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A Little Music with your Meal: October 2015 in Door County, WI

POSTED ON October 2nd  - POSTED IN Dining, dinner, Entertainment, lunch, News, Wines & Spirits

david & LynnGibraltar Grill, Fish Creek

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.


Seth and Mark WFM 2014_300dpi

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.

Fridays in October (7-10pm) feature string band blues, folk, country, and bluegrass music!hotshots

For more information visit The Cookery Wine Bar.


Katie DahlWhite Gull Inn, Fish Creek

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.


Bedrock Bluegrass at BrewBrew Coffeehouse, Ellison Bay

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!

Egg Harbor AleFest Approaches: Saturday, September 19th

POSTED ON September 7th  - POSTED IN Breweries & Pubs, Dining, Entertainment, News, Special Events, Wines & Spirits

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.)

Egg Harbor Ale Fest from websiteIn 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:

One Too Many BandVocals 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

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.”

shipwrecked crop 2 MNPEgg 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.

Chef Neller PolancoPolanco’s family came from Wadsworth, IL to Door County for vacations often and she was an infant on her first visit. Her memories were of family good times and the beauty Door County’s nature.

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.

Juniper's Gin Joint frontAll 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.

Chef Neller's Friday Fish Fry - Hand Breaded Perch or Copper Ale Battered Whitefish

Chef Neller’s Friday Fish Fry (photo from Facebook)

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.

Chocolate Maple Bacon Cookie Sunday - Juniper

Above: Chef Neller’s Chocolate Maple Bacon Cookie Sunday (photo from Facebook)

“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!

***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!

Live Music in The Cookery Wine Bar: Summer 2015

POSTED ON May 25th  - POSTED IN Dining, Entertainment, Special Events, Wines & Spirits
Katie Dahl & Rich Higdon

Katie Dahl & Rich Higdon

Each summer visitors and locals alike look forward to the wide selection of live entertainment options on the Door Peninsula. A favorite spot to catch live music, The Cookery features different musicians in the Wine Bar each

Thursday night throughout the summer starting June 4th, and in July & August, Door County folksinger Katie Dahl performs every Wednesday night! The Cookery’s Wine Bar is open daily from 3-8:30pm serving from the dinner menu and the wine and beer list, and a dessert menu that will rock your world! The Cookery’s Wine Bar is located at 4135 Hwy 42, Fish Creek. Visit or call (920) 868-3634 for more information!

*July 1 – Aug. 26 Every Wednesday at 8pm Katie Dahl – a Door County folksinger known for her sharp-witted lyrics, intricate melodies, and engaging performances.

June Concerts in the Wine Bar

Valentine’s 2015: Door County, WI’s Favorite Romantic Dining Spots

POSTED ON February 6th  - POSTED IN Dining, dinner, fine dining, Restaurant Guide, Wines & Spirits
Donnys Glidden inside from fb

Donny’s Glidden Lodge Restaurant

Door County, Wisconsin is teeming with romance as Valentine’s Day weekend approaches. Hotels, resorts, and B&Bs are offering Romantic Lodging Specials & Packages so you can enjoy a weekend away with your sweetie, and there are lots of options for your Valentine’s dinner. We asked, and Door County Chefs Facebook followers told us where they love to take their loved ones for romantic dining on the Peninsula…

Donny’s Glidden Lodge Restaurant took the cake as Door County’s #1 Favorite Romantic Dining Spot,

New Year’s Eve & Day Open Hours, Live Music, & Special Meals in Door County, WI (2014-2015)

Door County, Wisconsin is ready to ring in the New Year! Are you? There are special meals on New Year’s Eve to be enjoyed at Sister Bay’s The Inn at Kristofer’s, and 136 Restaurant & Wine Bar in Sturgeon Bay, as well as live music and food at several restaurants and pubs including The Local Yokels at Sister Bay Bowl, Mickey Grasso at Donny’s Glidden Lodge Restaurant, and Michael Lee Ammons & the Water Street Hot Shots at Wickman house. On New Year’s Day catch Centerline at JJ’s of Jacksonport right after the Jacksonport Polar Bear Club‘s Polar Plunge into Lake Michigan! There’s also a New Year’s Day Parade in Egg Harbor, so make your plans now and make January 1st, 2015 a day to remember! Read on for who will be open this week, this winter, and for New Year’s celebrations, and visit Door County Lodging’s Last Minute Lodging blog for great places to stay…

New Year’s Eve & Day Open Hours, Live Music, & Special Meals in Door County, WI

Shop Local & Save at Holiday Open Houses in Carlsville, December 11th, 2014

POSTED ON December 10th  - POSTED IN Coffee & Tea, Dining, lunch, Special Events, Wines & Spirits

DCmoonshineThursday, December 11th, make Carlsville, Wisconsin your daytime destination in Door County, and enjoy special savings at the holiday open houses of area businesses. Finish your holiday shopping (or maybe get it started?), sample coffees and wines, and get in the holiday spirit – just don’t forget to pause for a good meal!

Door Peninsula Winery will be offering fabulous in-store specials during their open house: Buy 2 Get 1 FREE on Wines, Fat Louie’s Oil, Shipwrecked 6-Packs & Door County Distillery Products and 25% off all merchandise and food items through-out the weekend. Can’t make it to Carlsville this weekend? Visit and get FREE Shipping on any 12 bottles of mix and match wine. Just enter the promo code FREESHIP at checkout.Candy Cane Mocha pic

Door County Coffee & Tea is all dressed up for the occasion too, open 7:30am-6pm so you can stop in for great gift shopping. Buy 2 Get 1 FREE on all coffee, 15% off pre-made coffee gifts, and 25% off holiday home décor, plus coffee sampling all day makes this a winning spot to enjoy breakfast or lunch! Throughout December you can also enjoy a delicious Candy Cane Mocha and Door County County Coffee & Tea will donate 50 cents for every one sold to United Way of Door County!

Visit Carlsville online for more information. Shop Local and Save!

Holiday Meals & Wine Pairing – Keep it Simple!

POSTED ON November 18th  - POSTED IN Ask a DC Chef, Dining, Special Events, Wines & Spirits

I need to be reminded not everyone thinks about wine all of the time, and I’m also the person who will ask what is for dinner while eating breakfast. So, let’s talk about the Thanksgiving and Christmas wines you need to explore and specific varieties to pair with holiday foods…


First thoughts on wine selection, avoid overly big and powerful wines that might overwhelm the food. Food-friendly wines enhance rather than overwhelm food. Food-friendly wines have good acidity, are light, fruity and, they can be sweet. Fruit wines are trending right now, they are food-friendly wines, and they strike a nice balance in the sense they do not show extremes; extremes of power, alcohol, ripeness, oak or extraction. Food-friendly wines are refreshing, and tend to clean your palate between bites, complimenting richness in the food.

Gibraltar Grill’s Oktoberfest with Live Music & German Cuisine, Oct. 4, 2014

Gibraltar Grill OktoberfestCelebrate  the fall season in Door County  at Oktoberfest, Saturday, October 4th from 1-9pm at Gibraltar Grill, Fish Creek! Purchase a $15 wrist band to get “in and out” admission privileges, access to 6 hours of live music, and $10 in food and drink tickets. Gibraltar Grill will be featuring German food including Sauerbraten,  sausage with sauerkraut, and Spaetzle, as well as a dessert table, and German beer and wine all day while you dance to the sounds of Big Mouth & The Power Tool Horns from 2-5pm followed by Jerry Voelker and the Jolly Gents from 6:-9pm. Join the party!

Fall Flavors Wine Pairings & the Winemaker’s Dinner at Bistro 42 on Sept. 13, 2014

POSTED ON September 5th  - POSTED IN Ask a DC Chef, Entertainment, Restaurant Guide, Special Events, Wines & Spirits
Winemaker Dinner - Ribs

Winemaker Dinner – Ribs

Autumn is a great time of year. We can have warm days with full sun. It almost feels like summer if you close your eyes. It’s equally possible to have a chance of rain and the familiar cold breeze that signals a change. You can enjoy a glass of wine out on your patio and light a fire. I almost never dismiss a good Gin and tonic or Brandy. Changes in the weather also bring changes in palate. We eat and drink differently; heavier. You will see a change in seasonal vegetables especially with the root crops finishing up where squash, turnips, garlic, potato or beets are fully used. Thanksgiving is a great example when wine and Fall flavors come to the table.

EVENT Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014:

Winemaker Dinner 2014We host a major Winemaker Dinner at Bistro 42 adjacent to Door Peninsula Winery in Carlsville, in September (Saturday, Sept. 13th, 2014), where a 5 course dinner is paired with wine and concludes with a handmade desert. Many of the ideas we discuss to make this dinner special revolve around current food trends and medium to light bodied wines. If you are interested in our dinner you can find more information and tickets online at in the Events Ticketing section, or by calling 1-800-551-5049.

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