Where the Old Meets the New

Nick Nelson proudly serves sweet and creamy lemon tart (left) as well as rich and decadent flourless chocolate cake (right) at Wickman House in Ellison Bay.

We’re savoring every bite, moaning like Bill Murray in that dinner scene from What About Bob? “Mmm…this is so good,” we repeat. “Mmm, mmm, mmm.”

Between bites of lemon tart with a fresh raspberry center and rich flourless chocolate cake, we sip Sauvignon Blanc while a refreshingly eclectic mix of music, featuring musicians I rarely hear played while dinning out, sounds from the speakers – Eric Clapton, Barry White, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and The Doors.

Even the atmosphere is refreshing – clean and classic, with a modern finish the vibrant, youthful staff compliments in their crisp white shirts and simple bowties.

“My favorite part of working here is the generation aspect,” says our server Nick Nelson. “This place transcends generations and experiences; it’s fun, not intimidating – you can come in for a reasonably priced casual dinner or a full-on fancy meal.”

We swap ideas on the perfect adjectives to describe our desserts. Lemon tart: ‘creamy texture,’ ‘flakey crust,’ ‘incredible.’ Flourless chocolate cake: ‘decadent,’ ‘strong flavor,’ ‘rich to the point of sin.’

Co-owner, manager, and server Joe Fahrenkrug stops by our table. “How was everything?”

We rave about our desserts and he raves about their baker – Angela Dorn. “She’s young, talented – we’re lucky to have her.”

He smiles as he explains that the restaurant is “doing really well for just opening. We’ve had a lot of repeat business.”

We scrape the crumbs from our plates and exhale.

Nelson clears the table and offers one more impression of Wickman House – something he mulled over while serving fresh oysters and homemade ravioli – “It creates this environment where the old meets the new.”

Photo by Katie Sikora.

Wickman House, open 5 pm – 12 am daily (closed Tuesdays), is located at 11976 Mink River Road in Ellison Bay. For more information call 920.854.3305 or visit