Restaurant recommendations from MnMo food critics Jason DeRusha and Joy Summers
Is there anything better than rolling down the windows, cranking the tunes, and taking off on the River Road? Plan a scenic journey down to Red Wing for a glorious day of views and delicious things to eat.
• Oliver’s Wine Bar: This sweet and elegant spot is a wonderful place to curl up with an incredible glass of wine and a few small nibbles. I adore the lighting in here, it makes everyone look exponentially more attractive, and if that doesn’t work, there’s wine!
• Harbor Bar & Restaurant: This is one of my favorite summer road trip destinations. It’s down on the river, where you can just motor up in your boat (or personal watercraft) and order some of the best jerk chicken in the state. The location is part roadhouse, part Jamaican restaurant with ice-cold beer, hammocks for lazing, and an open outside grill where the cook, who travels up from Jamaica for the season, hovers over that deliciously juicy, deeply spiced bird.
In Minnesota, there’s a great tradition of going “up north,” but I’ve always preferred going south. Red Wing may be my favorite small town in the state for its gorgeous scenery and great shopping, along with that comically large Red Wing Boot.
• The Port at St. James Hotel: Hidden away on the lower level of this gorgeous historic hotel, it’s the perfect romantic spot with a surprisingly deep wine list (you can get a 2001 Opus One Meritage glass for $70) as well as unique single malt scotches and cognacs.
Red Wing Brewery
photo by craig bares
• Red Wing Brewery: Yes, the beer is good (the owners extensively researched the town’s brewing history before creating their recipes), but the pizza is awesome. The dough is created by Red Wing’s Hanisch Bakery and incorporates the brewery’s spent grains.