Lake Minnetonka has a sensational new seafood spot with the recent debut of Spring Park’s Vann, which just opened its doors in the former Tonka Grill & BBQ space. But it looks, feels and tastes nothing like its predecessor. The intimate dining room — just 10 tables — serves up awesome water views and incredible cuisine centered around sustainable seafood with a Norwegian edge. It’s the first eatery from local chef Erik Skaar (Tilia, Bachelor Farmer, Seattle’s Crush) and an homage to the lifeblood that is water (indeed, Vann is Norwegian for the word).
The ambiance is minimalist if not modest with a slightly nautical vibe. But that doesn’t mean that details have been overlooked here; quite the contrary. The simple surrounds let touches like high-quality tableware and Scandinavian chic furnishings shine. And through the storefront windows, diners get a panoramic vista of lake life just across Shoreline Drive.
Undoubtedly taking center stage, however, is the fare. The menu at Vann changes daily based on the fish and flora available. Every dish we tried was phenomenal — a rare occurrence at a brand spanking new eatery. First course standouts include the lightly cured hamachi with uni, sudachi, chili and ginger as well as the chilled poached salmon with sweet corn and heirloom tomatoes. Mouthwatering entrées include the scallops with garlic scapes and heirloom carrots as well as the wild Alaskan halibut with crayfish cream, chanterelle mushrooms and bright sugar snap peas. For dessert, the raspberry and gjetost cheese tart (another Norwegian touch) is not to be missed. But we’re convinced you really can’t go wrong here as every course tempted us to lick our plates clean. With Vann, Lake Minnetonka has gained another exceptional chef-driven eatery.