Results for Best of Lake Minnetonka 2013 Readers’ Survey

by | Jun 2013

Photo: Amanda Gahler

We asked and you voted for your 30 favorite people, places, activities and businesses around Lake Minnetonka.

Best Weekend Brunch: Sunsets

If your family enjoys the tradition of gathering for a delightful Sunday brunch, then Sunsets in Wayzata is a top choice. From their well-loved chicken and wild rice soup to Belgian waffles and fresh salmon, Sunsets’ brunch is sure to please young and old alike. 700 E. Lake St., Wayzata; 952.473.5253;

Runner-up: Maynard’s

Third place: Lord Fletcher’s Old Lake Lodge

Best Date Night: Biella

Nestled among quaint shops in the heart of downtown Excelsior, Biella makes you feel like you’ve just set foot in a charming bistro on a quiet street in Rome. Ambiance aside, the Italian-inspired cuisine—including such favorites as Prince Edward Island mussels, braised beef cacciatore, and angel hair scopello—will have you coming back for more. 227 Water St., Excelsior; 952.474.8881;

Runner-up: Yumi’s Sushi Bar

Third place: Gianni’s Steakhouse

Best Happy Hour: Maynard’s

Nothing says happy hour better than a stop at Maynard’s. In the warmer months, enjoy great drink and appetizer specials in the beautiful surrounds of Lake Minnetonka. In the winter, Maynard’s offers a fun atmosphere perfect for winding down after a long day. After 10 p.m., you can enjoy Maynard’s late-night happy hour for extra-special deals.  685 Excelsior Blvd., Excelsior; 952.470.1800;

Runner-up: Blue Point Restaurant

Third place: Sunsets

Best Ice Cream: Licks Unlimited

Summer wouldn’t be summer without ice cream. And for many, summer wouldn’t be complete without regular stops at Licks Unlimited in Excelsior. The smell of homemade waffle cones surrounds you as you contemplate the unique flavors, including chocolate raspberry truffle, pop rocks and French silk. 31 Water St., Excelsior; 952.474.4791

Runner-up: Adele’s Frozen Custard

Third place: Tommy’s Tonka Trolley

Best Architect: Peter Eskuche, Eskuche Associates

There’s a comfort and confidence that comes from working with a trusted friend and advisor, and that’s what people can expect when they turn to Peter Eskuche, founder and principal at Eskuche Associates.  For more than 20 years, Eskuche has provided personal attention to each new residential home he designs—attention that has resulted in myriad stylish luxury homes that are a true source of pride and satisfaction for every client. 18318 Minnetonka Blvd., Deephaven; 952.544.3844;

Runner-up: Charles R. Stinson, Charles R. Stinson Architecture + Design

Third place: Jon Monson, The Landschute Group

Best Builder/Remodeler: Colson Custom Homes

Leading the industry with passion for creating exemplary homes is the backbone of Excelsior-based Colson Custom Homes. From their loyalty and dedication to their clients to their unique ideas that make each home one of a kind, the Colson team works hard to deliver the highest quality design and construction in today’s luxury homes.  6440 Pipewood Crv., Excelsior; 612.275.8871;

Runner-up: Doug Dzurik Construction

Third place: John Kraemer & Sons, Inc.

Best Landscaper: Outdoor Excapes

For many homeowners, landscaping is as simple as putting in a tree here and a flowerbed there. For others, landscaping has evolved into a sophisticated process. Today’s homeowners are willing to invest as much time and money outside their homes as they dedicate indoors. That’s where Outdoor Excapes comes in. This award-winning luxury landscape design firm prides itself on creating exceptional exterior designs that accentuate your home’s architecture and enhances your outdoor enjoyment. 2345 Daniels St., Long Lake; 952.926.6899;

Runner-up: Gray Gardens

Third place: Mark Hauri, MH3 Design Group


Best Furniture Store: Que Sera

For more than 14 years, Que Sera has been offering delightfully charming home furniture and accents. In a historic building featuring reclaimed wood flooring, exposed brick and an original tin ceiling, Que Sera entices shoppers with its heirloom-quality furnishings, lighting and decorative accessories.  244 Water St., Excelsior; 952.924.6390;

Runner-up: The Sitting Room

Third place: Mudd Lake Furniture Company

Best Place for Unusual Gifts: General Store of Minnetonka

Enter through the charming wood doors of the General Store of Minnetonka and you’ll find yourself in one of the most delightful shopping experiences around. From classic home accents and retro kids’ playthings to gorgeous clothing and accessories, the General Store surprises and delights at every turn. 14401 Highway 7, Minnetonka; 952.935-7131;

Runner-up: Capers

Third place: The Bee Cottage

Best Florist: Candlelight Floral

With their delightful fragrance and incomparable beauty, flowers have a universal appeal. Your floral arrangements can be lavish or simple, elegant or effervescent. For more than 50 years, family-owned and -operated Candlelight Floral has been providing stunning floral designs for an array of occasions. Whether it’s a spare arrangement of white roses and lilies to the riot of color using a variety of blooms, Candlelight Floral’s designs will be one of the most memorable aspects of your event. 275 Lake St. E., Wayzata; 952.473.2564;

Runner-up: Excelsior Florist

Third place: Weber’s Westdale

Best Boutique: General Store of Minnetonka

Looking for unique clothing, accessories and handbags? From classic outdoor wear and exquisite jewelry to fun handbags from Vera Bradley and other designers, the General Store surprises and delights at every turn. 14401 Highway 7, Minnetonka; 952.935.7131;

Runner-up: Martin’s

Third place: Maha! Boutique

Best Place to Buy Jeans: Hot Mama

Shopping for jeans can be a daunting experience, but not at Hot Mama! Here you will find a variety of hip, trendy jean options including boyfriend, cropped, bootcut, straight-leg and skinny. Best of all, Hot Mama carries some of the hottest brands, including AG, Joes Jeans, Hudson, Kut and Level 99.  687 Lake St. E., Wayzata, 952.224.9985;

Runner-up: Heartbreaker

Third place: The House of Amore & Fede

Best Small Business Customer Service: Excelsior Brewing Company

It’s wonderful to support small, independent businesses, and it’s especially gratifying when they’re small businesses with exceptional customer service. Excelsior Brewing Company prides itself on serving its customers superior hand-crafted brews, and they do it with a smile, each and every time. 421 Third St., Excelsior; 952.474.7837;

Runner-up: Tonka Tubing Water Sports

Third place: Great Harvest Bread Co.

Best Salon/Spa: Lili Salon Spa

Maybe, after years spent on your career and kids, you’ve looked in the mirror and decided it was time to focus on you; or perhaps your doctor said it was time to learn to relax. Whatever the reason, Lili Salon Spa offers nothing short of rejuvenation for mind, body and spirit. With an array of therapeutic and beautifying products and services, Lili Salon Spa is committed to providing the highest level of service possible while offering an unparalleled array of hair, nail, body and skin treatments.  5757 Sanibel Dr., Suite 1, Minnetonka; 952.935.5000;

Runner-up: Juut Salonspa

Third place: Bella on the Bay

Best Photographer: Rebecca Hicks Photography

Perhaps you’re longing for candid, journalism-style black-and-white photos to capture the moments of your wedding day. Or maybe you’re seeking classic, posed images befitting a family portrait. Whatever your style, you want to work with a photographer who understands today’s trends and can create images that will last a lifetime. Rebecca Hicks understands that great photography is characterized not only by good technique and careful execution, but also by spirit and emotion. She prides herself on offering photographic services that capture the spirit of the individuals and the phase of life they are in. 612.760.4022;

Runner-up: Shari Fleming Photography

Third place: Annie Marie Photography

Best Nonprofit/Charity: ICA Food Shelf

Over the past few years, food banks have been hit hard by rising fuel and operating costs, increasing food prices, reduced donations and huge increases in individuals and families seeking assistance.  Just ask the Intercongregation Communities Association (ICA) Food Shelf, an organization that has been serving the lake area for more than 40 years. ICA Food Shelf provides food to more than 800 families each month and partners with more than 100 area businesses and many congregations to provide nourishment to families, seniors and children. 12990 St. David’s Rd., Minnetonka; 952.938.0729;

Runner-up: Hammer Residence

Third place: St. David’s Center

Best Yoga Studio: CorePower Yoga

Yoga has taken the world by storm. It may have started as a seemingly fleeting fitness trend for the stretchy-feely, but yoga has proved to have serious staying power for millions of men, women and even children. CorePower Yoga offers a wealth of classes, from beginner to advanced, as well as yoga retreats and yoga classes online. 13879 Ridgedale Dr., Minnetonka; 952.249.9642;

Runner-up: Spirit of the Lake Yoga & Wellness Center

Third place: The Marsh

Best Day Care: St. David’s Center

For more than 50 years, St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development in Minnetonka has been offering exceptional early childhood education for children ages 16 months to 5 years. Promoting early learning, curiosity and exploration, St. David’s offers a variety of classroom environments to meet children’s changing needs.  3395 Plymouth Rd., Minnetonka; 952.939.0396;

Runner-up: The Goddard School

Third place: New Horizon Academy

Best Kids’ Party Spot: Pump It Up

As parents, we look forward to our children’s birthdays as a marker of their huge accomplishments in growth and development. What better way to celebrate these accomplishments than with a party? Pump It Up knows exactly how to entertain kids with their plethora of entertaining giant inflatable environments. With their various birthday packages, Pump It Up offers a hassle-free way to celebrate your child’s big day.  3500 Holly Ln., Plymouth; 763.553.0340;

Runner-up: Jump and Jam Activity Center

Third place: Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park

Best High School Teacher: Alan Hiebert, Mound Westonka High School

Celebrating his 18th year of teaching—14 of them at Mound Westonka High School—Alan Hiebert has made a name for himself as a high school social studies teacher. In fact, the class of 2012 gave Mr. Hiebert the honor of reading the class roll at their commencement ceremony. 5905 Sunnyfield Rd., Mound;

Runner-up: Erik Sill, Minnetonka High School

Third place: Leah Bender, Minnetonka High School

Best Pizza: Joey Nova’s

When you take a bite of Joey Nova’s mouth-watering pizza, it’s like being transported to a serene Greek island setting for a luxurious lunch. That’s because this pizza shop uses only the finest authentic oil imported from family-owned olive groves in Greece. The “Drag-it-tru-da Garden” pizza, created with a mountain of roasted red peppers and fresh garlic, is especially to die for when you drag-it-tru-some ranch dressing. 5655 Manitou Rd., Excelsior; 952.405.2700;

Runner-up: Punch Neapolitan Pizza

Third place: Tino’s Café Pizzeria

Best Bar Food: Maynard’s

Sink your teeth into a flavorful morsel from Maynard’s and taste the point of no return—you’ll be at it until you belong to the clean plate club or can’t forage any further in the name of deliciousness. Besides the top-quality eats, a comfortable atmosphere makes Maynard’s a ‘home away from home” for many customers.  685 Excelsior Blvd., Excelsior; 952.470.1800;

Runner-up: Jake O’Connor’s Public House

Third place: Wayzata Bar & Grill

Best Pet Grooming: Adogo Pet Hotel

Dogs are people, too! That’s what the people at Adogo Pet Hotel think, and they’ll treat your dog better than you treat yourself. This premium pooch pampering includes a variety of luxurious options: blueberry facials, deep conditioning and a butter balm paw treatment are just a few services available to your canine diva.  6133 Baker Rd., Minnetonka; 952.933.5200;

Runner-up: The Canine Club and Spa

Third place: Bone Adventure

Best Kennel: Top Dog Country Club

More than 40 acres of land, a pool, play yards and a wooded trail are all evidence that Top Dog Country Club is nothing like other kennels. “I know you were worried about leaving me, but this place is the coolest!” says Kiwi the Dog on the club’s website. Your dog will feel the same—and you’ll feel better knowing he’s in good hands.  5120 Vega Ave., New Germany; 952.353.2600;

Runner-up: Adogo Pet Hotel

Third place: The Canine Club and Spa

Best Pet Store: Noah’s Ark Fish & Pet Supply

Much like Noah’s famous biblical barge, this Minnetonka pet store is home to fuzzy small animals. Unlike the ancient ark, Noah’s pet shop has freshwater fish, and a whole lot fewer elephants. But they do have a very knowledgeable staff and competitive pricing, making pet shopping at Noah’s Ark an enjoyable experience that’s hard to beat.  40 Water St., Excelsior; 952.474.1936;

Runner-up: Chuck & Don’s Pet Food Outlet

Third place: Bone Adventure

Best Marina: Tonka Bay Marina

Keep your boat at Tonka Bay Marina where bobbing on waves surrounded by the big blue sky is an everyday experience. The family-owned marina offers a variety of service and repairs and maintains close, friendly relationships with customers.  220 Tonka Bay Rd., Tonka Bay; 952.474.0292;

Runner-up: Howard’s Point Marina

Third place: North Shore Marina

Best Dermatologist: Dr. April Farrell, Skin Care Doctors

At one time a professional dancer in Los Angeles, Dr. April Ferrell has turned to new ventures in the complex and fascinating world of dermatology. Her interests include skin cancer, pediatrics, cosmetic procedures and general and surgical dermatology.  2765 Kelley Pkwy., #100, Orono; 952.898.1600;

Runner-up: Dr. Brian Zelickson, Zel Skin & Laser Specialists

Third place: Dr. Mary Meighan, Metropolitan Dermatology

Best Chiropractor: Dr. Troy Knewtson and Dr. Kelly Knewtson, Knewtson Health Group

The best chiropractor in Minnetonka is actually not one but two: a dynamic duo of chiropractic magic. The duo started the clinic with the vision of complete health care under one roof for patients with a busy lifestyle. “What makes our clinic even more special is that we offer many specialties that complement each family or individual’s needs, including care for pregnant mothers and babies, amateur, collegiate and professional athletes, and even patients who just have nutritional or weight loss needs,” says Dr. Kelly Knewtson. 23505 County Rd. 19, Suite 100, Excelsior; 952.470.8555;

Runner-up: Dr. Barbro Brost, The Brost Clinic

Third place: Dr. Lynn Miller, Thrive Chiropractic

Best Dentist: Dr. David Fligge, Wayzata Family Dentistry

Taking home the prize last year as well, Dr. David Fligge remains the defending champion of dentistry in the Lake Minnetonka area. 101 Lake St. W., Wayzata; 952.475.2464;

Runner-up: Dr. James Olson, Blue Ridge Dental Center

Third place: Dr. Chris Johnson, Town Dental

Best Vision/Eyewear/Eye Care: Art of Optiks

Stephanie Haenes and her husband Dr. Timothy Haupert oversee a unique and luxurious optical operation in Wayzata. “We have a real synergy between the doctor side of the practice and the optical, which is not always the case,” says Haenes. Using new technology to treat disease and finding the most unusual and well-made eyewear make their quality of service easy to see, even without glasses. 747 Lake St. E., Wayzata; 952.404.2020;

Runner-up: Brevier Optical

Third place: Latham Optical


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