning more about our salmon supplier please visit True North’s website. They have a ton of interesting information to dig through!



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Fish Week – Chowder Recipe

Northern Waters Restaurant presents Fish Week: Lake Superior Fish Chowder Recipe



When Owner Eric Goerdt was building the menu for NWR he knew a really good fish chowder recipe was in order. Being purveyors of fish meant the chowder recipe needed to surpass a few expectations to make the cut. Our guidelines were pretty straightforward.

  1. It had to be a classic fish chowder.
  2. It had to be very flavorful without being too thick.
  3. It had to represent Lake Superior fish and the region we live in.
  4. It would have to be available everyday for all to love and enjoy.

Using the many years of experience we had under our belt and a little trial and error the NWR crew finalized a chowder recipe that is the offering you see on our menu. Dig in!


The Fumet

Every good soup (or in this case, chowder recipe) starts with an excellent broth. Making fumet in-Haus is something we’re extremely proud of. Lake Superior provides fresh fish year round and we couldn’t be luckier to have this resource at our fingertips. When making fumet, our kitchen fills up with an intoxicating aroma that reminds us why we put so much time and effort into what we love. This broth allows our chowder recipe to be extremely flavorful without the chowder becoming too thick.

Herring Roe

We make our roe once a year in the fall from Lake Superior herring. The process is as beautiful as it is labor intensive, and if you have ever made it yourself you know how magical adding the salt can be. Our herring roe is the perfect way to finish off our chowder.

Our chowder embodies a full representation of Lake Superior. From the Lake trout used to make the fumet, the pieces of whitefish and lake trout in the chowder, and the Herring roe used to finish it off. We hope you enjoy our chowder and the relationship it fosters with our region.

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Cooking up the beaut of a Porketta

Porketta [por’ketta]: A roasted MN Berkshire collar-butt is adorned with plenty of garlic, parsley, fennel and red pepper flakes to engulf your home with aromatics and water your mouth. Some people, like those from the great country of Italy (where the recipe originates) spell it porchetta.

We are still quite astonished with the amount of orders and new customers we have received since our appearance on the Holiday Bon Appétit issue and online “6 Stunning Mail Order Food Gifts That Won’t Reveal You Can’t Cook”.  We are still blushing and beaming in glee. 

So it’s still a little frozen (or a lot frozen)?

You can defrost your roast in your fridge with a sheet pan underneath it. This will take less than 48 hours so plan accordingly.

So you want to cook this beauty up?

Here are two ways in which you can achieve a soft roast or a crispy crust.

Crispy Crust

Heat Porketta in a 425F degree oven in a an uncovered baking dish, on a rack, until internal temperature reads 150F degrees. 
Let rest for approximately 10 mins before slicing.

Softer Roast

Heat Porketta in a 350F degree oven in a covered baking dish with 3/4 cup liquid, such as beer, stock, or water for 60-90 mins. Uncover and continue to roast until it reaches an internal temp of 165F degrees- approximately 15 min. 

Let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing, or chop the Porketta into the liquid and serve accordingly. 


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Phones Have Gremlins

What a day! Our phones are down, but delivery is up, up, up! You can place your order online via email: catering @ nwsmokehausdotcom ! Just leave your phone number and we will call you back on one of our faithful cell phones.

Thanks for bearing with us, and enjoy the snowy day.