Best of Edina 2018

by | Jul 2018

Best of Edina 2018

Living in a great city is like having a larger home outside of your home.

A space that reflects your values and helps you feel comfortable every time you step outside your door. Edina is the place we connect with friends and family. Its restaurants are an extension of our kitchens. The shops help us expand and refresh our cupboards and closets and allow us to choose gifts and design elements that are beautifully unique and of high quality. Local wellness and healthcare providers keep us on track toward our fitness goals. City amenities create community. All of Edina’s best businesses, from home builders to childcare providers, help residents, workers and visitors experience a quality of life worth its weight in gold.


Best Breakfast
Original Pancake House
Runners up: Edina Grill, Good Earth

Best Restaurant
Red Cow
Runners up: Pittsburgh Blue, Edina Grill

Best Tavern/Bar/Brewery
Red Cow
Runners up: Tavern on France, Barrio

Best Patio Dining
Tavern on France
Runners up: Ciao Bella, Pinstripes

Edina Magazine editorial board member Rebecca Bell-Sorenson says about Best Breakfast Winner, Original Pancake House:
Get ready to indulge! The line out the door should tell you that this Edina favorite will not disappoint. A true family place with tables full of all ages ready to get their pancake on! The coffee is always good and strong. The kid options are amazing. The wait staff has seen it all and is completely unfazed by your screaming toddler (and it’s bustling enough inside that no one will know the difference). Plus you can even go true Scandinavian with a side of lingonberries atop whatever you order. Highly suggest a nice family walk along nearby Centennial Lakes afterward to avoid a true food coma!”

Menu & Beer Pairings from Edina’s Best Restaurant and Bar, Red Cow:
Red Cow beverage director Ian Lowther shares some expert food and fun combinations from Red Cow’s always awesome menu.

Try the Ahi Tuna Crisps and a Utepils Pilsner—“The savory, salty, and umami of the tuna, ponzu, and avocado is contrasted with additional bitterness of a traditional pilsner,” Lowther says.

Veggie lovers will delight in the Beet Quinoa Salad paired with a Weihenstephan Hefeweizen—“We roast our beets with orange and ginger, and the citrus present in this wheat beer accentuates those flavors,” he says. “In general, acidity in beer and acidity in vinaigrettes cancel each other out and create a balanced experience.”

You can’t go wrong with an Ultimate Burger and a Steel Toe Size 7, Lowther says. This is “a classic pairing of rich burger and bitter beer. Every bite makes you want another sip and every sip prompts another bite.”

What our editorial advisory board is saying about Best Breakfast Finalist, Edina Grill:
Everyone loves Edina Grill! There is something there for everyone … from my pickiest kid to the foodie out-of-town visitor you want to impress. What sets this breakfast hot spot apart from the rest is the amazing cocktail menu to make family brunch infinitely more fun. Easy to tweak the menu to accommodate paleo or food allergies. Families are treated like royalty and always feel welcomed. Just be prepared to bump into your friends—everyone rolls in here on weekends!”
Rebecca Bell-Sorenson // Edina Magazine editorial board member

[The 50th and France Business Association] is thrilled for them. They are definitely the best kid-friendly/breakfast restaurant. We love how involved they are in the community and how they support local events.”
Rachel Thelemann // Director of the 50th and France Business Association

Absolutely LOVE the all day breakfast menu!  My daughter and I enjoy yoga class on Saturday mornings (when she’s home from college) and after sculpting and sweating we clean up, hydrate and head to Edina Grill for an early- to mid-afternoon breakfast! We love not being rushed to get somewhere by 11 a.m. when the lunch menus are activated. The Uptown Omelet is my favorite—so healthy and delicious! I feel spoiled!”
Krista Johnson // Edina Magazine editorial board member

The Edina Grill is the perfect spot to gather extended family for a festive brunch AND to meet a colleague for a snappy business breakfast. Great service and a great menu with something for everyone.”
Cheryl Gunness // Edina Community Education’s community involvement coordinator


Best Home Furnishings Store
Room & Board
Runners up: Crate and Barrel, Gabberts

Best Remodeler
John Kraemer & Sons
Runners up: Bizal Built, MA Peterson

Best Builder
John Kraemer & Sons
Runners up: Bizal Built, MA Peterson

Best Interior Designer
Martha O’Hara Interiors
Runners up: Gabberts Design Studio, Katie Bassett Interiors

Best Senior Living Residence
The Waters Senior Living
Runners up: 7500 York, Yorkshire of Edina

Best Landscape Designer
Runners up: Sunnyside Gardens, Yardscapes, Inc.

Best Nursery/Garden Center
Runners up: Sunnyside Gardens, Spruce

Home Décor styling ideas from Best Interior Designer, Martha O’Hara Interiors
Lead interior designer Emily Anderson took us up on our request for current trends in home décor. We asked her about everything from fabrics to flooring. Here are some of her tips.

Color Trends
Grey toned or neutral walls and white trim are classic looks that Anderson believes will stick around. “White paint helps other items shine or pop, like an art gallery,” Anderson says. “It’s still a warm look when you have the right furniture and lighting.” But “we’ve also been doing a lot of black kitchens lately, including black or colored cabinetry.” Stained wood is also making a comeback, “but not in traditional colors. Stains are lighter and are most often used on kitchen islands or bathroom vanities.”

Fabric Trends
Durable fabrics that look like linen but aren’t. Pillows add pops of bold color. Velvet is still popular on larger furniture pieces. Lots of bold florals with bright colors that don’t look dated. “Stripes and plaid are very popular,” Anderson says. “And not just in an office or a little boy’s room.” Black white plaid is now being used everywhere.

Brass and brushed gold have become and are still popular. “Black or pewter looks nice on natural stained cabinetry since gold doesn’t pop on natural stain.” Anderson adds, “polished nickel is still classic but don’t do everything nickel. Mixing metals can look really good.

It can be scary to try but black or oil rubbed bronze can mix with brass or gold. Just don’t overdo the mixing.”

“A few clients still request traditional furnishings but it’s very rare,” Anderson says. Square arms and sleek, classic modern is being requested by younger families. “But an English rolled arm with a little tradition can still be paired with more modern pieces.” The rustic, eclectic style is still often requested but that look is less popular than a more modern aesthetic.

Woods are still the way to go even in kids’ bedrooms and on second floors. Less wall-to-wall carpeting and larger, bound carpets. Vintage rugs in natural colors are very popular. “Sometimes you can get away with bright over-dyed rugs even in a modern setting,” Anderson says.

Lighter to medium brown wide plank floors with wire brushing gives a distressed look that has more grip for kids and dogs. Two-inch plank flooring found in older homes is often kept. Relegate vinyl floors to laundry rooms or exercise areas. Bathrooms are a great place to play with concrete look tiles, small penny tiles or interesting patterns like herringbone. “And in-floor heat obviously!”

Plants! All of that live greenery found in interior design photo shoots wasn’t a thing 5-10 years ago. But the popularity of white/light walls invites the addition of plants for a natural, cozy feel. Plants simply make a space feel less stuffy or sterile.

Wallpaper is still super popular–especially if you have lots of white walls. Grass cloth and textured wallpapers are attractive. Also, bold patterns in powder rooms, laundry rooms or other small spaces can be fun because you can push the envelope without as big of a commitment.

“Art can be anything,” Anderson says. “Art is a separate thing. You can put super traditional art in a modern home.” Incorporate a mix of framed and canvas. Gallery walls look good in hallways or on second levels. For a more relaxed, eclectic look, there’s no need for the frames to match. And your gallery wall need not be all photography. Feel free to mix things up and show off your personal tastes and style.

Of course, for more hands-on help with interior design, give the experts at Martha O’Hara Interiors or any of our finalists a call to schedule a personal appointment.

Editor’s Pick: Best Event Space
Westin Edina Galleria

One of the most recognizable buildings in Edina is host to some of the area’s most popular events. Taste of Edina and Style Edina are among the many events held at the Westin Edina Galleria. Built in 2006, the hotel’s lobby area was recently refreshed and we think the hotel lounge and event space look as sleek and sophisticated as ever.

There were at least 25 events already booked in January for 2018 and lots of inquiries for 2019. Clearly this location, with the largest ballroom in Edina, is in high demand for weddings, galas, bar and bat mitzvahs.

But the Westin Edina Galleria doesn’t just cater to out of town guests or large events. It’s a great resource for locals looking to “get away” right in our own hometown. With 225 guest rooms just steps away from great dining, spas and shopping, it’s a great spot for a girl’s get-away weekend or an overnight anniversary celebration.
For hotel guests and happy hour visitors, the Prelude lounge hosts a variety of pop-up shops from Galleria retailers like Hammermade and Vineyard Vines.

Collaboration with local Griffin Gallery ensures visitors are treated to a rotating selection of fine art for viewing or purchase. And for those on the lookout for the perfect spot to host a wine or whiskey tasting event, the Westin Edina Galleria can accommodate small gatherings for a personal and exclusive evening of sampling.

We love this location so much, we’d like to live there—and some folks do! The Westin Edina Galleria has 81 condos for residents who just can’t live without the convenience and exclusive experience of luxury living in Edina’s most metropolitan setting. All this elegance and easy access to so much wonderful dining and shopping is why we think this place is among the best in Edina.


Best Medspa
Lili Salon Spa
Runners up: Skin Artisans, Skin Rejuvenation Clinic

Best Fitness Studio/Yoga Studio/Gym
YMCA – Southdale
Runners up: Pure Barre – Edina, CorePower Yoga

Best Dental Practice
Park Dental
Runners up: 44th Street Dental, Dentistry for Children and Adolescents – Edina

Best Pediatric Practice
Southdale Pediatric Associates
Runners up: Metropolitan Pediatric Specialists, Pediatric Services – St. Louis Park

Best Eye Practice
Edina Eye Clinic
Runners up: Edina Eye Physicians & Surgeons PA, Southdale Eye Clinic

Best Salon/Spa
spalon montage
Runners up: Lili Salon Spa, Juut SalonSpa – Edina

Best Dermatology Practice
Dermatology Specialists
Runners up: Edina Skin Care Specialists, Zel Skin & Laser Specialists – Edina

Best Orthodontic Practice
Edina Orthodontics
Runners up: Pearson Orthodontics, Family Orthodontics

Best Chiropractic Practice
Chiropractic Health & Wellness
Runners up: Edina Family Chiropractic, 50th & France Chiropractic & Wellness

Polish your look at the Best Medspa Winner, Lili Salon and Spa.

Since brows are the new wows, get the gals together and get your facial exclamation points refined and defined at Lili Salon Spa. The full-service venue also offers haircuts, color and styling, massages and makeup sessions, manicures and pedicures, additional waxing services (north and south of the border), and medspa treatments. Or go for the whole package! Lili offers package deals perfect for zhuzhing up your look for
a day/night out in Edina.

2018 product recommendations from beauty experts at Lili Salon Spa

Cleanser – Hexam, Vivier, is good for all skin types, contains hexamidine, prevents breakouts and works well with sensitive skin. $43.50
Exfoliant – Vitamin C Scrub, Vivier, is great because it contains vitamin C, which has anti-aging properties and antioxidants. The microbeads are degradable and it is gentle enough for everyday use. $43
Makeup remover – Hexam, Vivier, is good for all skin types, contains hexamidine, which is both antibacterial and antimicrobial, prevents breakouts and works well with sensitive skin. $43.50
Mask – Black Mask, Revision Skincare, exfoliates with salicylic acid and is purifying because it pulls toxins out of pores meaning results are visible after one use. $41
Body scrub – Body Buff, Moroccanoi, infuses immediate moisture with this scrub. $50
Fine line eliminator – TNS Essential Serum, SkinMedica, is dual chambered with human growth factors on one side and anti-aging serum on the other. $321
Serum – CE Peptides; Vivier, is an anti-aging serum with vitamin C, vitamin E for moisture and pigmentation, peptides that act as messengers for natural collagen and results will be visible after one week of continued use. $166.50
Cleanser – Hexam cleanser, $43.50, and Lexxel moisturizer from Vivier. $78.50
Moisturizer – Lexxel, Vivier, is great for all skin types because it is hydrating and good for treating redness. $78.50
Night cream – Dermal repair; SkinMedica. $129
Bronzer – Tropical Day or Tropical Night bronzer, Kevyn Aucoin, has a slight shimmer for a healthy looking glow. $48

It is important to have regular eye exams.
Here are some general guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Ophthalmology:

Age 40 and under:
Once every three years

Age 40 – 65:
Once every two years

Age 65 and over:


Some patients with certain ocular or systemic conditions may require more frequent examinations.

Get to Know Mitchell Wherely,
Owner of Best Salon/Spa, Spalon Montage.

Not unlike that imaginary train platform 9 ¾ that transports fictional characters to a land of wizardry in contemporary literature, Spalon Montage is located on the corner of France Avenue and 49 ½ Street (now Market Street). Thankfully, Spalon Montage is a very real place but where very magical things do happen. Respite, relaxation, restoration, beauty are what’s been achieved for clients by Spalon’s talented experts (not magicians but with similar results) since 1991 at the flagship store in Edina.

We wanted to get to know founder Mitchell Wherely a bit better. Who is this creator of the ultimate customer service experience? Here is some of what we found out …

What was the initial vision for Spalon Montage and how has it evolved?
“The vision was to look at the [beauty] industry a bit differently–not just as a job but as a career with benefits that would enrich each person’s life.” That evolution can be defined by something that rarely happens in the industry but has happened at Spalon Montage–five team members, who were there at the beginning, recently returned to Spalon, each a fantastic stylist in their own right. “To have them rejoin our team has been super cool.”

Last book you’ve read?
“My leadership team has a book club. We recently read Good to Great by Jim Collins. I’m also reading The Customer Service Revolution by John Dijulius.”

What’s on your playlist?
“My son put together a Spotify station of 1970s pop music on my phone. It’s great because my daughter and son (17-year-old twins) also enjoy that genre of music. They also listen to a lot of rap music, so this [oldies station] gives me some sanity.”

What’s your favorite room in your house?
“My bedroom. I have teenage twins and a 17-year-old foster son. I let them have friends over all of the time. My bedroom has a sitting area and is my sanctuary. Away from the action but close enough
to know what’s going on.”

Do you like to cook?
“Yes. I make lots of pasta. I’m a huge fan of those ‘Tasty’ recipes on Facebook because there are tons of ideas about how to feed the masses of kids who are always at my house.”

Favorite meal if being treated?
“If I were being treated, I’d like a steak dinner with baked potato and broccoli.”

Favorite vacation spot?
“We are fortunate that my parents have a place in Hawaii. The kids like to go there on a regular basis. We also enjoy Mexico and our cabin in Hayward, Wisconsin.”

Dream vacation spot?
“My kids would love to go to Greece someday. I echo that. But budget-wise, we’ll have to wait a bit longer.”

Who do you find inspirational right now?
“I am wildly inspired by my team, the industry, our business. Also, my kids and the massive changes happening in their lives.”

Something you do regularly to feel good about yourself?
“It’s funny. I’m in the business of making certain others take care of themselves but I don’t do anything
special for myself.”

Something about Spalon Montage that you’re most proud of?
“I can tell you, I am the most fortunate person in the world. I work with 98% females, most of whom are head of household or single or single plus one.

It is a privilege to lift strong women up.

I have about 350 team members and that’s a significant amount of people. Many begin around age 18 and are still wildly successful in their 40s. The personal relationships are so gratifying.

I want to continue doing what I’ve been doing.”


Best Gift Shop
Runners up: Shop in the City, Burlap & Brass

Best Apparel Boutique
Runners up: Bluebird Boutique, Melly

Best Florist
Runners up: Spruce, Brown & Greene Floral Market

Best Specialty Foods/Kitchen Store
Lunds & Byerlys
Runners up: France 44, Sur La Table

Edina Magazine editorial board member Krista Johnson says about Best Gift Shop Finalist, Shop in the City:
“Between Patina and SITC I had my Christmas gift shopping completed early! Our family made a pact to find personalized gifts this year (the no gift card challenge) and I found some gems! From Edina coordinates pillows (perfect gift for a retired Edina Fire Marshall) to PEACE.LOVE.EDINA signs (for a college kid in his apartment), to a Dayton’s t-shirt (for my Mom who absolutely LOVED Dayton’s) and fun soaps and socks. If I need a “pick-me-up” shopping outing—I go here!”

Editor’s Pick: Best Start Up
Prink Style

Wendy Witherspoon is a mother of three girls with very different senses of style. Her oldest is full-on sparkles and frill. Her middle daughter leans more sporty spice and her youngest is currently into a boho vibe, mixing colors and layers. Sounds fun. But in reality, varied tastes can make mother/daughter shopping trips more dreadful than delightful. So when Witherspoon realized other mothers also experience challenges finding outfits for their tweens’ unique personalities and style preferences, she set out to solve those getting dressed dilemmas with a personal styling service she calls Prink.

“Moms longed for services similar to what they use for themselves,” she says of personalized styling services that ship outfit options directly to the home. So with a Master’s degree in higher education, years of experience designing study abroad programs for the Carlson School of Management and 8 years as a stylist for jewelry retailer Stella & Dot, Witherspoon knew she had the organizational know-how as well as the necessary network and fashion sense to launch her very own style business in Edina.

Clients complete a style questionnaire and receive a curated box of 5-6 clothing items along with a personal note from their stylist about the pieces. Items come from racks of inventory the Prink staff has specially selected from markets in New York and Los Angeles. Witherspoon also plans to attend a Paris market that will soon make European brands available to her customers. Many things are interchangeable for a buildable wardrobe. Any items that girls don’t love or that don’t fit are simply returned. Witherspoon reminds that Prink is an on-demand service and not a subscription. She says, “As a mom, I don’t want to have to remember to cancel something.” It’s like she can read moms’ minds!

“I just want girls to be able to celebrate their uniqueness and who they are,” says Witherspoon. Relieved that she no longer tries to cajole her “sporty” daughter to wear frilly dresses, Witherspoon hopes to help other girls develop their confidence and sense of style. For great instincts and a superb niche, we think Prink is one of the best business startups in Edina with services quickly expanding metro-wide.

Be sure to contact Prink in advance of upcoming special events and vacations in order to get personalized style selections for your tweens.

What people are saying about Best Apparel Boutique Finalist, Bluebird Boutique:

“Bluebird Boutique is my go-to store in the Twin Cities. It’s got that small boutique customer service vibe. The clothes are fashion forward and stylish—on trend without being too trendy or too funky. If ever I need an outfit for a Friday night, they’ve always got something classic. I love it!”
Jeanne Anselmo // Owner of JJ Designs

“Anything I buy from Bluebird is a ‘WOW.’ The owners and stylists never steer you wrong. The amazing accessories give a unique punch to complete your look. Bluebird has smartly navigated the times with pricing that suits all budgets but with style that always looks polished and next level cool.”
Rebecca Bell-Sorenson // Edina Magazine editorial board member

What people are saying about Best Apparel Boutique Finalist, Melly:

“A go-to to snazz up your look. Love their pops of color in carefully curated jewelry and accessories, quality clothing and outerwear that never goes out of style. Excellent stylists on hand will always make sure you look fabulous … and even find you a recipe for your last minute dinner party. Truly one-stop shopping that’s as easy-breezy as their fun fashion!”
Rebecca Bell-Sorenson // Edina Magazine editorial board member

Editor’s Pick: Best Community Organizer
Edina Give + Go

This unique and wonderful non-profit launched in 2013–the brainchild of founders Idith Almog and Meg Rodriguez. “This is a community [that] cares, especially for its children,” Rodriguez says. The mission of Edina Give and Go is to bring life and learning opportunities to Edina Public School students who are economically disadvantaged–families at or below 200 percent of the poverty line of $50,200 per year for a family of four. This means providing grants to cover costs for all sorts of things that many other families may take for granted like sports fees, band instruments, drivers’ education courses and summer camps.

In November, Edina Give and Go named Maggie McCracken as its new executive director. McCracken first volunteered with Edina Give and Go three years ago and was really drawn to the opportunity to serve the district while focusing on a particular group of students who may not have the ability to advocate for themselves.

McCracken sites a recent example of how EGG can really be a problem solver in the district. The organization helped a parent of three elementary school age children, one of whom was in a before school reading program. During this time, the mother would have to wait outside with her other two kids until school started. Edina Give and Go arranged for this mother’s other children to participate in Kids’ Club before school so she didn’t have to sit around and wait. “It’s a way to remove barriers,” McCracken says.

Recent changes to the EGG granting guidelines will mean even more students can be helped. The guidelines were shifted from a $500 per family limit to $500 per student. Now EGG can more easily support multiple students within a single family.

From July 2016 through June 2017, Edina Give and Go unlocked over 1000 opportunities for local students. From July 2017 through March of this year, EGG provided 390 total grant requests and unlocked 226 opportunities through program support partners within the district like community education, band and orchestra.

“Summer is a huge time to grant dollars and partner with community education,” McCracken says. Summer slide can be a real problem and McCracken wants to continue to innovate and find new ways to support students during that critical time frame. She says, “My hope is to build off the organization’s current efforts and find new ways for us to remove barriers preventing student engagement and success. It’s amazing to be a part of this young organization focused on unlocking opportunities so all students in our schools have access to the amazing programs that exist in our community.”

We think the work of Edina Give and Go is amazing too and that’s why we’re naming Edina Give in Go one of the best community organizations of 2018.


Best Preschool/Childcare
Especially for Children W. 70th St.
Runners up: Creekside Children’s Place, New Horizon Academy

Best Veterinary Practice
Westgate Pet Clinic
Runners up: Edina Pet Hospital, Banfield Pet Hospital

Best Doggy Daycare/Kennel
Pampered Pooch Playground
Runners up:Pets Are Inn, Hound Dog Pet Hotel – Eden Prairie

Best Learning/Tutoring Center
College Nannies and Tutors
Runners up: Mathnasium, Sylvan Learning

Best Place For Kids’ Activities
Edinborough Park
Runners up: Platinum Dance Center, Cenntenial Lakes Park

Best Law Firm
Mullen & Guttman
Runners up: Hellmuth & Johnson, Kallas Law Office

Keith and Patrycia Miller once wondered how to improve their level of job satisfaction after years of feeling unhappy in their “real” jobs. Then Keith connected with an old friend in Chicago who had opened a doggie daycare. “I thought about it the entire flight back,” Keith says noting that he and Patrycia would be model customers for such a business. The couple owns and adores a now 12½ year old Bernese mountain dog name Roxy. “We took Roxy everywhere” except when it was difficult to go out of town or ensure Roxy got adequate exercise in the wintertime.

So, a year after the idea was originally discussed, Keith and Patrycia opened Pampered Pooch Playground. Now, 10 years later, a growing Edina client base has voted Pampered Pooch its favorite doggie daycare/kennel.

“I start my days early,” Keith says. “I’m in at 6:30 a.m. because I love to greet the dogs as they come in.” Like Keith and Patrycia, their customers want to know who’ll be taking care of their dog(s) and what they’ll be doing all day. “Getting to know our customers is awesome,” Keith says. “But the dogs are the fun part. We care for so many different breeds and we engage and play with the dogs.”

Dogs at Pampered Pooch can get treated to bathes, nail trims, walks and even ice cream if requested. In the summer months, there are wading pools and bubble machines. “We try to change things but not too much since dogs prefer a routine,” Keith says. He emphasizes the staff’s ability to read a dog’s signs of tiredness or crankiness and adjust accordingly. Keith also makes a special point to get to know his mostly millennial age staff. “One of the big benefits we offer is getting to bring your dog to work,” Keith says. But these business owners go beyond benefits. They work really hard to retain quality employees by getting to know them almost as well as the dogs–only without the nail trims.

Editor’s Pick: Best Creative Idea
Art of Edina

Launched initially by Tradition Companies in Edina as another way to give back to the community, what started as a collaboration with Shine On Photos photographer and Instagram influencer Jill Emmer has struck many creative and philanthropic chords. Art of Edina is aimed at giving rising and established artists a public space to display their art. As a result, pop-up art galleries have been regularly showcased at three venues in Edina: Southdale Center, Braemar Arena and the Galleria.

Once the idea gained momentum, organizers decided to link with local non-profits for the Southdale Center displays. This has so far included dedicated artwork in support of Abby’s Hope and the American Refugee Committee. It’s also resulted in approximately $15,000 in charitable donations for the associated Shine On Project.

At Braemar, a local parks theme has been a highlight with dozens of curated photographs on display twice per year. And at the Galleria, Emmer was inspired by the Wynwood Walls, a series of street art district murals in Miami. The recent Galleria art walls drew visitors from all over eager to take and pose for photos in front of the amazing collection of murals displayed on walls that once kept new store construction hidden from view.

The organic inspiration and growth of this project along with its local and worldwide impact makes this creative idea one of the best in Edina!

Special Thanks to Coley Myhre for styling assists in our 2018 issues.


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This