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“Very beautiful view - bland, overpriced food”

Splashing Rock Restaurant
Ranked #15 of 31 Restaurants in Two Harbors
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Other than the very beautiful view from our table we were VERY disappointed with our experience at this restaurant. Stopped here with four others after a week in the BWCA. We were all very hungry as we had a hard paddle into the wind to get out that day and other than lots of fresh fish, hadn't had any 'real' food for a week and certainly not served to us in a relaxed, comfortable setting. Our normal place up the road - where we usually stop and enjoy a great salad bar - lots of variety - with soup and bread - was closed due to a fire. We didn't want to wait till we reached Duluth to eat and we definitely wanted a place to sit and be served where we could relax and talk about the trip so we thought we would give this place a try.

VERY limited menu and definitely not kid friendly. I've seen other reviews talk about burgers at this place but our menu did not offer any. In fact, the only beef item I saw on the menu was a 6oz steak for $30 which doesn't include any type of soup or salad. None of their meals include soup or salad - they are an extra charge - and surprisingly, no type of bread product is served with the meal. Their menu items all had very elaborate, elegant sounding descriptions - apparently to try and justify their prices - but the food served was anything but. We ordered two sampler platters to start - not much on the plate considering the charge and the ONLY item that had ANY type of flavor was the bruschetta. The fritters were nothing but batter and oil, duck bites tasteless, and their 'campfire potatoes' nothing but plain, bland potato chips. For our meals we did pay extra for the salads and were hoping for something special because of the extra cost but no such luck. Very plain boring salad that included one small slice of tomato and cucumber and a sliver of onion - a simple offer of some croutons and/or shredded parmesan would go a long way here! Most of us ordered the ribs which were certainly edible but also certainly nothing special at all and lots of waste.

This restaurant might be nice for a special occasion if you don't mind paying for the view but otherwise is strictly for visiting tourists.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank makwa55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1 - 5 of 143 reviews

Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We were returning from Duluth towards Grand Marais and were delighted to find Splashing Rock. Nice view but foggy for our visit. Rustic wooden chairs with padding you sunk into—Not real comfortable...yet the wines (Mondavi Fume Blanc & Simi Chardonnay) were fresh and exquisite, with generous pours. And bread served with lingonberry infused butter! What a surprise!

We started with the Maple Smoked Trout Cakes which were utterly scrumptious. Then on to broiled Canadian Walleye served on a bed of wild rice. Nice. My spouse had Rainbow Trout stuffed with Crab—very filling and savored slowly with intention. Finished off with their Flight of Creme Brûlée—a trio brought out in chilled ramekins. I don’t recall the flavors of the day. The textures of each varied in terms of heaviness and taste. I could see them doing a similar flight of Panna Cotta in the future. Maybe due to our interest in the composition of their various dishes, our server mentioned they were considering a tweaking of their menu for the summer season and asked what we might suggest. We contributed a few ideas...

The dinner menu was diverse and interesting. All dishes ordered were very nicely presented and did I mention the exquisite wines?? I felt the published pricing was fairly matched to the cuisine brought to our table, in fact, maybe a bit underpriced, considering the inventiveness and thought put into their dishes.

This was a welcome stop off for an elegant meal. Nice view and pleasant experience. May grab a booth next time, perhaps.

Thank Bruce W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Sampler platter was great, hub had a bone in stuffed chicken breast with ligonberry was very good. GS and I had New York strip steak. Was a bit fatty,but flavor good. The staff and The view were outstanding.

Thank Sharon V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 May 2018

The food was good and reasonably priced, the service excellent, and the lake view from inside the dining room and outside on the deck was gorgeous!

Thank SJBMLB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2018

We're staying in a cabin on the property and just wandered in at 3:00 for a drink after skiing. While enjoying our drinks, the executive chef, Nate (didn't catch his last name) came out with two salads and asked us for some input on each. Both featured super-fresh greens, beautiful presentation, and a nice combination of flavors and textures. One salad featured incredibly fresh and tasty strawberries, which is nothing short of a miracle in Minnesota in February. Chef Nate said they're from Mexico. The other salad featured sliced Granny Smith apples and candied pecans. When told that these salads would be part of the chef's new "Two for $25 on Tuesday" menu, we decided to return for dinner that night.

Wow. For $25 total between the two of us, we dined on appetizer, salad, entree, and split one dessert. NOT $25 per person. $25 TOTAL BILL. Started with a tomato bruschetta loaded with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella on thin-sliced bread that I guessed to be a cranberry/wild rice white bread. Followed that up with the apple version of the salad we tried earlier that afternoon. Entrees were the highlight. I had a juicy, tender Asian glazed pork chop with cinnamon apples. My wife had a stuffed chicken marsala with mashed potatoes and vegetables that she said was one of the best chicken dishes she'd ever had. (And she's had a lot of chicken in quality restaurants). Dessert was a delicious cake (white and chocolate layers with a tasty buttercream icing--can't remember what it was called). This meal would have been worth every cent if we had each paid $25. For two, $25 is an absolute steal.

Dee, our server, is also the food and beverage manager and she treated us like highly valued customers. Super friendly, timely service, and thorough knowledge of the menu and flavors.

To those who complain about poor service in locales such as the North Shore in winter, or even in peak season, please remember that one of the side effects of our messed up immigration laws is that it's nearly impossible for small businesses such as restaurants to attract and retain quality employees. The small population in the area combined with the restrictive immigration policies make it difficult for international students to come to the US and then stay in the US even though jobs go begging. Or, they fill a job, but then they aren't allowed back in the country after they reach a certain age, whether or not they are still students. A labor shortage means a business must increase wages to attract and retain quality workers, which directly translates into higher menu prices because food prices can't usually be cut and maintain the same high quality.

So please focus on the big picture and before you criticize a restaurant in an isolated area for poor service, consider becoming more open-minded about allowing changes to immigration policy that make it easier and faster for hard workers to be allowed to work steadily in this country.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Chris N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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