Tucked down a calm side street from the busy section of road where Highway 42 and 57 converge in Sister Bay is a refreshing take on the classic bed and breakfast. Roots Inn and Kitchen combines the historic charm of their six bedroom inn with an ever-changing kitchen menu that aims to remix your favorite bites using local and organic produce and meat. Guests enjoy a made-from-scratch breakfast served daily in the bar and dining area, and lucky for me, you needn’t be a guest to enjoy lunch Friday through Tuesday 11:30 am – 2:30 pm.
After choosing a seat on the back patio one sunny Friday, I was informed of the four weekly specials that week — two variations on the mainstay “Plain Jane” brat (organic bratwurst, sourced from Waseda farms and always served on a pretzel roll), plus a soup and salad feature. That week’s variations included a cheesy broccoli brat using an in-house cheese sauce and an eggplant parmesan version using local veggies and fresh herbs from Hidden Acres Farms. The weekly salad was a pasta salad with local organic tomatoes, red peppers, sweet corn and cucumbers sprinkled with a lemon basil sauce. The soup of the week was a cold gazpacho, again with local organic produce.
In the warm weather, I opted for the latter two along with a can of Rainbow Seeker by Blake’s Hard Cider — a pineapple sage rendition of their fizzy adults-only cider. When the tray arrived, the food appeared freshly made, as expected. What I did not expect was the burst of fresh flavor that came with the lemony basil sauce of the pasta. Near invisible to the eye, you are delighted with the delicious combination of lemony citrus with fresh-chopped basil. Similarly, the chilled gazpacho was intriguingly refreshing with the tomato-base and cool blend of raw red peppers, red onion and cucumbers. A cup of each made for a perfectly portioned summer lunch.
If you go, the menu specials are revamped each week, but you can always expect to find fresh, locally sourced organic goods to be at the core of their creations. I am eagerly awaiting the first cool-weather fall day to go back and indulge in the “WI Cheese” menu item: house made macaroni and cheese pressed in a waffle iron, drizzled with truffle oil, asiago and fresh basil plus a dollop of house basil aioli.