The Pickwick Blog

Let the High School Hockey Tournaments Begin

Wow! Three Duluth teams in the finals, along with Hermantown. That’s a pretty impressive local lineup. No matter who makes it to state, enjoy the High School Hockey Tournaments with your friends at the Pickwick. We’ll have the games on all day long.

If you stop in on your lunch hour to grab a glimpse of the game. we recommend you don’t even go back to work. Or, why not bring your work along? Sometimes, a couple beers can really get the juices flowing. You just might do your best work.

We love hockey at the Pickwick. We hope you can join us.

A Chef’s PerSPECKtive: Manhattan Clam Chowder

Chef Specks recently demonstrated how to make the Pickwick’s popular and delicious Manhattan Clam Chowder on the  KBJR 6 and Range 11 News Today show. Watch the video below to see how it’s prepared, and then follow the recipe to enjoy this tasty soup at home. We also recommend you pair this dish with a good Riesling or chardonnay; check out our favorite selections below.


Manhattan Clam Chowder Recipe

2 bell peppers diced
1 yellow onion diced
6 ribs of celery diced
4 cloves garlic
4 jugs Clamato
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/3 Worcestershire
1/8 cup Siracha
2 cups clam juice
8-10 Yukon golds
1/3 cup chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Other herbs as you see fit
4 cups small shrimp
4 cups clams
1 cup roux


Start cooking all vegetables except the potatoes in your favorite stalk pot with your cooking oil of choice. Sweat them until translucent, do not brown them! Add tomato paste, Worcestershire, Siracha and clam juice. Cook these ingredients down for five minutes.
Next add Clamato, clams and potatoes. Simmer until potatoes are cooked through .
Add shrimp at the very end and whisk in roux to lightly thicken. Add parsley and season to taste. Enjoy!

Pickwick Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Bogle Vineyards Chardonnay
Clarksburg, CA
Pear, green apple, lemon & notes of oak

Relax Riesling
Peach, apple with hints of citrus

Meet Chef Specks

In my first article, I gave a recipe for the perfect holiday prime rib. However, I realized, I haven’t told you very much about my background. I’d like to share more about myself, my cooking experience and how I became a chef at the Pickwick.

My name is Dustin Tomasetti, but the whole world calls me “Specks,” which is a nickname I was given when I was six years old because I wore large glasses. I am 25 years old, I am from Chisholm, Minnesota and graduated from high school there in 2006. I moved from Da Range to Duluth in 2008.

I’ve been cooking for as long as I can remember. I started watching cooking shows when I was five years old with my father, who was a chef for 20 years. I started working in the restaurant business early in my teens, and I worked my way up from dishwasher to line cook when I was 16. I learned a lot from my first chef, Rob Russo, at Valentini’s Supper Club in Chisholm. After graduating from high school, I contemplated going to school to become a chef, but I decided to try something else. Meanwhile, I never stopped cooking, and I was always working to refine my skills. I usually say, “I’ve trained to become a chef at the School of Hard Knocks.” As much as I value culinary school, I think doing your own research and testing recipes can be equally as valuable. I can cook a wide variety of foods from around the world, but I have the most experience in Italian and Americana.

While cooking at the Pickwick for two and a half years, I feel I have really grown as a chef, and I’ve learned a lot. Working here can be a lot of pressure because of the restaurant’s rich history and lasting legacy, but that is actually the reason I love coming into work every day. I strive to preserve the Pickwick’s well-known history, while at the same time, I take opportunities to bring our food offerings to new levels.
I am a very open person, and really value customer interaction. I love feedback, even if negative. I strive to meet our customers’ needs, and to make every dining experience special. If you have a recipe question or a general food question, feel free to ask for me at the ‘Wick,send an email to the Pickwick inbox or give a call and ask for “Specks.”

In my next article, I’d like to share a recipe, and I’d love to hear your requests! Comment below or please post on our Facebook page. 

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Pickwick Hurricane Recipe

Pickwick Hurricane RecipeThe Hurricane was invented sometime in the 1940′s at Pat O’Briens bar in New Orleans. It’s been said that it debuted at the 1939 World’s Fair, and got its name after the hurricane lamp-shaped glasses the drinks were first served in.  O’Brien was inspired to create this drink to use up the large stock of rum his Southern distributors forced him to buy.

We’ve taken this classic Mardi-Gras party drink, and added our own twist. Follow the Pickwick Hurricane recipe below to make your own:

 Pickwick Hurricane

1 oz  Dark Rum
1 oz  White Rum
1/2 oz  Galliano liqueur
2 oz  Orange Juice
2 oz Pineapple Juice
2/3 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Simple Syrup
Dash of Bitters

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake it up. Strain into a hurricane glass and garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.