The Final Season

Dear Friends of Wild Rice Restaurant,
After sixteen years of being By the Water, In the Woods, On Lake Superior we announce that Saturday, October 14th will be the last day of service to the public who have supported us faithfully through all of these seasons. It has been phenomenally rewarding to have provided you the highest quality dining experience in Northern Wisconsin. As this final chapter of Wild Rice Restaurant ends Wild Rice Reborn begins. Wild Rice is exploring a partnership with Artspace, to be reborn as A Center for Arts and Well Being. Artspace is the nation’s leading nonprofit developer of arts facilities. We feel Artspace will be a wonderful compliment to this beautiful building and the arts community of Chequamegon Bay.

As we close out our 17th Season we invite you to join us in making this summer special. As always, for over 34 years-including the years at The Clubhouse on Madeline Island, Jim and Randy plus our entire staff will be here to provide you with the dedication to excellence you’ve come to enjoy. By the Water, In the Woods, On Lake Superior.

Thank you all so very much.

Holiday Art and Wine Sale 2016

Ribs & Red Sept 4


Wine Tasting Oct 2

Zepaltas Wine Dinner June 18

Nola Dinner May 14th 2016

Jim Webster 5 Time Semifinalist For Best Chef:MIDWEST

For the Fourth year in a row Jim Webster has been nominated for the James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists. He’s among 20 finalists for Best Chef: Midwest. It’s pretty fun to see Bayfield mentioned in the same list of cities as Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Omaha, St. Louis, Kansas City, Madison, Des Moines. What an honor for Mary and Jim and all of the hard working staff that makes this nomination possible. For more information log on to Winners will be announced March 21st.

Destination Dining – Jan 2006

Bayfield, Wisconsin: At the end of a long winding drive through the Wisconsin woods, Wild Rice appears at the edge of Lake Superior, just outside of Bayfield. The restaurant, named for its owner, Mary Rice, has been wowing guests since it opened in 2001.

The building’s striking design is award-winning architect David Salmela’s take on a modern Scandinavian fishing village, a composite of natural materials and steep pitched roofs. Inside, a dramatic glass floor-to-ceiling “wine cube” holds hundreds of bottles, mostly of Californian terroirs. Each plate comes out of the kitchen constructed like a sculpture that’s almost too lovely to disturb—it’s no surprise to learn that chef Jim Webster earned a BA in studio art.

Some dishes are simple soups and salads: lobster bisque or mixed greens with an herbed sherry vinaigrette. Others are totally over-the-top. The grilled prosciutto-wrapped beef with mascarpone mashed potatoes and Cabernet truffle reduction transcends basic meat ’n’ potatoes. The restaurant’s namesake grain finds its way onto the menu in the popular creamy wild-rice soup with house-smoked chicken and Granny Smith apples. Dinner served weekends May through December, plus additional weekdays during peak season. • 84860 Old San Rd., Bayfield, Wisconsin, 715-779-9881,­

-Article as appeared in Minnesota Monthly July 2006
Minneapolis – St. Paul, Minnesota
Editorial Director: Jeff Johnson
Cover Photo: Brian Johnson

Salmela | Architect – May 2003

A stunning and informative portrait of one of today’s most honored architects.

Salmela Architect provides an in-depth look at one of America’s leading “critical regionalist” architects. Salmela’s buildings resolve a central question of our time: how to balance the various extreme positions that characterize contemporary architecture and culture. Salmela accomplishes this by juxtaposing opposites: modernist and traditional forms, open and
cellular plans, large and small scales, familiar elements used in unfamiliar ways. His projects range from a small stand-alone sauna to commercial spaces visited by thousands of people, and his buildings, mostly located in the upper Midwest, have become nationally and internationally known.

Salmela Architect showcases twenty-six completed buildings and sixteen current projects in lavish color photographs and architectural drawings, enabling readers to get a full sense of the practicality, ethnicity, and playfulness apparent in David Salmela’s work. Architecture critic Thomas Fisher explores Salmela’s propensity to draw from regional roots as he creates
designs particular to individual places and cultures yet with universal appeal. Fisher illuminates this synchronicity with buildings as prominent as the Gooseberry Falls Visitors Center and Wild Rice Restaurant as well as residential projects, including the acclaimed Jackson Meadow community and photographer Jim Brandenburg’s Ravenwood Studio.

Salmela | Architect

52 Weekend Getaways – April 2002

There’s more than Zizania Palustris on the menue at Wild Rice, but the eight-month-old Bayfield, Wisconsin, restaurant most definitely makes good use of the stuff. Take a table in one of the two buildings connected by glass walkways and start with executive chef Jim Webster’s creamy wild rice soup with house-smoked duck and Bayfield sugar pears or try the house-smoked Atlantic salmon with
creme fraiche, fingerling potatoes, prosciutto, dill, and chilled Nova Scotia lobster. Designed by Duluth architect David Salmela, Wild Rice has a spare Scandinavian aesthetic. From its big decks, you can enjoy the view of the Apostle Islands and Chequamegon Bay.

A centrally located wine “cellar” is actually a glass cube holding 2,700 bottles. Entrees are as sophisticated and tasty as the appetizers. Grilled Wisconsin lamb loin with red potatoes, wild mushroom ragout, and ratatouille or the Lake Superior sampler – whitefish and lake trout napoleon with apple-sweet pepper confit, potato, and celery root – make this gem worth the trip.

-Article as appeared in MPLS / St. Paul July 2002