When you come off the Cuyuna mountain bike trails and are looking for a restaurant near Crosby, Lonesome Pine Restaurant on the shores of Bay Lake is worth the drive for a northern Minnesota dining experience. You’ll find a full menu, but we especially direct your attention to the halibut (if available) or steak—and check out the sides of beets and sweet potatoes. (If you don’t see these on the menu, ask your server for them.) They also have a decent selection of craft beer, a full bar, and an extensive wine list with good options that are more difficult to find in this region. It’s even fun for the kids with a playground to help wear off their wiggles before dinner. The kids will also beg to sit at the table under the huge moose and be sure to visit the grizzly bear in the back before you leave.
In Deerwood, dining earlier is better than dining later to get a table if you have a group of more than two. They do not take reservations, but if you have a party of eight or more, do call ahead—especially in the summer!
For another restaurant near Crosby, Zig’s at Ruttger’s has a country-club atmosphere with golf and dining, but we recommend Ruttger’s “Ruby’s Dining Room”—the old log dining room in the lodge at the resort overlooking Bay Lake in Deerwood. Ruby’s is infused with history and character dating back to 1898(!), and the food off the Ruby’s menu provides some dishes that break the conventional mold. There is usually a buffet available, but we recommend seeing what magic you can find on the menu.
Ruttger’s dress attire is “resort casual,” defined as khaki shorts/pants, polo shirts, etc., rather than Cuyuna bike shorts.
Reserve a table by the log fireplace or by the lakeside windows to take in the full atmosphere and experience. Did we say make reservations? Make reservations.