Biella hosts Lake Minnetonka dinner cruises

Biella hosts Lake Minnetonka dinner cruises

Even though it's been a beastly hot summer, Minnesotans would be wise to take advantage of outdoor dining opportunities when they present themselves, before autumn takes hold. 
Still, sitting on a stifling hot patio is a bit of a hard sell this month.

However, Biella Italian restaurant in Excelsior provides an excellent alternative -- a dinner cruise on Lake Minnetonka.

The restaurant hosts monthly wine dinner cruises (usually May through October) aboard the lovely Paradise Cruise Ship on Lake Minnetonka, providing an excellent escape from the heat, as well as a touch of cruise line luxury.

The next five-course dinner excursion is scheduled to depart from Port Excelsior at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 24, and will feature wines from Justin Vineyards in the Paso Robles region of California's Central Coast. Justin Vineyards specializes in cabernet sauvignon and a Bordeaux-style blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc named Isosceles, however the winery also produces chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, syrah, and several others.

These wine cruises sell out quickly, so guests should make reservations sooner rather than later by calling 952.474.4745.    

What's on the menu? The night will begin with a chilled fennel and tomato bisque, followed by candy-striped beets with blue cheese walnuts and pomegranate. However, it's the third and fourth courses that, at least on paper, sound the most compelling:  butter poached scallops with foie gras over butter lettuce and a black cherry vinaigrette, and lamb meatballs with harissa aioli, marinated celery salad, and apricot compote.  Dessert is coconut panna cotta with a dark chocolate genache. Each dish is paired with a complementary wine from Justin Winery's cellars.

The cost of the wine dinner and the excursion is $85, and the restaurant will try its best to accommodate guests who have allergies or food preferences.

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