Marine Landing b.o.t.m. opens tomorrow, kicking off day-trip dining season! (And you thought you were staying in town this weekend, peeling the plastic off your windows and packing away your wool sweaters.) Check out these worth-the-drive restaurants along the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers that offer food as good as their views:
Marine Landing b.o.t.m.
This shady marina/restaurant is located just outside “downtown” Marine on St. Croix, and it’s a little easier to find by water than land. On the patio, diners sit as close to the water as they did in the boats that ferried them over. The new-ish owners serve an awesome pulled pork sandwich, piled with avocado, cilantro, and onion, that has helped put the casual breakfast/lunch joint “back on the map.” Cash only.
Harbor View Cafe
Thirty-some odd years ago, a small town tavern turned into a gastronomic destination on the shores of Lake Pepin. The chalkboard menu and checkered tablecloths give the place a folksy feel, along with the bookshelves and cozy booths. The seasonally changing menu always features a few fish entrees—and the much loved coq au vin. No credit cards or reservations.
Nosh, in Lake City, may be the only restaurant between the Twin Cities and Winona with foie gras on its menu. The fare is American with a Mediterranean bent: house-made charcuterie meets seafood paella. Check Twitter if you want to see the morels that chef/owner Greg Jaworski just brought in.
** Be sure to add this pit stop to your trip: The Stockholm Pie Company, which packs a vast, ever-changing selection of divine, homemade pies—triple berries, butterscotches, sour cream raisins, and more—into its tiny storefront.