More than a hundred years ago, in the midst of a booming Sturgeon Bay shipbuilding community, you would have found a tailor shop, an apothecary and a doctor’s office at the corner of Cedar and Cottage Street instead of a delicious, pesto-stuffed chicken breast wrapped in smoked bacon. Luckily for diners, today on the same corner (now Louisiana and Third Avenue) you will find the recently updated Inn at Cedar Crossing, a boutique hotel, restaurant, bakery and bar.
The restaurant itself has been serving the community since 1989, and the history of the building is evidenced in the beautiful brick walls, an original pressed-tin ceiling and ornate details throughout each room. The refreshed decor and design do an excellent job highlighting these elements while also elevating the space for an upscale dining experience described as “contemporary, yet classic.”
Before its makeover, completed in early 2018, I had eaten at this mainstay restaurant several times, usually for a special weekend family breakfast or brunch. Speaking from memory, the dining room was cozy, but slightly outdated, with plenty of wood paneling and country-kitchen quaintness. The new space features intricate, richly hued wallpaper and deep navy-colored booths to contrast with the cream brick walls. Lighting fixtures are sleek, contemporary, modern designs, and the exterior green awnings were replaced with a bold, new sign complementing the mid-century feel with an eye-catching font.
After popping in for coffee not too long ago and noticing the changes throughout the restaurant, I was eager to dine again to get the full exposure. Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, the menu offers an array of enticing classics, each with a modern twist. For instance, available for lunch is a Lobster Mac and Cheese with white Cheddar, cavatappi pasta, truffle oil and topped with toasted breadcrumbs. Or, try a new take on a burger with the Falafel Burger, which uses a house-made chickpea patty.
Being a fan of creamy Brie cheese, I was drawn to the Pastrami and Horseradish Brie sandwich and ordered the half sandwich with a half salad of Asian kale. The salad was colorful and crisp, with dark kale leaves, pepper slices, almonds, carrots and a tasty drizzle of ginger-peanut dressing. The sandwich was a rich mixture of pastrami and Brie, with a refreshing bite of red onion and tomato. The daily special of BBQ Chicken Flatbread also looked appealing.
The various menus have different selections and change based on seasonality and ingredient availability – ensuring you’ll never run out of options. Not to mention, the bar menu is loaded with craft beer, fine wine and creative cocktails worth sampling over the course of a happy hour or two.