Whether you are a couple celebrating a special occasion, or just want to enjoy truly fine dining, this is the place for you! We highly recommend The Waterfront!
When you enter, you feel immediately comfortable, with a wonderful bar to your left where you can have a drink, or maybe a custom martini, before you dine. The place was designed from the ground up, and virtually every table has a water view – yes – this is dining on the water (indoors) with the possibility of viewing some of Door County’s magnificent sunsets right from your table. The furnishings, Murano-style glass sconces, cloth linens, white dinnerware – all add to your comfortable, warm and welcoming feeling you get in this wonderful place. It is still casual dining, while elegant in appearance and quality. There is even a private dining room upstairs.
The Menu offers creative appetizers like roasted mozzarella with herbed eggplant, organic cherry tomatoes and Sicilian olive oil and grilled lamb chops with a Caesar aioli sauce. Salads like a Duck Leg Confit to a Wedge Salad which is about a quarter head of lettuce wedge smothered in blue cheeses or ranch (all custom made) really tempt the palette.
Main courses range form “Land” offerings like Roasted Rack of Lamb r Grilled Bone-In Rib Eye, to “Sea” offerings like Whitefish in Paper, grilled Escolar or a Seafood Mixado.
This chef is creative, offers imaginative and inspired cuisine, and does it impressively well.
The evening we did our review, we had with us a wine expert – a collector. He was extremely impressed by the wine list and thought the restaurant should submit it to Wine Spectator for their annual awards. There is a section from reasonably priced bottles like a Sanford Chardonnay to high end wines like Olivier LeFlaive Montrachet. Also, you’ll find a Stelzner Cabernet and even a vertical offering (sequential vintages) of Dominus. There are chardonnays, sauvignon blancs, pinot noirs, Zinfandels, Merlots and more from Spain, Portugal, South America, Australia, French and more.
And, there are almost 30 offerings by the glass – this is rare to have so much offered by the glass versus the full bottle.
What we Ordered
First, some bread came out to be dipped in an herbed olive oil – a genuine treat! The subtle flavors of thyme and parsley made this an eating delight.
We started off with some appetizers. To complement our appetizers, we selected a glass each of Craggy Head from New Zealand. The Seared Sea Scallops, which sat atop sweet peapods, grilled onions and smoked bacon, were surrounded by a unique soy garlic sauce. The scallops were tender, and done to perfection – with perfect color and texture. The soy garlic cream sauce, puddled on both sides of the scallops, was the perfect union of complimentary flavors, enhancing every bit of scallops or vegetables. The vegetables were perfect – individually prepared, not just steamed.
Next we sliced into the Roasted Mozzarella – delicately flavored mozzarella, rolled with a thin slice of sautéed, herbed eggplant, organic cherry tomatoes, and Sicilian olive oil – all wrapped in prociutto. Never saw this offering on a menu before, and it was superb. Each component was excellently prepared, and together the tasted was mouth-watering. Just wonderful, and we highly recommend it. Wow – what a start!
On to our salads. I had the Caesar – lettuce piled high, criss-crossed with strips of cheese, fried anchovy, and pieces of roasted garlic at the base. The Caesar dressing pops in your mouth with flavor – homemade of course. Our other reviewer had the Wedge Salad, which came with a quarter-head of lettuce wedge literally smothered in homemade bleu cheese dressing with bleu cheese bits and cherry tomatoes. These salads were included in the price of our entrée.
On to the Main Courses!
I ordered a 10 ounce (comes in 6 too) Beef Tenderloin, accompanied with garlic mashed potatoes piped out into a swirled row (with a pastry bag) – beautiful and delicious. Next to the perfectly medium-rare tenderloin (gorgeous in color and texture) were blanched green beams, sautéed mushrooms and the meat sauce. Wow – this was awesome. The meat cut easily, and was juicy and full of flavor – once again, perfect.
The other reviewer had the Roasted Rack of Lamb. It came out on a plate picture-perfect, with a side of lemon risotto which was moist, with a hint of lemon that nudged you as you swallowed it. Wonderful. The lamb, done medium-rare and surrounded by fragrant and flavorful juice, was done flawlessly.
We could not eat anymore. We had the perfect dinner. So we sat down and spoke with the owners, JJ and Kris who do a marvelous job with this restaurant, and their restaurant next-door, JJ’s and La Puerta. Their son, Jesse, is the talented, young Waterfront chef – and we spent a little time complimenting him on the first-rate, first-class job he does with the food.
Open every month of the year except January, February and March, and open all days except Mondays in peak season, The Waterfront is a great addition to Door County fine dining. Entrees from about $24 and up (always check their website for changes) - whatever you are doing in Door County, you must make The Waterfront a stop on your itinerary. You will be delighted at the quality, service, ambiance and just the great folks who run this place.
We have dined here often and it has been superb each time. Simply, we love this place!
Make it a destination – you won’t forget your visit – and tell them that DoorCountyNavigator.com sent you!
For your convenience, here is a peek at their website. To open it fully, click the link on the lower left of the frame. Click here to open full page