Need a vacation? Today? Okay, granted, springtime in Minnesota is a roller coaster of perfect days and perfectly muddy and awful ones, but if any of the perfect ones happen to fall on your day off, I’ve got a hot tip for you: Lola’s Lakehouse.
Lola’s is the newest restaurant right on the lake in Waconia, a city about half an hour southwest of Minneapolis. What’s so hot about Lola’s? The view, the deck, the view, and the deck.
Oh, that deck: wide as a road, right on the water, overlooking the prettiest, greenest island. Set your pinkie toes on that deck and you’re suddenly luxuriating in a full-blown vacation. Stick a glass of Champagne in your hand and … welcome to paradise. If there are no deck tables available, fear not: The restaurant’s wide doors open onto the deck, which, in nice weather, makes the whole place feel like it’s out-of-doors.
The food is perfect lakeside-vacation fare. A sister restaurant to Dermot Cowley’s other two spots—O’Donovan’s in downtown Minneapolis and Jake O’Connor’s in Excelsior—Lola’s serves beautifully crisp fish and chips, a large selection of fresh oysters, a nice bacon-and-ham-rich clam chowder, and one of the best crab cakes in the Cities, made with plenty of fresh crab meat instead of plenty of eggs, as is (sadly) so often the fashion.
Want to make a day of it? Waconia also has a cute antique store downtown, a wonderful playground just a few blocks west of Lola’s, great swimming beaches, an indoor park with batting cages, swimming pools, and a water park called Safari Island—and it’s all just a hop-and-skip away from the University of Minnesota’s Landscape Arboretum.
In short, Lola’s—and Waconia—has everything you need to make the next sunny day into a full-fledged vacation. So stick your head out the window. Is it a nice day? Start your engines!