On a recent trip to Door County, Scott and I enjoyed one of the best restaurant meals we've had in awhile.
We came upon this meal at a little place in Fish Creek called The Cookery.
The place, while pretty, is really nothing to look at, and it kind of reminded me of a fancy school cafeteria when we walked in. There was an all you can eat soup and salad buffet set up frilly lunch-lady style with a big tureen of whitefish chowder and big bowls of salads with various containers of toppings, and at the end of the table was an assembly of tiny sweets.
The menu was nothing fancy, and everything was reasonably priced and simple. In fact, we settled in to two lemonades and we split a perch sandwich with French fries and a grilled ham and cheese with homemade potato salad and applesauce.
But from the second we walked in the door until the moment we left, everything was perfect.
We were greeted at the door, and immediately seated by a server who seemed happy we came; our lemonades and our sandwiches came quickly and correctly. The food was hot but not too hot, the bread perfectly toasted, the fish wasn't remotely greasy, and the fries were crisp. When our drinks got low, the server came over, smiling, and refilled our glasses and when we were finishing up our plates, they were cleared. She brought our check promptly, and thanked us for coming.
It was such an all around wonderful experience. It was simple, well-thought out, and perfect. And when I left, I literally had a smile on my face and a skip in my step.
It's amazing how the little things, like a friendly greeting, a cold drink, and a basic, but extraordinarily executed sandwich and a handful of salty fries can mean so very much.
Amy L. Schubert is a 15-year veteran of the hospitality industry and has worked in every aspect of bar and restaurant operations. A graduate of Marquette University (B.A.-Writing Intensive English, 1997) and UW-Milwaukee (M.A.-Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Writing, 2001), Amy still occasionally moonlights as a guest bartender and she mixes a mean martini.
The restaurant business seems to be in Amy’s blood, and she prides herself in researching and experimenting with culinary combinations and cooking techniques in her own kitchen as well as in friends’ restaurants. Both she and her husband, Scott, are avid cooks and “wine heads,” and love to entertain friends, family and neighbors as frequently as possible.
Amy and Scott live with their boys, Alex and Nick, in Bay View, where they are all very active in the community. Amy finds great pleasure in sharing her knowledge and passions for food and writing in her contributions to OnMilwaukee.com.