This Summer’s 1st Tastes: Lakeside Dining At The Landing & Iowa Sweet Corn

It’s already August and we enjoyed our first meal on a patio by the lake this weekend.

I remembered Beth of It’s Just Life mentioning she enjoyed a meal on The Landing’s deck, so Jake and I headed there for our most recent date night. Clear Lake is a popular destination for vacationers and locals. I was surprised to learn The Landing is the only lakeside restaurant in the city of Clear Lake. It’s attached to the South Shore Inn and opened during the summer of 2012, the same year all of the hotel’s 16 rooms were renovated.

On Saturday evening, the patio was bustling. We nabbed the last parking spot in the small lot across the street and the hostess seated us immediately at a table with an umbrella. Those who arrive by boat-in can park at the dock.

Moscow Mules seem to be very popular right now, so Jake ordered one ($9). I chose a glass of house Chardonnay ($4.50).

Landing Cocktails.jpg

We both enjoyed the citrus-ginger flavor of the Moscow Mule so much that we made our own versions at home with ginger simple syrup. For an appetizer, we nibbled on a basket of salt and pepper calamari ($7.95). This was the largest portion of calamari we’ve ever been served anywhere. The basket could have served at least four people ample portions.


I am not sure if the restaurant batters their own calamari, but the strips were tender and fried so that they were crispy and not greasy (the batters on the thicker side). We really liked the salt and pepper seasoning and dipped them in the sweet chili sauce. It seemed like we hardly made a dent in the basket by the time our entrees arrived.

Entree Collage.jpg

I was satisfied with my choice of a steak kabob and side salad. Three pieces of bacon-wrapped steak were rolled around a little herb & garlic Boursin cheese and grilled with mushrooms, bell peppers, and my choice of sauce (I chose teriyaki). Jake also enjoyed his swordfish tacos. The pink sauce had a kick. If you prefer a lighter amount of sauce, you may want to request it on the side. The baskets come with fries or sweet potato fries and you can substitute a side salad for an additional $1.50.

Depending on what you order and whether or not you want to sub a salad, you can expect your entrée to cost between $10-$15. Considering that we had a beautiful view of Clear Lake at sunset and listened to live music, the prices seemed fair enough.

The Landing frequently updates their Facebook page regarding events. I always appreciate when restaurants actively manage their social media.

On a final summer food note, we ate our first taste of Iowan sweet corn this week! Sweet corn stands are all over town, but I grabbed this batch at the Mason City Farmers Market.

Sweet Corn

I work at a nonprofit Osage, IA, so I was happy to buy corn from Steve’s Sweet Corn stand. I cook them the old fashion way by boiling them for about five minutes. Then I brush the corn with butter and sprinkle it with parmesan cheese and my favorite seasoning blends.

What as the last summer-only food experience you last enjoyed?


  1. Beth Ann Chiles

    Chris had a Moscow Mule at Prime and Wine, I think. He had wanted a Dark and Stormy and this was what they suggested and it was tasty! I agree with the portion size of calamari— huge and yummy! Looks like you had a great date night. 🙂

    • Jeni Flaa

      Those are quite the drinks with the copper mugs. They are easy to make at home. We made ones with ginger beer, lime, fresh mint, and ginger simple syrup (I omitted the gin for a fancy nonalcoholic drink). What a fun place!

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