The smell of blooming nasturtiums blends with the Door County air. The sound of sailboats rocking gently in their slips across the street provides a punctuated, soothing rhythm to gentle guitar notes. A chilled glass of white wine stands next to a plate of warm Brie and brandied fruit as the sun hits the horizon of Green Bay. And all around, there is a mood of unhurried peace and of a day well spent. This is Kristofer’s Terrace, the newest addition to one of Door County’s restaurant jewels, the Inn at Kristofer’s.
In 2011, when owners Terri and Chris Milligan opened the terrace to their customers, they knew they were providing an experience that added to the ambiance and traditions of their well-established restaurant.
“We wanted something that was a little more casual for someone who wanted to relax with a glass of wine and enjoy lighter fare,” explains executive chef Terri Milligan.
Adding Kristofer’s Terrace seemed like a natural step when the Milligans began to plan for new landscaping in front of the building. Now in its 19th season, the restaurant has found a niche in the community, earning a reputation for creating innovative cuisine paired with attentive service, but without the pretension that is often associated with a menu of its caliber.
“What we found last year was that on check-in nights people would walk around town to check things out, but not be looking for a big meal,” Chris says. “It was a smaller effect on their pocketbooks and on their time. And they get to enjoy the beautiful waterfront.”
Often when customers would sit and enjoy Kristofer’s Terrace, they would make their reservations for an indoor meal later during their visit. It was a nice segue for introducing new customers to the restaurant.
“We wanted it to be fairly simple and to take advantage of the space,” Chris says.
The artfully designed concrete patio is surrounded in beautiful landscaping that includes clusters of nasturtiums and lavender, both of which Terri uses in her dishes.
Customers wanting to enjoy the outdoor ambiance of the warm evenings can order from a menu that caters to lighter fare than their indoor menu, or they can simply take advantage of the terrace by sipping on wine or beer and enjoying an appetizer before moving inside.
“We want to serve things that other people don’t have outside. We wanted to be a little more health oriented, as well as more innovative with our menu to represent what we do: cuisine with a flair to it,” Terri says.
Similar to the indoor menu, the menu on the terrace changes with the season to take best possible advantage of the freshest ingredients. Customers can enjoy anything from a light appetizer like fire roasted vegetable dip to a more substantial dish such as grilled wild salmon or ahi tuna sliders. Drink specials are also available from 4:30 to 6:00 pm, when a variety of wines are available at a discounted price.
Additionally, every Friday night this summer, customers can enjoy live guitar music on the terrace by local songwriter and musician Jess Holland. Delectable cuisine paired with the ambiance of a classic Door County summer evening make visiting Kristofer’s Terrace a must.
Address: 10716 N. Bay Shore Dr., Sister Bay
Phone: (920) 854-9419
Hours: Kristofer’s Terrace is open at 4:30 pm Memorial Day through Labor Day, weather permitting, while the restaurant is open nightly at 5 pm (closed Tuesdays).