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5 Things – Vol. 15

5 Things Again?!

Of course!

Why Not?





December happened and mail order did it once again. We sent over 1800 boxes full of delicious food to really cool people all over the country! It was lovely, chaotic, overwhelming, and appreciated. Take that and wrap it in an insulated box! Holy cow, pig or fish.




Our office is small and the portion that gets used for mail order is even smaller. It often felt like our packing materials were going to quite literally box us in! To make matters worse we trapped Jeremy, took Celestine for a ride and covered Joe in peanuts multiple times. Anybody want to get nuts? Let’s get nuts!




Friday was our busiest day ever and it’s no surprise that It was completely bonkers! The line weaved its way through DeWitt Seitz, People waited patiently and our staff crushed it! Thank you to all everyone involved.



Nos Fumant Aliquid

Last week our hardworking, dedicated, and talented crew smoked over 1 ton of fish. Enough said…




The final hours are nearing for our sibling up on Woodland Avenue, Northern Waters Restaurant. The doors close for good on New Years Eve. Saturday will be the last dinner service and Sunday will be the last brunch. So, please stop by and enjoy your favorite Northern Waters Restaurant dishes. We hope you lift a glass and share a laugh with us. It’s been a remarkable ride!




As locals know, this weeks weather has been straight up frigid. The bright side is everything looks so beautiful when it’s this cold. Every smoke stack is so defined and the sea smoke on the lake is intensely stunning. Bundle up and get out there!


See you next week folks!

-Stephen Pestalozzi Creative Dept. / Northern Waters Smokehaus






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5 Things – Vol. 10

What a week! Only 5 things? JUST 5 things? Ok. Have it your way. Here we go:

1 / Local Food Fare
 Stephen and I went to The College of Saint Scholastica last Friday for their first ever Local Food Day representing Northern Waters Restaurant. It was THE BEST time!   We hit ’em with some S.W.A.G. (Stuff We All Get), served maple sambal ribs with kimchi and an assortment of sandwich samples while those ravenous collegians lost their damn minds! We made sure to collect some email addresses to offer them further deals in the future before they went completely bonkers. Thanks to our pal Jordon Moses for setting the event up!


 2 / Meat & Greet
Smokehausers Flo and TK are the principals at Prove Gallery in Duluth; a fantastic and inclusive pillar of the arts community here, and 10/18 brought their annual Meat Raffle Fundraiser! Not familiar with the Meat Raffle concept? Buy one of 12 chances for a cut of meat and wait for the wheel to land on your number. If it does, you get meated handsomely! Prove managed to get Pete and Sam from NW Restaurant to emcee and sell tickets respectively, while Ned from the Smokehaus DJ’d. Plenty of our coworkers from both the restaurant and the Smokehaus got in on the gamble for meat as well as a pretty great silent auction. The whole event was a huge success and also just a lot of fun.


3 / Photo Frenzy
 Stephen and Flo continue to work on photographing our many products in preparation for mail order season, and the composition of these photos has really been coming together beautifully. So beautifully, in fact, that it drives our thoughts towards doing a cookbook. Seriously, wouldn’t that be fantastic?


4 / Pop Up Restaurant at Hoops!
At Northern Waters Restaurant, we always try to keep it poppin’; the beautiful plates we send out, our chic decor, actual delicious soda pop… It’s a thing for us, ok? So how excited are we that our pals at Hoops Brewing have invited us to come and do a pop up restaurant at their place? Pretty dang excited to say the least. We haven’t firmed up a date yet, but look for that coming soon. Pop in and say hi! Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha


5 / Listen Up!
 Jams! Not the kind you eat with your mouth, but the kind you eat with your ears! It’s called ‘listening’! Up at the restaurant, we begin our days by sweeping, mopping and kicking out the sweetest jams possible. Afrobeat, DJ Earl and Steely Dan have been in heavy rotation recently, but it’s really anyone’s guess as to what will get heavy play next. We think that this whole ‘eareating’ thing is going to catch on big-time.
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5 Things – Volume 7

Keeping the fire alive – Volume 7!


1 / A Really Fishy Photo! We took this photo of our traditional smoked salmon and we think it’s pretty neat! Mmmmm…Hold up while we break for a snack…

2 / Catering Extravaganzas  1: Sue is the owner of the Hemlock Preserve in Esko and we catered her daughters wedding last Saturday. It was crazy humid in the barn but we managed to work fast and pull through for a feast of epic proportions. Photo recap!

2: On Sunday we went to the Oldenberg House in Carlton for a wedding showcase. Food was served, food was eaten and we all had a blast! This historic building is right on the edge of Jay Cooke State Park and is lined with an abundance of rock formations, greenery and other natural goodies to take your breath away. Check them out for bed and breakfast services, special events, jazz dinners, live music, and much more. Thanks for having us!

3 / Restaurant Bits & Bites 

1. We are running an Heirloom tomato and chèvre salad special with fruits from the tomato growing experts over at Hammarlund. I overheard them talking to Eric (The Owner) about the different varieties of tomatoes and the flavor differences. The green striped ones are the all around favorite, the yellow ones are fruitier + sweeter and the dark red ones are kind of like a roma, but with more flavor. We running this with honey-dressed Boucheron chèvre, a balsamic reduction, and Maldon salt flake. Stop in and try one before it’s gone!

2. We have a new side! This couscous salad is delicious and beautiful.

4 / Basement Anthems The delivery and prep department needs music to stay sane. The work they do is incredibly fast paced, super detailed, and downright chaotic. They add to this insanity by BLASTING their music at full volume with no remorse for any nearby ears. In fact, they recently upgraded their stereo system by pooling tips because the old one wasn’t loud enough. Kudos on the teamwork y’all! This week it just so happened that Propagandhi’s new album dropped and it has been on repeat ever since. I asked Jeremy for a few words about it and his response was “Can I say it’s f***ing rippin’?”

5 / Insider Tip!  There were three employee wedding anniversaries this week! On the 27th, Stephen and Robin celebrated their 3 year and Woody and Kiah celebrated their 1 year. On the 28th Mary and Greg celebrated their 7 year! Many more to come, but don’t worry, we won’t post about them next year….. <3


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5 Things Volume 5

Volume 5 – Les Sgo!

#1 / Boot in the Barn was a success! The folks came, The cooks cooked and the staff worked really hard. We are really proud of everyone involved!

#2 / Beer in hand – Sandwich in Mouth The Cedar lounge is one of our favorites places to catch a drink and relax. Starting this week you will find ultra fancy, co-branded menus throughout the establishment! That’s right, you can order a sandwich straight to your bar stool at the Cedar Lounge. We think you’ll love the way our sandwiches taste with a cold one.

#3 / The Future Holds New… Photographs! Our creative crew (Stephen & Flo) took a trip to Mary’s (GM) house to scout locations for our new product photos. The abundance of trinkets, textures and materials was inspiring and we can’t wait to get cracking on this dream project.

#4 / Happy Mistakes Our restaurant (Northern Waters Restaurant) makes ice cream from scratch. But what do you get when you burn the base for this sweet treat? Cream Brûlée ice cream! It’s quickly becoming one of our favorite flavors, although the curry is pretty dang tasty…. Nothing like a good happy mistake!

#5 / Our Bread’s First Voyage Our Baker Jerry has been cranking out loaf after loaf of his delicious rye bread for our deli and we are loving it! Although the loaves are living the good life in Canal Park I could tell they were feeling a little antsy and longed for a bigger taste of the world. Low and behold they took the grand voyage to Woodland Ave. and became a permanent addition to our restaurant’s Reuben (The Thursday and sometimes Friday special). This sandwich is truly a legend in the making and now it’s one step closer.

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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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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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Décor at Northern Waters – Glørud Design

Décor at Northern Waters

Josh Rude / Glørud Design

Josh Rude’s Paddles are a recent addition to our collection of artisan work on the walls of Northern Waters Restaurant. We love showcasing the work of the insanely talented people that live here. Josh’s paddles hit all the marks. Line, color, form, shape, harmony,  presentation–these paddles are a true work of art.

We reached out to Josh to learn a bit more about the history of his work & why he chose to be a maker.

Company Name: Glørud is our Norwegian family name.  When my family moved to the US in the late 1800’s, the name was changed to Rude. Obviously the name ‘Rude Designs’ did not have the best ring to it, so I chose my Norwegian family name.

The Story: I have only been making paddles for 1-2 years, but the motivation started growing at least 10 years ago.  My wife and I met as canoe guides in the Boundary Waters off the Gunflint Trail 17 years ago. I wanted to give her a canoe paddle of her choice as an engagement gift. We shopped, and shopped but we did not find a size, shape, or design she was drawn to.  A week turned into a month and a month turned into 8 years (oops!).

We spent many years traveling, but eventually moved back to our original home of Minnesota. We wanted to get back the BWCA, but I still hadn’t given my wife a paddle. Along this journey we also had 3 kids making our finances a bit slimmer.

I decided I would build a paddle for her. It was nice try, but no engagement gift. I made another, and it was a bit better and I started to understand the process more. I made another and someone offered to buy it! I sold that paddle even though I had not given one to my wife.  Eventually I came out with a few designs which included the paddle for my wife. The Innsjø double-bent is a paddle designed specifically for her. Innsjø is the Norwegian word for ‘lake’.  We have fond memories of Long Island Lake in the BWCA while working up there.  This paddle was named for her.

The Road Ahead: The reason I continue making a paddle after I finished my wife’s is two fold.  First, I have enjoyed it.  My time in the shop is therapeutic. The simple task of working with my hands has been a good change of pace. Second, I love contributing to the community of paddlers and people that enjoy spending there time outdoors.

Take a trip up to our restaurant to view Josh’s paddles in the flesh, enjoy Haus made food, or have a drink!

More information about Glørud Design can be found at

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Attention Friends – Change is Happening!

Not all experiments work the first time — just ask Edison with his 1,000 attempts at inventing the light bulb. So while we’re grateful to our core of loyal customers who loved & supported our No Tipping policy as well as our employees who have embraced this model, it has become clear that many diners are not comfortable with it.  Out of the gate it’s also proven challenging to incorporate all of these personnel costs into the business model.

As a culture, we’ve been reading menus one way all our lives. When we rolled in the tip & tax into our competitive prices, it was easy to perceive that number as high.  So, as of January 12, 2017 Northern Waters will take on a typical tipping model.

What will change: You’ll see some lower priced items on the menu as well as the addition of some of our favorite sandwiches from our Smokehaus and Deli in Canal Park– like the Cajun Finn, Pastrami Mommy, Cold Turkey & Northern Bagel. We’re also going to make sure that our great daily specials and happy hour are out there on social media. Please tune in!

What WILL NOT change: We’re proud to continue with our paid sick and vacation time for employees — a rarity in our industry. And we assure you that will still have the same high quality, haus-made food you know and love. We’ll continue to use age-old methods to cure and smoke our own meats, support other local businesses by sourcing our ingredients, supporting our employees’ commitment to equity and create a beautiful dining environment.

Lastly, thanks for coming in to Northern Waters. We love making you some of the best food anywhere.


Eric, Lynn and our entire Northern Waters family