Yes, Minnesota is about as far from an ocean as one can get in the continental United States. But that doesn’t mean people here don’t enjoy the time-honored simple pleasure of sitting by a body of water and eating a fine piece of fish. The opening of two Minneapolis restaurants is an eagerly awaited sign of spring each year, and their closing each fall is a sad rite of passage into the colder, darker days.
Sea Salt (4825 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis, 612/721-8990, www.seasalteatery.com, April–Oct. Sun.–Mon. 11 a.m.–7 p.m., Tues.–Sat. 11 a.m.–8 p.m.) fills the pavilion at Minnehaha Falls with the scent of fish tacos and lines of eager eaters. The menu — from oysters on the half shell ($26/dozen) to crab cakes ($9.95) to fried fish sandwiches and fish tacos — is ideal for a picnic on a warm summer eating (be aware, though, that many, many other people know this is true. To beat the crowds get there earlier in the day or on a weekday. (Seating is in the open air or under the cover of the picnic pavilion.)
On Lake Calhoun, in the classic park building, is the equally eagerly awaited Tin Fish (3000 Calhoun Pkwy. E., Minneapolis, 612/823-5840, www.thetinfish.net, late April–Memorial Day daily noon–8 p.m., Memorial Day–Labor Day daily 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Labor Day–Oct. daily noon–7:30 p.m.). The Tin Fish’s specialty is the Mini Tin, a deceptively mammoth fried fish sandwich, but the shrimp tacos, the grilled mahimahi, the flavorful burgers — heck, all the things on the menu — are worth waiting for.
© Tricia Cornell from Moon Minneapolis & St. Paul, 1st Edition