Top Deck is a restaurant with a cool ambiance and updated interior. But it also gives you a glimpse into Door County’s past.
As the name suggests, Top Deck hovers over the water, offering a panoramic view of North Bay.
So at table near the window, I was able to enjoy nature as well as my vegetable sandwich and coffee. I was too early for the sunset. But even so, the water, waves and birds in flight were spectacular and calming.
Top Deck is located on the grounds of Gordon Lodge on North Bay. This is a more than 130-acre resort with a half mile of shoreline. Top Deck is open to Lodge guests as well as the public.
Top Deck’s bar, with seating all around, and spacious outdoor patio and deck are also very much part of the scene.
It’s easy to find Top Deck; Take Hwy. 57 to Hwy Q. Proceed on Hwy. Q about five (country) miles. (It will seem longer than five miles, but I checked it on my way back). You’ll see the sign to Gordon Lodge on the corner of Pine Drive and Hwy Q. Turn right on Pine. Follow signs to Top Deck on the Gordon Lodge property. Parking is available near Top Deck.
The menu is diverse, which kind of reflects the wide variety of people who stay at Gordon Lodge: couples, families, wedding parties, seniors, you get the idea. Lunch is available from 12 to 9 pm. And from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. is dinner service, when you can order entrees. Everyone tries to get here for the sunset, so keep that in mind if you’re really hungry.
If you are looking for breakfast, then you can head to the Gordon House where you can find a great buffet breakfast waiting for you from about 7a.m. to 10a.m.
The menu items available all day include salads. Also, find soups, pizzas and sandwiches. The kids’ menu has pasta choices, burger and grilled cheese sandwiches.
The waiter, Bradley, recommended an entrée of tenderloin scaloppini. There are seafood choices such as roasted salmon. And many more meat choices: North Bay ribs, grilled 8 ounce Angus filet, grilled rib eye and bacon-wrapped sirloin. Nightly features are available, too.
I chose the vegetable sandwich, and was pleased with the variety of vegetables, freshness and presentation. Included were red peppers, onion, tomato, carrots on sour dough bread, nicely flavored by garlic hummus. I was happy not to see mushrooms included, and Bradley said he gets that a lot.
“Jerry is our chef and he’s very discriminating and demanding. I overhear him on the phone with suppliers and he is asking for the freshest,” Bradley says of the chef here who has 25 years experience as an executive chef and also owned his own restaurant.
Lunch Menu: Check out the Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu: Check out the Dinner Menu
Top Deck was restored in 2006, soon after new owners John and Wendy Tinnon purchased the Gordon Lodge property in 2005. The view is the main focal point, of course. But the interior ambiance is upbeat, pleasant and comfortable. There’s a high and pitched ceiling with wood beams and shiny wood floors.
You can’t miss the centered bar area with seating (we liked the look of bottles balanced on high beams above the bar and the wine glasses suspended by an anchor-shaped iron holder).
Dining chairs are done in green upholstery and are comfortable; the tables match. There are a couple large screen flat TVs, an old jukebox (it works, Bradley says, adding that people like to play Eric Clapton, the Beatles and Bruce Springsteen). Choose four plays for a $1.
The windows go from floor to ceiling and span three of the four walls, of course. They had to leave room on one wall for a fireplace and the door; don’t miss the vintage 1930s photo of Top Deck on the mantel.
Top Deck was originally called the Pavilion and used as a boathouse. The lower level below the restaurant space was a place for sails and net storage. The restoration brought Top Deck back to its original look, but this place has a hip feel, too. Also, the lower level may be reserved for private functions such as rehearsal dinners.
Locals like to come here, and that’s always a good sign. This is a place to find live entertainment on Wednesday and Sunday evenings.
Wednesday is kind of renowned as the jazz night, and the format changes on Sundays. The music is played on the outdoor patio (you can see it from inside the restaurant) when the weather is nice.
Actually, you can see just about everything—sunset, water, waves, trees, birds from Top Deck, where prices range from about $11 to $14 for sandwiches and $12 to $25 for entrees, but always check their website for current pricing. Tell them DoorCountyNavigator.com sent you on deck.
For your convenience, here is a peek at their website. To open it fully, click the link on the lower left of the frame.
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