Victor's on Water Chef's Review

Victor's On Water Chef's Review by Lake Minnetonka's executive chef Nicolas Zahasky.  Nicolas heads into the kitchen to look at Victor's On Water's menu and and ingredients while owner Eric Paulson speak more to the draw of the restaurant as well as the private dining, live music and entertainment of Victor's Lounge in the lower level.

"There is attention to freshness and there is attention to farm fresh quality."

Victor's On Water
205 Water St, Excelsior, MN 55331

Chef Nicholas J. Zahasky


Transcript of  Victor's on Water Chef's Review:

[00:00:09:21] Hey, if you're in Excelsior and you're looking for a place to eat, one of the best places to check out his Victor's on Water, which is a block off the lake on Water Street.

[00:00:18:05] Eric, well thanks for having us over. Obviously, you've met Nick.

[00:00:21:16] I have.

[00:00:22:16] Nick is a local executive lifestyle chef around the Lake Minnetonka area. So we're excited to show off what Victor's is and to learn a little bit more of the history and what's behind the restaurant.

[00:00:36:26] Well first of all, let me welcome you to Victor's on Water. It's great to have you here. Nick, it's great to have you.

[00:00:42:26] Thank you.

[00:00:43:13] You always like to have another chef in the kitchen. There's never too many hands.

[00:00:48:14] A little bit about Victor's. You know, this restaurant was started out of a desire for my daughter and I to do something different here in the city of Excelsior. We wanted to do was develop an Italian inspired restaurant.

[00:01:04:04] And to me, what Italians inspired means is that if you go to Italy and you go to these little villages, the restaurants in the villages run down to the local market and they find out what's fresh for the day and they try to buy that product and incorporate that into the meal that evening. We're sourcing local ingredients, local products from local people that are in season at that time. And that's what goes on our menu. And that's what develops the menu.

[00:01:30:20] Oh, that's great. So Nick, following up with you, we were talking about that seasonality of food and maybe the next step is actually just to jump in the kitchen and learn a little bit more.

Victor's On Water Chef's Review

Victor's On Water Chef's Review
Chef Nicholas Zahasky explains the food and quality that make up the menu at Victor's on Water in Excelsior, MN

[00:01:41:00] I've got your plate for you.

[00:01:41:28] There we go, yeah.

[00:01:43:07] Good, I like the style of these.

[00:01:48:18] Then come here. So these are white anchovy that you can see--

[00:01:52:05] Those are great.

[00:01:52:15] --what these look like.

[00:01:53:16] Can I get on of those?

[00:01:54:12] Sure.

[00:01:55:21] I love white anchovies. They're sweet and not so salty.

[00:01:58:19] Yep.

[00:01:58:28] Almost a little like white wine.

[00:02:00:24] I've worked in a lot of different kitchens around the US, and I've had the opportunity to work with a lot of different chefs. And there's some really great ingredients here that I'm seeing. So I like that aspect of the seasonal things.

[00:02:13:14] Some of the things that you're not actually really getting to see put together, carrots and octopus. So who would have thought that with a caramel and chipotle? I'm really intrigued to see what else they have in store for some traditional ideas that are not so traditional.

[00:02:31:07] So what I can tell you about this is there is attention to freshness and there is attention to some farm fresh quality, you know. I don't see that a lot in the area. So thus, I don't eat out. But what I'm seeing here is a lot of attention to great detail. I can't wait to take a bite.

[00:02:52:22] Here's a technical term, aromatic polycarbons. This is really-- it's a great smell.

[00:02:59:17] I just saw Kyle make an amazing gluten-free pizza. Its got some wonderful smoked chicken, chevre, arugula, and some garlic confit oil, fresh parsley and thyme. It's amazing. So smoked chicken on a pizza, who would imagine?

Seasonal Menu

[00:03:19:22] Eric, this is a beautiful spread.

[00:03:21:29] Thank you, thank you.

[00:03:24:01] Nick, your thoughts?

[00:03:25:26] Everything I see back here is fresh ingredients. There are a lot of them are super local. So Painted Hill's beef, which is amazing because they're in our back door.

[00:03:35:20] I mean, seafood that's fresh and not boxed and frozen. A Caesar salad that I haven't seen this presentation before using white anchovies. And they even cook the eggs right, which is awesome. So they're not hard as a rubber bouncy ball.

[00:03:50:02] Thank you.

[00:03:50:20] Right?

[00:03:50:27] Thank you.

[00:03:51:07] And I would like to highlight something is gluten-free pizza. Because a lot of people are dining out now looking for the healthy options because they actually have issues. So pizza crust is made in house, right. So I don't see gluten-free pizza crust made in house anywhere in this area.

[00:04:10:04] Yeah, amazing looking food. And like I said, our mouth is watering sitting here, let's face it.

[00:04:14:29] Thank you. My mouth is watering.

[00:04:17:04] Yeah. This is great.

[00:04:18:23] And you were saying even some of these ingredients you'll grab at the farmer's market right outside the front door.

[00:04:24:01] Correct. As I mentioned earlier when we were talking, the menu changes by season. We try to buy what's fresh locally from locally produced local producers. We try to make it special for our customers, and using the freshest ingredients we can find.

Victor's Lounge

[00:04:44:24] Wonderful, wonderful. Now the next thing I was going to say is you're in the restaurant business, but your background is actually in the music industry. And so this isn't just a restaurant, you've also used your background to do what?

[00:04:58:12] We present downstairs is two things. We have what we call The Wine Room, which is a private dining facility. It's the glass doors overlooking a glass wine cellar. It's very sophisticated. We can seat up to 22 people.

[00:05:11:04] Just outside of the glass doors is what we call the Lounge at Victor's. And the Lounge at Victor's plays three roles. One, it is a special events area.

[00:05:22:10] Two, we provide a special type of entertainment for a local clientele. Like this month we're doing Thursday night is tango night. And so the Minnesota Tango Association has come together with us at Victor's and we're presenting tango dancing and instructions on Thursday nights.

[00:05:41:14] Wonderful.

[00:05:42:10] And Saturday nights are our music nights. And we provide a broad array of entertainment from rock and roll to jazz. This weekend we have Walter Chancellor Jr. Quartet playing down there, great jazz musician.

[00:05:56:01] So we've tried to incorporate this facility with not only great dining, but an evening of excitement and entertainment for all of those that come and visit us at Victor's.

[00:06:07:29] And that, so like you were saying, that's not just unique to Excelsior, that's unique to the western suburbs.

[00:06:13:00] It is.

[00:06:13:18] As far as an all in one venue.

[00:06:15:20] It is. There's no place like it in the western suburbs.

[00:06:18:05] Awesome. Well hey Eric, thanks so much. I appreciate--

[00:06:20:29] Well, thank you.

[00:06:21:16] --you opening the doors.

[00:06:22:24] Thank you, Nick.

[00:06:23:20] Nick.

[00:06:24:05] Thank you.

[00:06:24:24] Great meeting you.

[00:06:25:19] You as well.

[00:06:26:00] It's been wonderful to have you in our establishment.

[00:06:28:23] The best way to experience Victor's is to be here in person. Yes.

Victor's On Water Chef's Review

Published on 2017-09-09 22:34:20