Thursday, December 22, 2011


Stillwater, located on St. Croix River, is Minnesota's birthplace with a history of lumberjacks. I flew into the St. Paul/Minnesota airport to get here. Like many other cities, Main Street is the heart of it, full of art galleries, antique stores, restaurants and specialty shops.

I met up with Kit Shoop, one of the artists that shows her wares at the Art Guild Gallery. She's noted for miniature water colors that focus on birds and cats. At her home, she has dogs, a horse, and her studio. It's the bird feeders that assists in inspiring her. Her husband, Wally, does bronze sculptures and most noted for his eagles. He also plays the guitar and composes as a hobby.

Kit and I ate at a restaurant called Green Room. I had a Minnesota Salad of mixed and dandelion greens, blueberries, hazelnuts and turkey confit with a maple syrup vinaigrette and wild rice waffle. Had to have wild rice, being in Minnesota.

Walleye being another "must" I chose their Manchengo Almond Walleye. The native fish was covered with manchengo and almond, oven roasted and served with lemon and thyme Beuree Blanc.

Kit went for the Indian Seafood Congee of mussels, shrimp, scallops and some other fish with rice and vegetables in a vegetable ginger stock. I did taste it and was just a bit spicy but good. In fact the food at Green Room is quite delicious.

Their pastry chef presented our dessert, which I just remember it to be a chocolate lovers decadence!

Kit and I then walked across the street at 208 Main Street South to check out Stillwater Olive Oil Company. They have several oils and vinegars and you can taste all of them if you so desire. I particularly love the flavored oils and tasted basil, lemon, cilantro with roasted onion, blood orange, butter flavored (great for popcorn)amongst others. They have an authentic balsamic vinegar that is aged and not mixed with a wine vinegar, which you would tend to get at your grocery store. Choose what you want and they bottle it right there.

Kit had to head home so I took a trolley tour to hear about the history and view some of the old homes and museums. Didn't really like the tour as the guy running it told us all not to talk or ask questions as well as seeming to put on some sort of character and sounded as if it was all memorized. He didn't seem to have a problem telling us about his personal life prior to departing. If you don't have a walking issue, grab info from tourism and go to it!

You could see the historic Lift Bridge on the St. Croix River, one of only three in the United States.

Due to the season and time constraint I missed the gondola ride, hot air balloon, paddlewheel excursion and LumberJack Days as well as the Joseph Wolf Brewery Cave Tour and Northern Vineyards Winery.

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