Cuisine: American, Fish, Irish, Steaks
Restaurant Features: Bar, Banquet Room, Live Music, On-Site Parking, Patio,
Location: White Bear Lake, MN
Address: 2171 4th Street White Bear Lake, Minnesota 55110 651-426-2300
Hours: Mon-Sun 11a-2a Kitchen
Atmosphere: Located in a newly constructed two-story building at the heart of downtown White Bear Lake, Manitou Station is the newest and grandest restaurant in town. If the beautiful gazebo built above the front entrance didn’t catch your eye, one walk through the beautiful space and you can see that fine attention was put into every detail. At the heart of the main level is a spectacular wooden bar (built by Dick Barth) that is a re-creation of a bar in Galway, Ireland. The beautiful ceiling is made of tin tiles that were hand-pounded into an intricate design and then painted.
The main dining room is spacious and open, with large windows running the length of the room and brighten it with natural light. At night the chandelier lights are dimmed and it takes on a while new mood, one that could be either lively or romantic, depending on who you’re with. There are a number of high-backed large booths around the perimeter of the room, with wooden tables spread out in the middle. There is also another smaller dining area adjacent to the bar, as well as seating at and around the bar.
The second floor of Manitou Station is where you will find the Grand Station Ballroom. With gorgeous hardwood floors that stretch the length of the entire building, the large space will seat up to 200. There is also a second banquet area on the upper level called the Whistle Stop Room, which will hold up to 50.
In the front corner of the banquet space (directly above the front entrance), there is a beautiful Gazebo-style room that overlooks downtown White Bear Lake from several angles. It’s a very cool view!
Menu: Appetizers at Manitou Station include Walleye and Wild Rice Cakes, Beer Battered Onion Rings, Parmesan Chicken Strips, Steamer Clams, Scotch Egg, Sunny Sandwiches, English Fish & Chips Basket, Window Pane Chips, Brie & Fruit with Crustini, Fries, The Station Sampler and Mediterranean Sampler.
Salads offered are Starter Salad, Traditional Cobb, Steakhouse Wedge, Shrimp Louis, Apple and Walnut, Classic Caesar, Grilled Chicken Caesar, Blackened Chicken Caesar, Greek with Oregano Chicken. Soups include Beef & Guinness Stew, Clam Chowder, Crab & Whiskey Bisque, Cheddar and Ale, Chicken Wild Rice and French Onion.
Sandwich and burger options at Manitou Station are the Parmesan Crusted BLT, Corned Beef Brisket Melt, Rachael, Deli Style Turkey, Deli Style Ham, Chargrilled Salmon Club, Curried Chicken Salad Croissant, Prime Rib Dip, BBQ Bacon Cheddar, Mushroom and Swiss, Avocado Cheddar Ranch, Cheddar, Swiss or Blue Cheese, California Burger or Chicken.
Entrees include English Fish & Chips, Flat Iron Steak, Beef & Guinness Stew, Chargrill Finished Prime Rib (12-16 or 24 oz), Filet Mignon, Roasted Chicken, Parmesan Encrusted Walleye, Sage & Brown Butter Seared Scallops, Peppercorn Ahi Tuna, Salmon Oscar, Pasta Carbonara, Chicken & Artichoke Alfredo, Wild Mushroom Risotto, and Rock Shrimp & Lemon Risotto.
Desserts at Manitou Station include Vanilla Cheesecake with Berries, Peaches Foster over Ice Cream, Apple Crisp and Ice Cream, Chocolate Ganache with Berries, and Bread Pudding with Ice Cream.
Mantiou Station has a wide variety of tap beers and specialty beers including Boddington’s, Magners Irish Cider, Moose Drool, or Matilda. Some of the Specialty drinks include Mango Cosmo, Absolut Paradise, Summer Vacation, Woodford Manhattan, Dirty Blue Martini, Jameson & Ginger, Manitou Breeze, Chocolate Truffle, Pontoon Ride, Irish Bulldog and Baby Guinness
Price guide: Appetizers $7-11 Salads $9-13 Sandwiches/Burgers $8-12 Entrees $13-25
What we ordered: We started with the complimentary rye bread, fresh from a local bakery. The thick, dense bread was neatly sliced and had the flavor and slight dryness you would expect from a rye bread. Caraway seeds too!
Manitou Station is known as the place to go for Scotch Eggs, so we tried these to start. Delicious! A simple hard-boiled egg that is wrapped with a sausage patty, lightly breaded and then deep fried. These treats were served with a mustard dipping sauce. If you haven’t ever tried one, what are you waiting for?!
I had also heard great things about the Steamed Clams so we got an order of these too. These clams were superior to any others I have had around. They were steamed open with fresh garlic, white wine and butter; all flavors that go so well with seafood! They were cooked for just the exact amount of time and were soft and tender, easy to extract from the shell. Squeeze a little lemon on one of those little guys and you will have eaten half the plate before you know it. Would you believe that this large plate of clams is only $8??!! You can’t even see half the clams in this photo because they were covered by the three large pieces of bread that came with. They totally under-priced these little gems but you won’t hear me complaining!
The Parmesan Crusted Walleye came highly recommended and sounded like a great choice, so that is what I ordered for my entree. Fabulous decision! The walleye fillet may have been the biggest I have seen to date and it looked incredibly appealing as well. The fillet was lightly seasoned and topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese, then baked until the cheese was a dark golden color. The texture was both light and flaky, just as it should be. I also loved that it didn’t have a thick breading on it like you see at many other restaurants (great for a low-carb diet!). The wild rice pilaf that was served with it was also on the light side and perfectly complimented the fish. Another great example of how fish and rice were meant to go together ;) The steamed broccoli was also very good, with just a little butter and salt to season it. The order was very big and even after sharing with my companion, my plate was still half full. (Have I mentioned I love leftovers?)
My companion ordered the Filet Mignon with Mushroom Demi Glace (other options included Blue Cheese Butter or Bearnaise Sauce). The tender cut of meat was aged, giving it that extra-special meaty flavor so many carnivores (like me and my companion) love. It was mildly seasoned with salt , then chargrilled until it was medium-rare. The meat was so tender it practically melted in my mouth. I confess I ate more than a few bites of my companion’s steak, I loved it so much.
With the steak we also ordered a Crock O ‘Shrooms, which is large enough for at least two people to share. These are a must-have if you like mushrooms with your steak!! Sauteed in a broth of garlic and butter, these little button mushrooms hold flavor like a sponge. Yum!
Despite being very full after the appetizers and entree, I ordered dessert as well. I had never had Peaches Foster but it sounded wonderful and tasted even better! The dish was prepared with fresh, firm, peaches that had been cut into bite-sized pieces and coated with brown sugar, then cooked until they were caramelized. The peaches were served over vanilla ice cream, giving a whole new twist to peaches-and-cream. The texture of the peaches was similar to cooked apple, and they were just the perfect blend of tart and sweet.
They brought us some complimentary truffles, made in-house daily. These truffles happened to be mint but the flavor changes every day. Very good!
We also tried a couple of the Specialty House drinks: Chocolate Truffle Martini and the Pontoon Ride. The chocolate truffle martini was made with Kahlua Mocha, Creme de Cacoa and Bailey’s Irish Creme. A yummy, creamy, chocolatey treat that is great after dinner (if you still have room!). It was not only drizzled with chocolate but also had a homemade truffle in the glass.
The Pontoon Ride was made with Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka, Sierra Mist, and a splash of orange juice. Very cool, refreshing citrusy drink. Would be great out on the patio in the summer
Service: We had excellent service! The people at Manitou Station know how to treat their customers right. There are two parking lots available to customers, one in the front and one in the back (general purpose parking), as well as on-street parking so we had no problem finding a space. We were greeted with a smile at the hostess stand and were given a nice big booth. Our server, Nick, was very knowledgeable of the menu and did a great job of giving recommendations. Our food was paced at a leisurely rate as we ordered different courses, and drinks were served and refilled promptly. The Management staff (including restaurant owners) seem very considerate of their guests, periodically stopping at tables to ask how everything is. I really appreciate the personal touch… not enough restaurants do that these days.
Overall Impression: We loved everything about Manitou Station: Cool atmosphere for either lunch, dinner or drinks, great service, creative cocktails, scotch eggs, seasoned clams, giant walleye, tender-aged beef, and peaches foster….. need I say more? I will be back again soon!! Also, Mantou Station is going to be a happening place on St Patrick’s Day with a special menu, event tent and live music.