Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Dock Café

Recipient of this year’s Minnesota Monthly Reader Award for Best Outdoor Dining and Best View, the Dock Café easily lands a spot on my top ten. Located in quaint Stillwater, MN, this jewel of an eatery sits right on the water, affording the guest breathtaking views of the St. Croix river and surrounding bluffs.

A short while ago, I spent all day on a solo vacation in Stillwater. Looking for a place to lunch, I tried to get seated two other restaurants before stopping at the Dock Café. These first two restaurants (which shall remain nameless) were both clearly befuddled and bemused by the thought of a young lady wanting to dine alone. Tired of waiting to be approached by the ineffective hosts of these establishments, I walked over to the Dock, where my unescorted presence was given a hearty welcome.

My partner in romance and I made a trip to the Dock again last night. We were by far the youngest couple in attendance that evening. (I’ve learned that being the youngest person in a restaurant isn’t a rare occurrence when you acquire a taste for finer fare).  Despite the age discrepancy, we felt every bit as welcome as the older diners.

While my friend enjoyed a seared tuna sandwich with Cal-Asian dressing and sprouts, I relished an open-face salmon sandwich with red peppers and cucumber-dill cream cheese on ciabatta. (So eager to dive into our dishes, we completely forgot to capture a photo of our food for you to enjoy.) For desert, we had a rich flourless chocolate torte drizzled with homemade raspberry sauce. 

While the torte was average at best (I’ve been the lucky consumer of many a flourless chocolate torte, giving me quite a discerning taste for these cakes), the raspberry sauce was absolutely the best I’ve ever had. Perfectly tart and not too sweet, this sauce made the dessert.

I’ll definitely be going back to the Dock soon to sample their asiago encrusted scallops, key lime pie, and, if I find myself a wad of cash, a gondola ride: The Dock Café and Gondola Romantica have teamed up to offer a special package. For a hefty (but still Feminist-Foodie-reasonable) fee, you can enjoy a five-course meal at the Dock and a one-hour gondola ride on the St. Croix River. See for more info. 

Above: A partially enjoyed flourless chocolate torte. 

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