In a recent post (click here) I wrote about a day driving an Alfa Romeo sports car. As our destination, my wife and I took the car to Stillwater for a late summer lunch. Our only requirement was that our restaurant had to have a view of the St. Croix River.
Actually, we’ve been to Stillwater often enough so that we had a pretty good idea where we’d like to go. The Dock Café was the first place we checked.
For a mid-week lunch we had no problem getting a table right away. We chose a table on the patio. The weather wasn’t the most pleasant (overcast and a little damp from overnight rain). But it turned out pretty nicely for us anyway. You actually can’t get any closer to the river. From the Dock’s patio, the river bank slopes steeply to the water. You’re right there with nothing to block your view.
The lunch menu at the Dock offers a lot of variety. There are several appetizers and small plates. More than a dozen sandwiches, salads, soups, and combo plates are available. And for heartier appetites, a handful of entrées.
I ordered a walleye sandwich with fries. The fish was lightly breaded. It was moist and flakey, topped with a lemon-caper sauce plus a slice of tomato, onion, and greens. Sandwiches come with kettle chips, but for $2 you can get fries, which is what I did.
My wife ordered a grilled scallop salad. It featured four nice-sized sea scallops skewered and grilled. When I cook scallops at home, I don’t usually grill them. It’s so easy to overcook scallops so that they get tough and rubbery. The scallops on this salad at the Dock were done just right. They were cooked through, but remained moist and tender. The salad was a generous plate of mixed greens, asparagus, sundried tomatoes all topped with a Champaign vinaigrette.
Service was friendly and relaxed. I suppose if you were pressed for time, you might want the server to be a little more prompt. But we weren’t in any rush. We had a very enjoyable time eating our lunches and watching the river.