What follows is part 1 of a 3 or 4 part series on Door County dining, wine, beer , food, and other attractions. Over the course of the next week or so I will continue to add postings about my recent visit.
THE WHISTLING SWAN RESTAURANT
I really liked the Whistling Swan. It was a great setting overlooking the streets of Fish Creek. The food, with one exception (more on that later), was perfectly executed, creative, and delicious. The service was flawless. It is a place that I would recommend to anyone looking for a nice dinner out in Door County but doesn’t want a Fish Boil or the typical steak, seafood and chops menus at the countless number of supper clubs. I wish I had taken a paper copy of that evening’s menu to give a better description of the dishes we tried, bit I didn’t so elements of some of these may be missing.
The Whistling Swan is a restaurant attached to the Whistling Swan Inn, a charming bed and breakfast located in Fish Creek. It is tied to Hinterland Brewery, which has restaurants in Green Bay and Milwaukee. The menu changes quite frequently to take advantage of what is in season and available which makes it a great place to visit numerous times (I only went once) The cuisine takes from all stretches of the globe with elements from The Caribbean (fried Plantains), Italy (Pistou in a lamb dish), France (pommes anna) and Japan (Snow Pea salad with wasabi almonds and soy vinaigrette.
We started off with an appetizer of Crab croquettes, which were outstanding. There were 4-5 croquettes that were fried until golden brown and served with excellent whipped avocado sauce, mango salsa and plantain chips. The croquettes contained a lot of sweet crabmeat and little filler. The avocado and mango were a nice accompaniment to the crab and an even better one to the Plantains.
The grilled Cobia had a slightly sweet glaze that paired well with this firmer, somewhat sweet fish. You don’t see Cobia on many menus in Wisconsin (the only place I have encountered it is at Zin in Delafield and I think someone said they had it as a special at Maxie’s Southern Comfort , but don’t quote me on that) The fish was served with roasted beets, quinoa, and some beet puree. The Cobia was cooked perfectly and was absolutely delicious.
I ordered the Flat Iron Steak with Carolina Grits and Sunflower Sprout Salad. My only real complaint about this whole experience was the Flat Iron Steak. While it was still very flavorful, especially when paired with the New Orleans style barbecue sauce, it was not the medium rare that I ordered. The steak was sliced into about 5 thick slices, some were around medium and some were more medium well. As someone who has made a ton of steaks at home I could tell from the appearance that the steak was likely cooked to medium rare, sliced, then either sat under a heat lamp too long or was thrown under a broiler to reheat it. Since it was getting late and the steak actually still tasted good, I decided not to return it. I still kind of wish that I had. The sides with the steak were awesome. The Carolina Grits were about the consistency of mashed potatoes, (as opposed to polenta which is usually more runny) and had an excellent corn flavor. The tempura onion rings were perfectly cooked with a light, crispy batter and were some of the best I have had anywhere (it’s a shame you only get 2-3 of them) and the Sunflower Sprout salad with small slices of pancetta was a hit as well. It was my first time eating Sunflower Sprout and it actually was one of the reasons I ordered this entrée. The sprouts are slightly crunchy like bean sprouts but with a much better, nutty flavor.
This being associated with Hinterland Brewery, I decided to skip wine and try some of their beer. The Pale Ale wasn’t as good as other Wisconsin Brewed Pales, but was still very drinkable. I like mine more hoppy and bitter. The Luna Stout, on the other hand, was superb. It is a dark black stout made with Luna Coffee. It was one of the best coffee stouts I have had. It was very creamy with a nice mix of dark malts and roasted coffee flavor. It wasn’t as overpowering as say Lakefront’s Fuel Café Stout (which I like a lot) and it paired perfectly with the steak and the New Orleans’ style BBQ sauce served with it. If you want to check out the coffee without the alcohol. Luna has cafes in Fish Creek and DePere.
The Whistling Swan is located at 4192 Main in Fish Creek, WI. Ph. (920) 868-3442
Good Eggs looks like it belongs on some Southern California Beach not in tranquil Ephraim, Wisconsin overlooking the shores of Green Bay. The surf shack décor, complete with tables fashioned out of old surfboards seems somewhat out of place among the elegant Bed & Breakfasts and upscale resorts around it. However none of that matters to locals and tourists alike who flock to this great, quick, casual breakfast spot.
There beauty of Good Eggs is that you create your own wrap with different price levels depending on what you stuff in there. The options are veggie wraps, meat wraps, and veggie & meat wraps. You can also pick your cheese and wrap flavor.
I had a veggie and meat wrap in a cilantro tortilla with onions, peppers, spinach, goat cheese, and sausage. Seriously the thing could have easily fed two people but it was so delicious I ate the whole thing myself. I wish there was one of these on my way to work!
Good Eggs also serves fresh squeezed orange juice, Alterra Coffee, and smoothies. I also think the serve Grilled Cheese later in the day. If you are looking for an alternative to waiting in line for upwards of an hour for some of the more popular breakfast spots in Door County, Good Eggs can offer the perfect start to your day.
Good Eggs is located at 2830 Brookside Lane in Ephraim, Wisconsin.