It’s almost Thanksgiving and we’re all taking stock of what matters most in our lives: identifying the things we’re thankful for of course, and the people we want to be around the most. Many Door County visitors and locals have made it their family tradition to enjoy holiday meals in the comfort of one of our fabulous restaurants, opting for less stress and a guaranteed great meal, not to mention – no clean up!
There are several options to get you out of the kitchen this year, including a take home feast as well as Thanksgiving dinners and buffets; and don’t forget, there’s also the Annual Jacksonport Thanksgiving Day Parade in the morning, this year benefiting DOOR CANcer, and the Packers vs. Bears Game in the evening!
8 great ways to enjoy Thanksgiving Day in Door County…
Saturday is Baileys Harbor’s Halloween Party & Spooky Café . Kids can Trick-or-Treat from 4-6pm throughout town and the Halloween Party will go on in the Town Hall from 5-7pm, featuring a costume contest for adults and children with prizes and a brand new Scavenger Hunt! Hot dogs, snacks, and beverages (including beer & wine for the grownup ghouls) will be available as well. Children must be accompanied by at least one adult please.
This weekend is also Fish Creek’s Jack O’Lantern Days starting Friday night Oct. 30 at Hands On Art Studio for the Adults Only Art Night at 6:30pm, and continuing all day on Halloween with mask-making, pumpkin-carving, Trick-or-Treating from 2-4pm, a Costume Contest and a Costume Parade, and wraps up at dusk on Saturday with the Great Pumpkin Lighting in downtown Fish Creek.
Fall Fest weekend 2015 features the return of the GO BO! Foundation Bake Sale. If you didn’t stop by Al Johnson’s in Sister Bay last weekend when the sale began, you definitely want to get there this weekend! The sale will run from 9am-5pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 16-18, 2015. Choose from thousands of cookies decorated and donated by cookie artists from around the world, with all the proceeds benefiting the GO BO! Foundation. The Modern Day Drifters will provide live music during this cookie event on Saturday from noon to 4pm.
Friday & Saturday, October 2 & 3 (7:30pm) David Hatch & Lynn Gudmundsen a/k/a The Sidekicks
Saturdays, October 10 & 17 (7:30pm) Cookee – Timeless Music!
For more information visit Gibraltar Grill.
The Cookery Wine Bar, Fish Creek
Mondays in October (3-5pm) listen to the Peninsula Ukulele Club practice through Happy Hour!
Wednesdays Oct. 7 & 14 (6:30-8:30pm) Katie Dahl performs delightful original and familiar folk music!
Thursday Oct. 8 (6:30-8:30pm) Seth & Mark Raddatz play folk rock originals and traditionals.
- Oct. 9 Michael Ammons
- Oct. 16 David Hatch & Lynn Gudmundsen
- Oct. 23 Highland Road
- Oct. 30 Julian Hagen
For more information visit The Cookery Wine Bar.
Mondays & Thursdays in October (5-8pm) Cheryl Murphy plays harp during candlelight dinners.
Tuesdays in October (5-8pm) Katie Dahl performs while you dine.
For more information visit White Gull Inn.
Saturday, Oct. 10 (11am-1pm) Bedrock Bluegrass
Monday, Oct. 19 (10am-12pm) Bedrock Bluegrass
Saturday, Oct. 31 (11am-1pm) Bedrock Bluegrass
For more information visit Brew Coffeehouse.
Remember, the Door County Chefs Mobile Dining App is always FREE to download and use – find restaurants, pubs, wineries and more, check out menus, get GPS directions, and click-to-call for more information. The App’s newest feature offers easy access to Door County Lodging’s Events Calendar! Get out and do more in Door County!
Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship comes to Sturgeon Bay and AleFest in Egg Harbor: What to do in Door County, Sept. 17-20, 2015
Door County proudly welcomes the Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship to Sturgeon Bay this weekend, Sept. 17-20, 2015. While you’re in town, don’t miss the Local Farmers Market all weekend starting at noon on Friday, 8am on Saturday, and 11am on Sunday, and check out kids activities, demo boat tours, and more at CenterPointe Marina, where weigh-ins will also take place, including the final weigh-in and Awards on Sunday. Click the following link for the Full Bassmaster Championship Schedule of Events.
Friday night you can enjoy live music from 7-9pm with the Dow Jones band at Martin Park.
Nedd and Natalie Nedderson of the Eagle Harbor Inn invite you to participate in a special Autumn Culinary Weekend this October with Chef Terri Milligan!
The event “Cook the Season” will feature Modern Italian cuisine utilizing Door County ingredients with a modern twist. Work with Chef Terri Milligan to create the following dishes:
EGG HARBOR, WI (Sept. 7, 2015) – Fall is prime beer festival season, thanks to crisp weekend afternoons and idealized dreams of Oktoberfest. (Hey, after a beer or three, everyone thinks the Chicken Dance is a great idea.)
In 2011, a passionate group of beer lovers and Egg Harbor Business Association members banded together to create the Egg Harbor AleFest. From amber ales and hard cider to oatmeal stouts and Belgian pale ales, the Egg Harbor AleFest tapped in to the craft beer craze with their first event in 2012. It just took off immediately. Attendance has been over 700 people each of the last three years.
“It is a popular way to beat the heat, celebrate fall, and taste test a number of unique beers by raising a glass of ice-cold beer with friends and neighbors,” says Jeff Larson, Egg Harbor Business Association president and event organizer. “For the die-hard beer fan, the fourth annual AleFest on Saturday, September 19th is the best time to visit. You’re invited to enliven and tantalize the taste buds.”
Once again this year there will be more than 40 brewers and 120 different crafts beers represented. It draws many of the small and independent Wisconsin brewers, like O’so Brewing, Wisconsin Brewing Co., Stone Cellar Brewing, Stillmank and Badger State. And there are a fair number of brews from the Midwest and beyond. And the number of samples included in your general admission ticket is unlimited.
Beer lovers may roll their eyes at what seems like more mainline offerings from Alaskan, Shock Top, New Glarus, and Sierra Nevada, but the lineup has enough breweries you don’t see in every local bar – to keep things interesting for festival newbies and veterans alike.
First and foremost, the event is a celebration. Let’s start with the music – it’s live and loud. The O2M (One Too Many) Band from Milwaukee is back for their third year at the event. They love to party. And they love to rock.
From the One Too Many Band’s promotion copy:
Vocals and visuals by the hardest working (drinking) girl in show business, the lovely Ms. Bette E. Ford. She puts the High in High Octane. Try to stay with her and she’ll leave you in the dust. Too much horsepower! This is one loud girl!
The supporting cast of Lounge Rats consists of numerous has been’s and never will be’s. All are currently living at the Y. We met in rehab, where we played for therapeutic reasons. Only the bass player, Brian Ray is decent, but constantly battling demons (and losing). Lenwood on harmonica, Joey Wagner beating his … drums, and Fabulous Johnny Rockit on guitar, complete the band.
The band tunes up and starts playing with the VIP admission at noon, and unplug the amps at 5pm (when the last call is served). During the O2M Band’s mid-afternoon break there will be a bluegrass band stepping in to keep the music going.
The entire food-and-beverage experience is one to, well, savor. Is there food? You bet. They will have a variety of tasty offerings to purchase that are sure to please everyone’s palate. General admission tickets start at $40 online. Visit EggHarborAleFest.com
There is a VIP option, and this ticket gives you unlimited food to accompany the unlimited tasting and early entry.
There is something to love about the location. Harbor View Park is located in the center of Egg Harbor, and overlooks the marina and sparkling waters of the Bay of Green Bay. Scenic beauty and free-range tasting gives the event a certain atmosphere. Taste in style or discuss the finer points of your beer exploration.
Should you find yourself in Egg Harbor for this year’s festivities, Larson recommends booking lodging in Egg Harbor and taking advantage of the free trolley shuttle service running from 11am – 7pm. “You can drop into the Village early in the day, eat some lunch – then attend the craft beer tasting event – and grab dinner and still be driven back to your choice of lodging. We promote drinking responsibly.”
Egg Harbor’s own microbrewery, Shipwrecked Brew Pub, will be represented of course, and the restaurant will be open and serving for Labor Day Weekend.
Join the craft beer explosion. See what all the hoopla is about. Embrace this rich lifestyle. Come join the fun and tasting at the September 19th Egg Harbor AleFest. As the festival’s tagline states: “It’s ale we be drinkin.” The Egg Harbor AleFest is more than great beer and great music … it’s great fun.
Juniper’s Gin Joint Features the Artistic Creations of Chef Neller Polanco + Live Music for Labor Day Weekend!
The new chef at Juniper’s Gin Joint in Fish Creek, Chef Neller Polanco, isn’t a newcomer to Door County.
A love of food came from her deep relationship with her Grandma, a fine and experienced home cook. Neller was her Grandmother’s shadow, first watching and then learning to cook everything from scratch; and inculcating her with a strong work ethic and an abiding love for the making and sharing of food. Though many memories of her time in her Grandmother’s kitchen and one stands out: rolling out the dough for egg noodles.
Chef Neller can’t remember a time when she didn’t want to be a chef.
Nine years ago at age 30 she decided that if this was her dream she should get started, so she went to the Kendall ‘School of Culinary Arts’ in Chicago (considered the best cooking school in the Midwest), and graduated in two years. She loved cooking and was an accomplished home cook, but Kendall taught her the basics plus all the cooking techniques she’d need for professional cooing. In addition she learned the management of a kitchen, the methods, the reasons for doing things and the finances of a successful restaurant. After that she went on to study Restaurant Management so she could bring more to the table as a chef and then began at Mangiano’s Little Italy (a Lettuce Entertain You Restaurant in Illinois).
Not busy enough it seemed, at this time Chef Neller also started her catering company in Wadsworth which she called ‘Princess and the Pea: One Small Girl Doing Big Things’. The jump into her own business stretched her skills even further: Menu writing, running a successful company, being in charge of all aspects of her business, learning to become a good baker and managing her time and resources combined with working at Mangiano’s was for her like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Her love of food and desire to create memorable menus and dishes and make people happy wasn’t diminished by her workload, it was strengthened.
All this led to Chef Neller to apply and interview for the position of head chef at the Juniper’s Gin Joint (formerly Cooper’s Corner) in Fish Creek (owned by the Pollmans, who also own and operate Door Peninsula Winery, Shipwrecked Brew Pub, Fat Louie’s Olive Oil, Bistro 42 and Door County Distillery). After the interview on her way home to Illinois while her son drove, Chef Neller started creating a menu for the restaurant and sent it the next day. She’s been involved from the beginning in the re-branding and creation of Juniper Gin Joint.
Spending that time catering developed her creativity in creating a menu and the foundation of Kendall taught her how to manage her costs, a combination that is essential in today’s restaurant.
The menu at Juniper’s Gin Joint is a Door County influenced Chicago Style Steak House. Imagine a classic American supper club influenced by Chef Neller’s unique flavor palate. She has created flavors using what Door County (cherries, cheeses, junipers, whitefish) is so well known for and then added some creative touches. Take Saturday’s special for example. It is Prime Rib like you’d never expect – finished off on the grill, giving it that deep, smoky flavor.
She didn’t forget whitefish – serving up a Lemon Juniper poached whitefish with juniper, lemon and white wine, over herb roasted new potatoes. There’s also a Whitefish Club sandwich: a beer battered whitefish fillet with bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato and honey mustard (made fresh in the kitchen) on a special Kaiser roll. The Friday Night Fish Fry will satisfy the fish lover offering perch, whitefish and halibut.
Juniper’s Gin Joint‘s Signature dish, available at lunch and dinner, is a Cheese and Charcuteries Board featuring cheese from Renard’s Cheese (Door County Cheese makers) and an Artisan Sausage Board, both serving a Grilled Door County Cherry Brat. And not to jump to the end, but the restaurant’s (and Chef Neller’s) Signature Dessert is a Chocolate Pinot Noir Cake featuring the Pinot Noir from the Door Peninsula Winery in Carlsville, just a little drive south on Hwy. 42.
“I consider myself an artist,” says Chef Neller.
Chef Neller likes to have fun with her desserts. During May lucky diners enjoyed the Fish Creek Fluffy Pie and the Tipsy Bunny Cupcake (carrot cake with a rum butter).
All sauces, dressings, soups and bakery is made in house. The food is clean and delicious, with nothing added that doesn’t have to be there. “Having the kitchen organized and food prepped means preparing it for our customer is smoother and provides them with an elevated dining experience that makes them feel satisfied and happy. That’s what our whole team is working towards every day.” Diners with special diets have many options to choose from and using the very best ingredients and everything from scratch means the food is at its best.
Chef Neller has been working with the Pollman’s to rebrand the restaurant this summer, and she’s had the complete support of her team in the front of the house and the back of the house. Neller believes that everyone should be able to step in and do anyone’s job if need be, including herself and including washing dishes. She wants the staff to know what they are making and serving so she often cooks dishes for them.
“They’re excited and proud to be making and serving our food. We’re all here to create a memorable dining experience for our guests and they know we’re in this together.”
Enjoy a meal at Juniper’s Gin Joint, open daily from 11am-10pm in season, with live music each weekend in the summer. For Labor Day Weekend there is music each night at 9:30pm!
- Friday, Sept. 4 – Terry Murphy & Last Man Standing
- Saturday, Sept. 5 – Greg McMonagle
- Sunday, Sept. 6 – Jim Counter
***Saturday, Sept. 5 – Marybeth Mattson performs outside in front of J. Jeffrey Taylor from 2-4pm (right across the street from Juniper’s Gin Joint). This local singer/songwriter welcomes Juniper’s diners to enjoy her music and encourages listeners to enjoy Juniper’s dining and outdoor seating.
For more Live Music and Entertainment and Last Minute Lodging Options this weekend, please visit our Labor Day Weekend Blog!
Labor Day weekend in Door County brings some great weather so you can enjoy being outside for Sister Bay’s Marina Fest, the beautiful light and music at Woodwalk Gallery’s End of Season Music Festival, and take advantage of tons of opportunities to enjoy free live music with a great meal!
An abundance of indoor and outdoor LIVE MUSIC can be found this weekend as summer comes to a close and Door County anticipates autumn (for more, visit the Door County Events Calender). Each of these venues offers their own delicious menu and musical flavor, and invite you to enjoy a meal with them this weekend. (Restaurant Menus can be found HERE, or by downloading the FREE Door County Chefs Mobile Dining Guide App.)
Juniper’s Gin Joint in downtown Fish Creek – Juniper’s Menu is a Door County influenced Chicago Style Steak House. Imagine a classic American supper club influenced by Chef Neller’s unique flavor palate. She has created flavors using what Door County is so well known for (cherries, cheeses, junipers, Whitefish), and then added some creative touches. Late Night Live Music makes a drink after dinner especially enticing!
- Friday, Sept. 4 – Terry Murphy & Last Man Standing 9:30pm
- Saturday, Sept. 5 – Greg McMonagle 9:30pm
- Sunday, Sept. 6 – Jim Counter 9:30pm
- *Saturday, Sept. 5 – Marybeth Mattson performs outside in front of J. Jeffrey Taylor from 2-4pm (right across the street from Juniper’s Gin Joint). This local singer/songwriter welcomes diners to enjoy her music and encourages listeners to enjoy Juniper’s dining and outdoor seating.
Gibraltar Grill on the north end of Fish Creek – With what has been called the Best Patio Bar and Outdoor Music Venue in Door County, Gibraltar Grill celebrates the end of summer in style! Live music Friday and Saturday night will be followed by the End of Summer Party IV will run from Noon until 10pm on Sunday, Sept. 6th. Admission is just $10 and your wristband gets you $10 in Food and Drink Tickets, In and Out privileges, and 10 hours of live music! Even the family dog is welcome to join the fun—well behaved and leashed at all times please! They’ll be serving up brats and hot dogs, cold beer, and more!
- Friday, Sept. 4 – Cookee – Timeless Music 7:30pm
- Saturday, Sept. 5 – One 2 Many Band 7:30pm
- Sunday, Sept. 6 – End of Summer Party: Cookee – Timeless Music 12-3pm, One 2 Many Band 3-6pm, Big Mouth & The Power Tool Horns 6-10pm
The Cookery Restaurant & Wine Bar in downtown Fish Creek – Listen to live music in the Wine Bar while you enjoy dinner, wine and beer, and/or coffee and dessert from indoor or outdoor seating! Their menu offers American cuisine with a creative twist, and lots of homemade recipes featuring many local and in-season ingredients.
- Wednesday, Sept. 2 – Katie Dahl 6:30-8:30pm
- Friday, Sept. 4 – The Nicks 8pm
- Sunday, Sept. 6 – The Girls of Small Forest w/ George Sawyn 8pm
Wickman House restaurant in Ellison Bay – Wickman House serves an out-of-this-world Sunday Brunch featuring Door County Farm Fresh Eggs, Buttermilk Pancakes, Biscuits and Gravy, and lots more, with local songbird Katie Dahl performing while you dine! Reservations accepted for parties of 6 or more.
- Sunday, Sept. 6 – Katie Dahl with Rich Higdon 11am-2pm
- Friday, Sept. 4 – Crossing Paths 8pm
- Saturday, Sept. 5 – Unity at Stone Harbor 8pm
- Sunday, Sept. 6 – Out of Time 2-6pm
Sister Bay Marina Fest – September 5 & 6, 2015 – Enjoy Labor Day Weekend outdoors with live music, kids’ carnival rides, a petting zoo, dingy and cardboard boat races, a boat show, and the return of the Waterboard Warriors Water Ski Show. The Festival kicks off with a Pancake Breakfast at 8am on Saturday, Sept. 5th, and Marina Fest activities begin at 10am with live music from River City 6 until 2pm. Replica takes the stage with more live music at 4pm, and Fireworks will light up the shoreline at 8:45pm. On Sunday the fun continues with more live music, rides, tours and more, including showings of the animated movie Finding Nemo. Whiskey Ditch performs at 6:30pm, and another round of Fireworks wraps up the evening. For more information visit the Sister Bay Marina online.
Jeanne Kuhns’ Woodwalk Concert Series – Season Finale Music Festival Week, Woodwalk Gallery, Egg Harbor. 3 Nights of Music Sept. 2-4. All Shows begin at 7pm. $20 at the door. BYO wine is welcome! Coffee, Soda, Beer, and Ice Cream treats will be for sale before and during each show. Concert goers are welcome to arrive as early as 5:30 to picnic before the show but must reserve tables ahead of time as limited tables are available. Call (920) 868-2912 for ticket and picnic table reservations.
- Wednesday, Sept. 2 – Julian Hagen at “This Land is Your Land” – A Door County Land Trust Event Night. This Washington Island singer songwriter performs classic Door County folk music that is heartwarming and delightful, infused with an unmistakable sense of humor.
- Thursday, Sept. 3 – Hans Christian in Concert. This multi-instrumentalist creates dialogues with sarangi and sitara answering each other and swooping cello sitting in opposition, in layers of musical voices through live looping.
- Friday, Sept. 4 – Michael Lee Ammons & The Water Street Hot Shots in Concert. Experts at performing blues, rags, hokum, and novelty tunes in the style of the 1930s jug bands. Celebrate the closing of the concert season with the vintage party music that this acoustic combo brings to the stage.
Get ready for all things Cherry! Celebrate our summer harvest in Jacksoport this weekend. The 21st Annual Cherry Fest will be held at Lakeside Park on Hwy 57 from 8am-4pm this Saturday, August 1st. Enjoy refreshments and cherry treats while you peruse a juried arts and crafts fair featuring artists from Wisconsin and the Midwest, and listen to live music all day!
Try a cherry brat or burger for lunch, save room for cherry pie, cherry ice cream sundaes, cherry kolaches, and make sure to take home cherry jams, jellies and more to help preserve this cherry experience! A penny hunt in the sand will keep the kids busy for a while, and the whole family will enjoy the Jacksonport Historical Society collection exhibited at the Root Cellar where you’ll also find the 2nd Annual Car Show! For more information, please call 920-559-0570 or visit www.jacksonporthistoricalsociety.org.