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Filling a niche with Nosh

Lake City / Dining out

Restaurant features locally grown ingredients

Ever since Nosh opened four years ago in Wabasha, it has been a destination spot for diners from all over southeastern Minnesota and the Twin Cities.

Owners Greg and Tiffany Jaworski last year moved the restaurant known for its use of locally grown fresh ingredients to Lake City in what had been Pike’s Bar and Grill. The space is twice the size of their previous spot. And a second floor deck gives a beautiful view of the river, the bluffs and the marina — a perfect appetizer.

Greg Jaworski, who is the chef, long had a vision for such a restaurant, even though up until his late teens he did not spend much time in the kitchen.

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"I grew up with three older sisters. They were doing that," he says.

He was born and raised in the Ann Arbor area of Michigan, and his father owned an environmental business.

"I always assumed that at some point I would take that over, but then I started working in restaurants to earn money for school," he says. "I did everything from hosting to bar tending to cooking and found that the atmosphere and the work was something I loved."

Jaworski credits his parents’ large vegetable garden with giving him an early appreciation for fresh ingredients.

He enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu in New Hampshire, and after graduation took positions in New Hampshire, Boston and Washington D.C.

"Those were all great jobs and gave me the experience I needed, but Tiffany and I decided that a big city was not for us and moved back to Michigan," he says. "We had barely unpacked our bags when a former neighbor of my parents called. He lived in Wabasha, where he had a restaurant and was selling it. Did my parents know anyone who might be interested?"

Greg and Tiffany visited and fell in love with the river and the bluffs.

"We also went to dinner at the Harbor View (in Alma) and when we saw people standing in line to get in we realized there was a market for the kind of restaurant we wanted to have," Greg says.

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He buys most of his ingredients from the farmers markets in Rochester and Wabasha.

Holly Ebel of Rochester is a freelance writer.

Q&A with Greg Jaworski

Q: How do you decide what you are going to serve each night?

A: We have our regular menu items, but most of it is determined by what is available and what is in season. If I go to the market and see these fabulous heirloom tomatoes, I think about what I can do with them that night. Right now, there is sweet corn, the fall raspberries are coming in, and there are all sorts of beans. It is a fabulous time of year.

Q: What can’t you live without in your kitchen?

A: My Robot Coup, a food processor. And my 12-inch Chef’s knife. My All-Clad pots and pans also get a good workout every day.

Q: Any plans to expand Nosh into Rochester?

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A: When we were moving from Wabasha, we looked at space there. Nothing really was quite what we wanted. We haven’t given up, however. At some point, we definitely would like to have a sister operation there.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?

A: On those rare occasions, I like to golf. But between the restaurant and our newborn son (6 weeks old), I am kept very busy.

About Nosh

Where: 310 1/2 S. Washington St., Lake City.

Reservations: (651) 345-2425

Cuisine: Western Mediterranean-influenced American, using local ingredients.

Bar: Wide variety of wines, extensive martini list.

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