Eat in Door County: Have you ever dined tapas style before? That's thequestion the kind owners of the new Parador restaurant in Egg Harbor ask. Tapas is Spanish cuisine. They come in hot and cold varieties and are meant to be shared among diners.
Order at least one cold and one hot. If you are with a partner, you get to taste four different tapas. Try, for example, the cold hummus ($6) and made with garbanzo beans and served with house-made flatbread. The potato salad ($6) is flavored with roasted garlic aioli and chives from the owners' garden. As for hot tapas, the queso de cabra ($7) is a winner. It's goat cheese baked with tomato sauce and served with garlic toast. Also flavorful and plentiful is the roasted chicken (free range chicken with imported Spanish chorizo and navy beans for $9).
Before you even get all your tapas they bring you abundant "free tapas": bread with olive oil, jamon (ham) and cheese and a huge bowl of Spanish olives marinated in citrus, garlic and rosemary. The olives, ham and wine are imported from Spain. And the owners Larry and Rebecca also obtain food locally-such as the hummus-from their neighbor, the Greens 'n Grains store in Egg Harbor.
Parador seats about 45 people on two levels. The lower level dining room (where about 16 dine) has lovely hardwood floors, wood tables and chairs. Each dining area has its own vibe. There's a bar, too. Oh, by the way, they make their own Sangria here. Try the "special." It has a white wine base and is flavored with pomegranate. The red sangria is a traditional blend and is dry, and the white is somewhat sweet. Parador is open May through October. Enjoy some ethnic flavor in Door County.
Stay in Door County: If you haven't been to the Bay Shore Inn for a while, you definitely need to come for a visit. The inn, located on Green Bay waters at 4205 Bay Shore Drive, Sturgeon Bay, has just competed this spring a renovation of its suites.
As part of the extensive project, which began in January, 33 of the inn's suites were remodeled. The suites-ranging in size from 712 to 1,645 feet-each received new kitchen finishes and an updated decorating scheme. New cabinet doors, granite countertops and new sinks and faucets were installed.
"We have a new look-a quality look for a quality property," said Joe McMahon, manager at Bay Shore Inn, which worked with Door County Interiors & Design, Egg Harbor, on the remodel.
"The inn is a very calm and natural environment and what we developed is a beautiful 21st-century look of enduring beauty," said Carol Trimberger, owner of Door County Interiors & Design.
Bay Shore Inn offers guests one and two bedroom waterview suites with private bathrooms and living and dining rooms in addition to the lovely updated kitchens.
Other resort amenities include a private beach, outdoor pool, tennis court, campfire area, indoor pool, whirlpool, game room, fitness center as well as bikes, row boats, kayaks and paddle boats for guests to use.
"This is a premier property in Door County-one of the nicest ones. We are on the water with a beach and many other fine amenities," Joe added. Learn more about the inn at www.DoorCountyNavigator.com.
Explore in Door County: Turtle Ridge Gallery, 11736 Mink River Rd., is renowned for its leather handbags, which are designed and handmade by Mary Ellen Sisulak. Many bags are adorned with her creative surface decorations: hand-painted carved or tooled images, stitched patterns, as well as appliqué or trapunto (raised) design.
They come in variety of shapes and styles ranging from shoulder and cross-body styles to clutches, totes, backpacks and electronic gear carriers. The embellishments often depict colorful flowers, leaves and geometric patterns.
"The surface decorations are my own drawings. People can't find them anywhere else. And people recognize the brand very much throughout the country. I do go all over," said Mary Ellen.
The products include one-of-a-kind bags, limited edition bags, silk art scarves and wallhangings, original paintings, art prints, leather-framed mirrors, change purses and wallets, belts with signature buckles and jewelry (bracelets are made from leftover leather pieces).
The leather colors have expanded over the years and include black and brown as well as red, olive, orange and more options. The varieties of leather range from Old-Fashion (an Italian vegetable-tanned leather), Eco-Pell (from Germany and a soft natural vegetable-tanned leather), Butterball (a domestic cowhide) and calfskin and goatskin (for interior linings). Each bag uses a turtle charm.
Also new are bags showing the artist's handstitching instead of designs. Called the Gaudier and Geo, they are made in the Eco-Pell leather.