By Andy Tarnoff Publisher Published Jul 25, 2012 at 4:38 PM Photography: Eron Laber

SISTER BAY – In my many years of wonderful trips to Door County, one area I've never put much stock in is dinner. For all the delicious breakfasts around the peninsula, lunch and dinner have usually turned into pizza or bar food.

This weekend, as I ambled around Door County for next Saturday's travel story, I enjoyed one of the better dinners on the peninsula at the new Chop Restaurant, 10571 Country Walk Lane #13, in Sister Bay.

Invited to visit by owner Jody Wuollett, we were pleased to see such an intimate and accessible fine dining restaurant in Sister Bay. Chop is tiny, with an an open kitchen layout behind just a handful of tables and a small bar nestled in the corner.

Because it was so nice out – hot, even – we chose to dine outside, where a local guitarist played for a few more tables overlooking this common area. It's the kind of place where you can feel comfortable in shorts while drinking your wine. Nothing about this great new hideaway feels pretentious or forced.

Door County is not an inexpensive place to eat, but Chop is far from overpriced, even by Milwaukee standards (and especially by Chicago standards).

My nine-ounce Angus beef filet mignon cost a mere $28 – and that included salad and potato. Our $6 cremini mushrooms sautéed butter started the meal, as did some very special homemade pop-over rolls. My fantastic bananas Foster cheesecake (baked by Wuollett's mother) ended dinner; we left full, but not too full.

As I continue to taste better and better steaks from around Wisconsin, it's hard to rank them – so I won't. But certainly, Chop joins Summertime in Fish Creek as the two best dinners I've had in Door County.

The overall experience was just so nice, too. For a new restaurant that admittedly is still finding its sea legs – the young servers were polite and attentive, even though the service doesn't quite match up yet to the quality of the food – Chop is off to a great start.

If you find yourself in Door County, looking to try something new and different, Chop strikes that perfect balance between fine dining, reasonable prices and lovely, unpretentious, summer ambience.

Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.

Before launching in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.

Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.