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Stillwater, MN: Best on-the-water Restaurant?

Sonja Pallance Jun 22, 2006 02:23 PM

Got some family coming to town this weekend. Where should we take them in Stillwater for a nice dinner on the water? Bar/Grill would be perfectly good.

We've never been to Stillwater so any other recs are greatly appreciated as well.


  1. m
    Minnesota Raindog Dec 14, 2006 03:35 PM

    Well, I'm not sure where these Harley- and suntan-oil-haters are dining, but it's not the Dock Cafe. Easily the best place on the water between Taylor's Falls and Prescott. Excellent menu for food and wine/beer/liquor, great service, beautiful restaurant.

    Bayport Cookery is nowhere near the water, so I'm not sure why that's recommended here.

    1. c
      chelle Jun 28, 2006 04:58 PM

      On the water, unfortunately does not equate to good food. Freighthouse and Dock Cafe have standard, pedestrian-fare food - bar food. Dock Cafe tries hard, but I've been pretty underwhelmed.

      For a really good meal, go to Bayport Cookery - wonderful food, wonderful wine. Or, for a little more hipper place try the newly expanded Marx. Or, for a little more quainter place, go to Savories. (None are on the water).

      1. c
        cmk000 Jun 26, 2006 12:01 AM

        I know we're at the end of the weekend here, but 2 thoughts:

        1. Bayport Cookery is terrific. The pairing of the wines with the tastings is excellent, and Pierre (sommelier/head waiter) is great fun to chat with if he's not too busy.

        2. I highly recommend a glass of wine on the Northern Vineyards back deck at the north end of the main drag in Stillwater. Great view, enthusiastic staff, interesting wines, and supporting local agriculture!

        1. a
          AndreaT Jun 23, 2006 03:53 PM

          I recommend the Dock Cafe - though their "inside" menu is better than the "deck" menu which is more burger / sandwich oriented - inside they do nice grilled meats and fish, pastas, decent salads, appetizers etc - it's not haute cuisine but definitely the best of the "on the river" options in Stillwater and reliable in the food department.

          Their Shrimp Diablo pasta is excellent.

          Link: http://www.dockcafe.com/

          1. m
            MN Hick Chowhound Jun 23, 2006 09:14 AM

            Amen to the Bayport. Not on the water but also good in Stillwater is Nacho Mamas - no not your typical chain but real homemade and a full bar. Rudy's Hideaway in a little old log cabin is also a nice lunch or dinner with lots of interesting menu items and again, a full bar. As for the Harley's, etc. - give the place a break. It's a charming little town on a beautiful river enjoyed by all. Not many thriving main streets left like this one. Enjoy! We do often.

            1. d
              Dragon Jun 22, 2006 06:59 PM

              I heartily agree that what you're going to get in Stillwater is a snootful of suntan lotion and a loud boisterous crowd. Why not wend your way down 95 and take the family to Bayport and the Bayport Cookery? Whilst not on the water, Jim Kyndberg's got a beautiful patio dining room thang, and your meal will be quiet, gracious and consist of one of the best tasting menus in the area...whatever he's got on it.

              1. m
                MSPD Jun 22, 2006 05:10 PM

                Just know that wherever you go, whatever you order will be served with a side dish of non-stop 200 decibel Harleys roaring through town and across the bridge into Wisconsin.

                I know this isn't much help as far as you finding great chow, but in this case it quite possibly could prevent you from experiencing an enjoyable meal. Personally, on a summer weekend, I wouldn't even consider Stillwater as a place for a nice meal, especially on the water.

                But, I hope your experience proves me wrong.

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