3 Things to Eat This Week: Oysters, Cocktails, Bacon

The best local bites to kick off summer

Early summer is all about enjoying the day and planning ahead for the season

I’ve always been more of a grasshopper than an ant. Like the jolly insect in the fable, I spend the harvest season throwing merry parties and enjoying every minute rather than toiling away to save up for the long winter. However, this year, things will finally be different. I’m making plans, saving away, and still finding a spare moment or two to have some fun.

Pearl & the Thief’s Raw Bar: Stillwater is just about the prettiest destination for a day-cation in the summer, and the town just got a gorgeous new restaurant. The menu is all Southern-inspired, and the fresh seafood is fabulous. Bonus: It comes with views of the river.

Tattersall’s Bee Snacks: Every home bar would benefit from a bottle of Tattersall’s Aquavit. It’s refreshing enough for a gin drink and hearty enough for a whisky stand-in. At home, I mix a little honey and bubble water with sage, and it’s an ideal patio refresher. At the taproom, they took my idea and upped the ante by burning the honey and adding grapefruit crema and amaro for an amazing drink. That anise spice of the spirit gives unexpected depth to the sweet, smoky flavors.

Nettle Valley Farm’s Pig-share: Look at me, planning ahead! I’ve already laid down a deposit for half a hog from this incredible little farm in Spring Grove, Minnesota, run by Dayna Burtness. Burtness is just about the sweetest person I’ve ever met, and she uses that kindness with a steel-trap kind of mind to carefully raise pigs, feeding them acorns and all kinds of treats that the animals love. She cares so carefully for these animals, that it’s beyond the designation of “organic.” This is what I believe the future of farming should be: caring for the soil and acting as a steward for the animals that eventually (spoiler alert) end up on the table. My stand freezer is at the ready, and in November, it will be carefully packed with cuts of meat I’ve picked out, ready for meals I can feel proud to share with my family.