Hosted by an eclectically elegant collection of inns and museums peppered throughout the St. Croix River Valley, the 2011 Chocolate March launches guests on self-guided, cocoa-centric excursions. Guests munch on chocolate delicacies and take in architectural desserts with chocolate-dipped innkeepers at five separate stops, one of which will feature a wine pairing, on the Sunday jaunts (different destinations are featured each weekend). Depending on their chosen date, chocolate hunters can relax under the mannered, leaf-shaded porticos of Rosewood's Queen Anne mansion, take in the brick-draped Gilded Age grandeur of the Water Street Inn, or plot a sweet rustic retreat or candy-coated coup d'état by Wissahickon Farms' general store façade and peppermint-stick split-rail fence.
The mealtime mavens at Rafters Food & Spirits adorn their pub-centric menu with deep-fried appetizers, meaty sandwiches, and saucy pastas within an eatery situated alongside the scenic St. Croix River. Roust slumbering appetites with starters such as spicy-ranch battered pickles ($6.99) or bamboo shrimp skewers arriving in a piquant-garlic or spicy-Cajun incarnation ($7.99). Then stretch out your gullet further with a more sizable spread, such as the butter-crusted walleye sandwich ($10.99) or the hot roast beef and cheddar ($8.99), a hoagie-bound amalgamation of succulent slices cut thin enough to craft a perfectly folded beef airplane or meat crane. Sauteed mushrooms and onions team up with hickory-smoked bacon to top off the Rafter's Burger, whose duo of third-pound patties bridge the gap between two halves of a ciabatta bun ($11.99). A lineup of draft beers ($3.75 each) is ready to accompany hearty plates.
After modeling their first eatery, ROMA Restaurant, after the Roman Empire, Chef Brent Pilrain and his family opted to try something new, setting their sights on a colonial American theme. So when the family was greeted with the opportunity to open up a new kitchen in Liberty Village, the birth of Patriots Tavern seemed like kismet. Today, Chef Pilrain keeps up the colonial theme in both cuisine and décor, churning out a menu of New England–inspired fare and wood-oven-fired pizzas within a whitewashed mansion. Rich mahogany and stone details create a warm yet spacious interior dabbled with American flags and historical knickknacks, such as lanterns and George Washington’s original set of wooden press-on nails.
A laid-back, personable eatery, Kozy Korner sates pizza and hops cravings with indulgent meal pies and a choice of slice-complementing draft brews. Kozy Korner's pizza scramble unites breakfast favorites in pie form as it bubbles with cheddar cheese, eggs, hash browns, special sauce, canadian bacon, bacon bits, and a bacon alarm clock set to chime at the first sound of hunger pangs (a $21.75 value). Volley hearty taste buds at the scramble supreme, which mirrors the toppings of its less supreme counterpart, adding a blanket of cheddar cheese, pepperoni, italian sausage, green peppers, onions, and mushrooms (a $21.75 value).
Even on a cold wintry day, the staff at FreeStyle Yogurt will always choose frozen yogurt for dessert or a snack. That's because their yogurt is made with live and active cultures and may help boost the immune system, unlike some other frozen yogurts made from a powdered mix. To add to the health benefits, FreeStyle's 14 flavors include no-sugar-added varieties and non-dairy sorbets. A self-service set-up lets customers pick and choose from 50 toppings such as fresh fruit, granola, and boba.
The Agave Kitchen grills, sears, and fries up burgers, fish, and border-inspired entrees with Southwestern flavor. The menu boasts decadent starters such as the twin filet-mignon sliders with caramelized onions and blue cheese ($9.50 for 2, $17 for 4), and main dishes range from the adventurous lobster mac 'n' cheese with applewood-smoked bacon ($15) to traditional deep-fried chimichangas stuffed with a choice of beef, chicken, or pork ($12). The Agave Kitchen's specialty burgers pile on a choice of Angus beef ($11), chicken breast ($10), or black-bean patties ($12) with flavor infusions such as the Shrub combo with bacon, jalapeño, and mac 'n' cheese, or the Steeburger Deluxe featuring bacon, cheddar and jack cheeses, pulled pork, barbecue sauce, and coleslaw.