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In search of the ideal Wisconsin Supper Club

In search of the ideal Wisconsin Supper Club
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  • In search of the ideal Wisconsin Supper Club

    Post #1 - August 22nd, 2013, 1:36 pm
    Post #1 - August 22nd, 2013, 1:36 pm Post #1 - August 22nd, 2013, 1:36 pm
    I have a growing fondness for the WSC. I am glad on behalf of my BMI and liver that there isn't one right down the road.

    I'm headed up to the Madison area for a long weekend. I've searched around for the perfect old-school WSC to put on the itinerary, and I don't seem to be finding the right thing.

    I'd like a place that's been there for decades, and just costs an arm, not two limbs or more. That eliminates the Tornado Supper club. Relish tray, brandy old fashioneds, hearty entrees. Bonus points for being called 'hon' at least once.

    Anywhere in the vicinity of Madison or Baraboo is fine. Or somewhere in that area that I haven't thought of yet.

    Any hints about other WSCs are welcome, too, for future reference. I had a great experience at Nightingale in Sturgeon Bay once a few years ago [as much for the people I was rubbing elbows with as the food]. {And, yeah, I should have written that up, but I don't remember the details about the food anymore, aside from I liked it.}

    Please help, Obi-LTH. You're my only hope.

    Giovanna
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #2 - August 22nd, 2013, 1:43 pm
    Post #2 - August 22nd, 2013, 1:43 pm Post #2 - August 22nd, 2013, 1:43 pm
    Toby's Supper Club in Madison should fit the bill.
    What disease did cured ham actually have?
  • Post #3 - August 22nd, 2013, 2:36 pm
    Post #3 - August 22nd, 2013, 2:36 pm Post #3 - August 22nd, 2013, 2:36 pm
    HI,

    Dave Hoekstra of the Chicago Sun Times has a book out on supper clubs. I believe he has a related website, where he may list his favorites.

    There is a recently published second book out exclusively on Wisconsin supper clubs by another author.

    I am certain there is gold in both books to be mined.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #4 - August 22nd, 2013, 2:50 pm
    Post #4 - August 22nd, 2013, 2:50 pm Post #4 - August 22nd, 2013, 2:50 pm
    This might help...

    http://wisconsinsupperclubs.net/

    A nice listing.
    It's nice to be important but it's more important to be nice......that's what people will remember.
  • Post #5 - August 22nd, 2013, 7:44 pm
    Post #5 - August 22nd, 2013, 7:44 pm Post #5 - August 22nd, 2013, 7:44 pm
    That is indeed a very handy map, plark.

    Those 2 books you mention, Cathy, are worthy and lovely odes to the Supper Club, but my cursory inspections suggests that they are more coffee table books about history & decor than Jane-and-Michael-Stern-type guides to what is good to eat where. Without making the investment, tho, I can't say for sure [altho Hoekstra's book is $13.49 for the Nook . . . I could be tempted].

    Giovanna
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #6 - August 22nd, 2013, 9:03 pm
    Post #6 - August 22nd, 2013, 9:03 pm Post #6 - August 22nd, 2013, 9:03 pm
    I'm assuming you know about Toby's in Madison, I think its a good option within town limits. The Maple Tree in McFarland is another option nearby but I've never been there. Same goes for The Green Lantern. I have been to Heiney's in Black Earth which is upscale fair in a classic setting. One of my favorites from college was Fitzgerald's in Middleton...Drive Thru Prime Rib! Good luck.
  • Post #7 - August 22nd, 2013, 11:25 pm
    Post #7 - August 22nd, 2013, 11:25 pm Post #7 - August 22nd, 2013, 11:25 pm
    its been years, but i believe this are still in existence: the Bridge in lodi, not far from madison. not fancy, but the supper club is literally on a bridge. you sit at the bar and look through the window behind the bartender into the sunset. i remember an unusual dish which was a large fried fish ball. maybe nostalgia has got the best of me, but i'm dying to go back myself sometime.
  • Post #8 - August 23rd, 2013, 5:37 am
    Post #8 - August 23rd, 2013, 5:37 am Post #8 - August 23rd, 2013, 5:37 am
    justjoan wrote:its been years, but i believe this are still in existence: the Bridge in lodi, not far from madison. not fancy, but the supper club is literally on a bridge. you sit at the bar and look through the window behind the bartender into the sunset. i remember an unusual dish which was a large fried fish ball. maybe nostalgia has got the best of me, but i'm dying to go back myself sometime.



    So, I was curious...

    I think it's now known as Anchors Away or Anchor's Away at the Bridge

    http://anchorsawaylodi.com/
  • Post #9 - August 23rd, 2013, 8:15 am
    Post #9 - August 23rd, 2013, 8:15 am Post #9 - August 23rd, 2013, 8:15 am
    So, I was curious...

    I think it's now known as Anchors Away or Anchor's Away at the Bridge

    http://anchorsawaylodi.com/

    [/quote]

    yes, that's it! no giant fried fish ball that i can see on the menu, but the view from the bar should still be terrific!
  • Post #10 - August 23rd, 2013, 11:49 am
    Post #10 - August 23rd, 2013, 11:49 am Post #10 - August 23rd, 2013, 11:49 am
    If you find yourself in the vicinity of Hayward, the Chippewa Inn would fit the bill: http://www.chippewainnsupperclub.com/
    It is at the corner of B and A right off the Chippewa Flowage. Full traditional supper club menu as well as some German dishes. If you order a steak, be specific on how you want it cooked. In this neck of the woods, medium rare can sometimes mean slightly less well done.
  • Post #11 - August 23rd, 2013, 12:01 pm
    Post #11 - August 23rd, 2013, 12:01 pm Post #11 - August 23rd, 2013, 12:01 pm
    I have a soft spot for the Butterfly Club in Beloit. My best friend and I made that our end of school year destination every year.

    5246 E County Road X
    Beloit, WI 53511
    (608) 362-8577
    http://www.butterflyclub.us/
    -Mary
  • Post #12 - August 23rd, 2013, 2:45 pm
    Post #12 - August 23rd, 2013, 2:45 pm Post #12 - August 23rd, 2013, 2:45 pm
    It has been a few years, but I dined at Smoky's right outside of Madison and recall that it was very good. It was introduced to us as a steakhouse, but the atmosphere is very similar to that of a supper club, (I believe that it is mentioned in the Wisconsin Supper Club book.) It is very popular with the locals (we went with some friends from the area) and popular with UW Badgers fans before basketball games, etc.

    (As an aside, Giovanna, I love Nightingale in Sturgeon Bay and ate there 3 times on our recent trip to Door County.)
  • Post #13 - August 23rd, 2013, 4:47 pm
    Post #13 - August 23rd, 2013, 4:47 pm Post #13 - August 23rd, 2013, 4:47 pm
    Ive heard very good things about (but never been) to the Lake House Inn in Edgerton...

    Its sort of on the way to Madison (depending on how youre going, I suppose - but the "best" or most scenic route is probably on Route 12 - and Edgerton isnt far... The Lake House Inn has been around for ages, described as a quintessential WI Supper Club (its on your map too)... and its on the lake (Koshkonong IIRC), so the views should be very good. People in the area told me their Friday Night Fish Fry was very much worth going for - I still plan on hitting that, sometime...

    (the last time I was going to the area and wanted to do the Fish Fry, I actually ended up going for a very good one in Palmyra WI - the Nite Cap Inn, with outstanding Potato Pancakes and very good Fish...but while it has the requisite AYCE awesome Friday Fish Fry and some very good drinks at the bar, Iam not sure it would qualify as a "Supper Club" per se...)

    c8w
  • Post #14 - August 27th, 2013, 2:38 pm
    Post #14 - August 27th, 2013, 2:38 pm Post #14 - August 27th, 2013, 2:38 pm
    Calumet and Manitowoc Counties in Wisconsin's "Lake to Lake" region has any number of traditional supper clubs, which are generally a little off the beaten path - the way it should be. Nothing fancy or spectacular, but all worth a stop if you're in the area.

    Fish Tales Inn is near Calumet County Park and has a great window view of Lake Winnebago. Their Friday fish fry was very respectable. They serve maple syrup alongside the cold slaw and apple sauce, which may be a regional thing:



    DSCN0571.JPG

    Fish Tales Inn
    W5636 County Road EE
    Hilbert, WI 54129
    920-439-1565



    These places have long been popular with the locals:

    Schwarz's Supper Club
    W1688 Sheboygan Road
    New Holstein, WI 53061
    920-894-3598
    http://www.schwarzsupperclub.com/

    C.C. Willows Supper Club
    134 North Liberty Street
    Valders, WI
    920-975-4807
    http://www.ccwillows.com/index.php

    In Two Rivers, Machut's is another traditional supper club. Haven't been there myself, and was told by a local innkeeper that the place has slipped somewhat recently, but the last time I passed it on Hwy 42, the parking lot was full:

    Machut's Supper Club
    3911 Lincoln Avenue
    Two Rivers, WI54241
    920-793-9432
    http://www.machuts.com/

    A little farther north on Hwy 42 in Kewaunee is Gib's on the Lake, which also offers a great view of Lake Michigan. It's a pretty spot on in terms of meeting the supper club "ideal":

    Gib's on the Lake
    Hwy 42
    Kewaunee, WI 54216
    920-776-1551
  • Post #15 - September 6th, 2013, 2:00 pm
    Post #15 - September 6th, 2013, 2:00 pm Post #15 - September 6th, 2013, 2:00 pm
    Thanks for all of the input. I have some places to check out in the future.

    We ended up staying in a rental farmhouse* in Cooksville, a town about 20 or so miles south of Madison. Things in the Baraboo/Dells area weren't has convenient as I thought they might be originally [this was only as 3 day/2 night trip].

    Toby's was pretty well recommended and convenient to Cooksville, so we attempted to go to Toby's around 7:30 on Saturday night. Walked in, some tables were open & ready to be cleaned, so I was optimistic that we'd be seated & ordering cocktails and food soon. Silly, silly me. Apparently, Toby's has a system. You are supposed to order your food at the bar, and then enjoy a cocktail while the food is cooked and your table is prepared. So, ok. That's the system. I'm a guest, I go along with the system. Except. There is not a seat or hightop or anything available at the bar. Nothing. Nada. I point out to the bartender that I'd like to wait at the bar, but I don't see an empty spot. He allows as how I have a point. People are drinking, ordering food, hanging out. I can't even make eye contact with a waitress or the bartender to ask for a drink [I've grabbed my own menu]. Waited 15 minutes to see if anything was going to clear up, and then left. I get that we were there at peak periond on a Saturday, but tables were still unbussed and empty as we left. I don't get the disorder and lack of hospitality. Food looked pretty good, tho. Fried chicken seemed to be popular [and cooked to order, according to the menu - which could account for some slowness in the turnover process]. An allegedly fun thing I'll never try again.

    We'd passed the Maple Tree Supper Club on US 51 on the way up to Toby's. I'd remembered a mention upthread, and thought we'd give it a try. It was . . . fine. Ok. Meh+. The atmosphere was more like a Greek coffee shop with a big bar and TVs than a supper club. There was a salad and soup bar that was meh. [I don't think there's any food in this place that the Sysco truck doesn't drop off.] The prime rib was a generous serving [bigger than advertised on the menu] but had a lot of waste to it [fat, gristle . . . maybe the menu referred to dressed weight]. Waitress was pleasant - even admitted that the fish was frozen, not fresh. The dinner was adequate, but I felt like I was missing out on atmosphere.

    My traveling companion was feeling under the weather the next day, so I did a bit of solo traveling and had a beer at the Buckhorn Supper Club on Lake Koshkonong. This place had atmosphere up the wazoo. Big bar with big picture window overlooking the lake. Patio next to the lake if you wanted to sit outside & swat mosquitoes. Food prices seemed a bit high; I guess there's an upcharge for atmosphere. While listening to the friendly locals at the bar, I gathered that the place is open only during 'the season' and was closing after Labor Day.

    So, I continue to enjoy the supper club thing. Didn't get a relish plate :( . Did have a couple of brandy old fashioneds. Enjoyed the friendly locals at the bar. [Am feeling quite bored with the sameness of the menus, tho. A little prime rib goes a long way with me. Don't want steak every night. Don't want fish that isn't fresh if I'm paying that high a price. Wouldn't want to do this more than once a vacation.]

    Looking forward to my next trip north of the border & my next Supper Club.



    Toby's Supper Club
    3717 S Dutch Mill Rd, Madison, WI 53718
    (608) 222-6913

    Maple Tree Supper Club
    6010 U.S. 51, McFarland, WI 53558
    (608) 838-5888

    Buckhorn Supper Club
    11802 N Charley Bluff Rd, Milton, WI ‎
    (608) 868-2653

    Giovanna


    *The farmhouse we stayed in was quite nice. 4 bedrooms, kitchen, fireplace, yard, grill, resident chickens & fresh eggs from the generous proprietors who live in the renovated barn next door. They charge by the occupancy; since there were only 2 of us it was affordable. Could be a nice place for a family reunion or weekend retreat or such. PM me if you want more details.
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #16 - September 9th, 2013, 9:28 am
    Post #16 - September 9th, 2013, 9:28 am Post #16 - September 9th, 2013, 9:28 am
    alisonmackenzie wrote:Schwarz's Supper Club
    W1688 Sheboygan Road
    New Holstein, WI 53061
    920-894-3598
    http://www.schwarzsupperclub.com/


    My wife and I had the Friday night fish fry at Schwarz's recently and were quite pleased. The restaurant is situation on a quaint corner in St. Anne (despite the address being in New Holstein, the restaurant is about 15 minutes south of the New Holstein business district). Huge parking lot filled with everything from pick-ups to classic Corvette's. When you walk in, you're in a very large bar area. You take a seat at the bar or a table and get yourself a drink and a menu. You order your food here. When your food and a table are ready, they call your name and send you to a different room in this cavernous restaurant, where a table is waiting for you, all set with your relish tray and salad.

    We made a rookie mistake of giving our real name to the server, thus outing us as tourists. Befitting Wisconsin's political culture, a mixed bag of cheers, boos, laughs, and ooohs were heard when the table for the Obama party was announced. I thought about putting in a separate order under the name R. Braun just to see how the crowd felt about their fallen star.

    But back to the bar. While we waited for our table, we had a "small" order of homemade onion rings and Brandy Old Fashioned. Onion rings were very good. The small order was quite large, but was, in fact, smaller than the other two options. I love Brandy Old Fashioneds, but it's hard to get a good one. The one at Schwarz's, unfortunately, was pretty bland.

    The fried perch was excellent. We had some beer battered and some "lightly breaded" and enjoyed both. The broasted potatoes were excellent as well (fresh cut, fried potato wedgets).

    It's sort of a tale of two restaurants. The bar area has a great, old school feel. It was loud and vibrant and would be a great place to hang out, watch a game, etc. The dining rooms have a totally different feel, like they were redecorated to look like an Old County Buffet (I haven't been to an Old Country Buffet, but this is what I imagine they look like.) The salad and relish tray were all dumped out of cans or bags. The juice in the can probably had more taste than what came out of it.

    Overall, though, a fun time and excellent fish - which was all we were after.
  • Post #17 - December 30th, 2013, 7:12 pm
    Post #17 - December 30th, 2013, 7:12 pm Post #17 - December 30th, 2013, 7:12 pm
    Darren72 wrote:
    alisonmackenzie wrote:Schwarz's Supper Club
    W1688 Sheboygan Road
    New Holstein, WI 53061
    920-894-3598
    http://www.schwarzsupperclub.com/


    My wife and I had the Friday night fish fry at Schwarz's recently and were quite pleased. The restaurant is situation on a quaint corner in St. Anne (despite the address being in New Holstein, the restaurant is about 15 minutes south of the New Holstein business district).

    We were in New Holstein yesterday and had a choice between Schwarz’s and the nearby Roepke’s Village Inn (in Charlesburg with a Chilton mailing address). We chose the latter. We were eating very early with my elderly MIL, so the Bears-Packers game was still going when we arrived. We were probably the only people in the place not wearing Packers regalia of some sort. Everyone else in the place was in the bar area, watching the game. We could follow the progress of the teams based on the groans and eventual cheers. Their “sweet” brandy Old Fashioned was pretty weak, but they have New Glarus Spotted Cow on tap.

    Décor is dark supper club with checked table cloths and wooden furniture, but everything is very clean and well maintained. Roepke’s special claims are its German dishes and its “special” salad bar. They offer several schnitzels. Our son tried the Wiener Schnitzel a la Holstein, and the two very large schnitzels were a bit pale but tender and each topped with a nicely runny fried egg. The salad bar was pretty standard with the addition of quite good chicken liver paté, a sharp cheddar cheese spread, and a tangy cucumber salad. These appear to be homemade, as were the soups. My MIL loved her Loaded Baked Potato soup. Baked potatoes were fine, but skip the out-of-the-bag fries. I thought my Prime Rib was quite good, with a more peppery and zippy crust than I might have expected in a German-inflected Wisconsin supper club. Desserts are gargantuan. We split a very nice piece of carrot cake with cream-cheese frosting that would have benefitted from 10 minutes out of the fridge before being served.

    Next time we will try Schwarz’s and compare, but we liked Roepke’s quite a bit.

    Roepke's Village Inn Charlesburg
    W2686 St. Charles Road
    Chilton, WI 53014
    920-849-4000
    http://www.roepkesvillageinn.com/
  • Post #18 - April 6th, 2014, 12:52 pm
    Post #18 - April 6th, 2014, 12:52 pm Post #18 - April 6th, 2014, 12:52 pm
    We were in New Holstein again yesterday. We wanted to go to Schwarz's, but my SIL told us that it gets very crowded on a Saturday. People come up from Milwaukee for it! On her recommendation, we went to the Altona Supper Club instead. There's been a supper club at the Altona since 1937, although under different owners over time. Now it is a big place with a room that can be partitioned off for banquets. It was clean and seemed well-run. And although it was certainly busy at 5:30 on a Saturday night, we were seated immediately.

    Altona is all about supper club buffets. Beyond the ubiquitous salad bar, Altona has a different buffet every night. Meat Lovers Buffet is Thursday and Sunday. Seafood Buffet is, naturally, on Friday. They have a menu as well, but we went with the Saturday night buffet: Prime rib.

    In fact, on the serve-yourself buffet was a pan of already sliced "prime" rib next to a pan of jus. Not bad, and pretty darn good for a buffet. There was also some undersized breaded shrimp, chopped scallops in butter sauce, beef tips, ribs, liver and onions, pork chops, fried chicken, baked haddock, some sort of pork "stir fry," mixed veggies, mashed potatoes, fettuccine alfredo, rolls, and salad bar. Everything I tasted was good, even if nothing was outstanding. Seasoning is very mild, but on the other hand, the food wasn't over salted either. It's a bargain at $13.99 for all you can eat, and only $10.99 if you arrive between 4 and 5 pm!

    I watched and learned as my BIL, a native-born Wisconsinite, ordered his Old Fashioned thusly: Brandy Old Fashioned Sour. This was a really good version, probably the best I've ever had. I'd go back just for those. Quite strong, sweet, but not at all overly sweet, served with two olives on a skewer.

    I can't speak about dessert because we went back to the SIL & BIL for homemade brownies and ice cream.

    We still want to try Schwarz's, but my SIL recommends coming on a Tuesday or Wednesday night to avoid noisy crowds.

    Altona Supper Club
    2306 Calumet Drive
    New Holstein, WI 53061
    920.898.5255
    http://www.altonasupperclub.com
  • Post #19 - May 10th, 2015, 1:38 pm
    Post #19 - May 10th, 2015, 1:38 pm Post #19 - May 10th, 2015, 1:38 pm
    Can anyone suggest WSC's in the Green Bay area? Or any place worthy of a dinner stop? Thanks.
  • Post #20 - September 7th, 2015, 1:45 pm
    Post #20 - September 7th, 2015, 1:45 pm Post #20 - September 7th, 2015, 1:45 pm
    alisonmackenzie wrote:Calumet and Manitowoc Counties in Wisconsin's "Lake to Lake" region has any number of traditional supper clubs, which are generally a little off the beaten path - the way it should be. Nothing fancy or spectacular, but all worth a stop if you're in the area.

    Here is a handy map and guide to Calumet County supper clubs. Some of these are more like bar and grills, but it's still a very complete listing.

    We tried a new place for Sunday breakfast/brunch, the Cedar Lodge, in Calumetville (Malone address), very near the Lake Winnebago shore 15 minutes west of New Holstein. It had some good reviews online, which we found were deserved, at least for breakfast. It's a supper club from central casting with a bar just as you walk in and wood paneling. You order from a server while waiting by the bar, and then a table is prepared, and you are served shortly after being seated. The omelets we had (Farmers, with ham, cheese, and potato, for Cabbagehead, and Feta, with spinach and mushrooms topped with crumbled feta, for me) were huge and delicious. Fresh ingredients and careful preparation and presentation set the Cedar Lounge ahead of others of its ilk. Each omelet came with good American fries and a small cup of fruit nicely cut and very fresh and either a fruit muffin or toast. My blueberry muffin was excellent, and Cabbagehead's rye toast was extra buttery--as befits a Wisconsin place--and tasty.

    We also indulged in their specialty at dinner that is also available as a side order at breakfast--their fritters. These are beignets that are wonderfully light, warm, and dusted with powdered sugar. I'm not sure how they would be served with the first course of a steak or fish dinner, but they tasted so good I imagine they'd be a pleasure at any point in the meal.

    Based on the breakfast, I would definitely try their dinners. If you're up there, give it a try and let us know what you think. Unlike many of the supper clubs up there, Cedar Lodge takes reservations, according to the website.

    Dale and Candi's Cedar Lodge Restaurant
    N10872 US-151
    Malone, WI 53049
    920.795.4574
    http://www.thecedarlodge.com/index.html
  • Post #21 - June 8th, 2016, 12:56 pm
    Post #21 - June 8th, 2016, 12:56 pm Post #21 - June 8th, 2016, 12:56 pm
    Three Supper Clubs in Milwaukee and What It Means to Be a Supper Club

    We spent last weekend in Milwaukee, mostly eating at and thinking about supper clubs. I’m researching a piece for Newcity’s Milwaukee issue.

    Giovanna originally asked for the “perfect old-school supper club,” and of course the best you can hope for is a close approximation to whatever you consider “perfect” or "ideal," and there’s no uniform definition. In Dave Hoekstra’s “The Supper Club Book” as well as “Ron Faiola’s “Wisconsin Supper Clubs,” there are lists of criteria for supper clubs, only half or so of which I’m guessing any single supper club will ever fulfill. Hoekstra, for instance, says a good supper club “has a dark setting” and that many “were named after the winding highway they sit along,” but when you think back to the supper clubs you’ve been to, I wouldn’t be surprised if neither of these criteria were met at most of the places you visited.

    That said, our experience is that Brandy Old Fashioneds are, indeed, offered at most if not all supper clubs (they’re pretty easy to make and require no special ingredients) and they are also, without a doubt, one of the worst pre-dinner drinks imaginable. I thought a Manhattan (my favorite) was a bad way to start a dinner. A Brandy Old Fashioned is much worst, pairing with few apps except for cheese (which is a Wisconsin thing, so there’s that). At Joey Gerard’s [http://www.joeygerards.com/], I had to finish my Brandy Old Fashioned before my “cannibal sandwich” (steak tartare) arrived: to pair this drink with raw beef makes me quiver with gustatory fear. Still, this steak tartare was very, very good…and at Gerard’s I also had one of the most satisfying soft-shell crabs, ever.

    IMG_5241.JPG Me, with perhaps the finest prime rib I've ever had


    Hoekstra and others also contend a supper club must have a Friday fish fry, and I fully expected to have just that at Five O’Clock [fiveoclocksteakhouse.com/] in Milwaukee. But they don’t offer a Friday fish fry, or any fish fry, at Five O’Clock so I ordered prime rib, which I never order, but this big hunk o’ meat was wonderful. Carolyn and I usually trade dishes mid-meal, but I was very reluctant to give up this stellar, standard-setting steak. Incidentally, though Giovanna felt irked by the “order at the bar” ritual, this procedure also seems common at supper clubs, and it was at Five O’Clock, though I can’t say I see the point: our meal didn’t seem to arrive any faster for having been ordered in advance, and there’s lots of stuff you just can’t make it advance. I think this is mostly ritual for ritual’s sake.

    Opening last November, Supper [http://www.supper.restaurant/] is probably the newest supper club in Wisconsin, and there I did find an Old Fashioned that kind of worked with apps/dinner: a sour (with a splash of citrus juice). At Supper, which is pushing the edges of the traditional supper club menu, the relish tray is rather small, with a few radishes and carrots, but that’s okay: I love a relish tray, but like so much at supper clubs, you just need a little “sign” here and there to remind you that yes, indeed, you are dining at a place that is upholding a tradition which, though it varies from place to place, is still recognizable and, to me, some kind of wonderful.

    It was interesting that many of the restaurants in Hoesktra’s and Faiola’s books do not have the words “Supper Club” in their titles (Faiola told me his personal ideal of a supper club is “Ishnala” in the Dells). Words aside, many places that are not called supper clubs may very well be. We’re going to Gene & Georgetti’s tonight, and I suspect that much of that experience will feel supper-clubby.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #22 - June 9th, 2016, 4:32 pm
    Post #22 - June 9th, 2016, 4:32 pm Post #22 - June 9th, 2016, 4:32 pm
    Since Ray Radigan's closed, I have looking for a supper Club in South East Wisconsin.
    Do you know if your Prime Rib was cut from a whole rib at the time of service or was it a portion controlled product?
    I grew up with the long defunct Alex's on The Water in Menasha Wisconsin where they had a daily lunch & dinner buffet where you went through the buffet tables for your 'go-withs' culminating in a whole rib under a heating lamp cut to your order in front of you.
    I can't deal with portion controlled, mechanically and chemically tenderized meat.
    Most of the Supper Clubs in Northern Wisconsin are widely spaced and the same locals congregate week after week. They get together in the bar to chat about weather, fishing, hunting and snowmobiling, before adjourning to tables to eat, so maybe that's where the idea originated of placing your order and waiting at the bar? I for one have gotton used to it and like it.
    Rene's in Twin Bridge was a long time hangout of ours and I would always see my fishing guide on a Saturday evening in the bar before dinner. Rene's specialty is Tenderloin in a few sizes along with a comprehensive salad bar. Just don't order rare unless you truly want most of the cut uncooked!
    http://twinbridgeresort.com
    -Richard
  • Post #23 - June 10th, 2016, 8:04 am
    Post #23 - June 10th, 2016, 8:04 am Post #23 - June 10th, 2016, 8:04 am
    HI,

    I had a whole event covering quite bit about Wisconsin supper clubs in April. Some of the speakers might be good resources for your article: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=42921

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #24 - June 10th, 2016, 8:47 am
    Post #24 - June 10th, 2016, 8:47 am Post #24 - June 10th, 2016, 8:47 am
    If one is searching for the 'ideal' WI supper club, I think ahead of the ambience, you have to first & foremost concentrate on the food, specifically the entrees. Optional, you would probably like to have one of those funky salad bars with the ham salad and the celery ribs, carrot sticks and hard-boiled eggs.

    Personally, I would pick three 'kind-of' supper clubs I've visited within the Badger State that I dream of returning to if I'm in the vicinity:

    The Packing House, Milwaukee--awesome steaks seasoned just right, sauteed mushrooms a perfect accompaniment. http://packinghousemke.com/

    Wonder Bar Steakhouse, Madison--their fork-tender signature steak looked like that sculpture from Close Encounters. Cheesy hash browns were a hit in this old Outfit hangout. http://wonderbarmadison.com/

    Sky Club Dining, Plover--the real McCoy if you're up near Stevens Point. To set the tone, try a surface tension Absolut martini at their triangular bar. Steaks are good, hell, everything is good but I remember the fresh Red Lake (MN) walleye filet. One of the best pieces of fish I've ever consumed. http://www.skyclubdining.com/


    Good eating!
  • Post #25 - June 10th, 2016, 9:02 am
    Post #25 - June 10th, 2016, 9:02 am Post #25 - June 10th, 2016, 9:02 am
    Cathy2 wrote:HI,

    I had a whole event covering quite bit about Wisconsin supper clubs in April. Some of the speakers might be good resources for your article: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=42921

    Regards,


    This sounds like an event I should have attended...in April, though, I didn't know I'd be writing about supper clubs. Excellent list of speakers (I did interview Bergin and DeRuyter, both very good sources).

    Budrichard, I don't believe the prime ribs were pre-portioned, but whatever they did, it was the right thing to do.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #26 - June 10th, 2016, 9:28 pm
    Post #26 - June 10th, 2016, 9:28 pm Post #26 - June 10th, 2016, 9:28 pm
    justjoan wrote:
    So, I was curious...

    I think it's now known as Anchors Away or Anchor's Away at the Bridge

    http://anchorsawaylodi.com/



    yes, that's it! no giant fried fish ball that i can see on the menu, but the view from the bar should still be terrific![/quote]

    Anchor's Away closed and is now Lucky's on the Lake. http://luckysbarandgrille.com/lake/
    Ms. Ingie
    Life is too short, why skip dessert?
  • Post #27 - June 10th, 2016, 10:10 pm
    Post #27 - June 10th, 2016, 10:10 pm Post #27 - June 10th, 2016, 10:10 pm
    David Hammond wrote:This sounds like an event I should have attended...in April, though, I didn't know I'd be writing about supper clubs. Excellent list of speakers (I did interview Bergin and DeRuyter, both very good sources).

    Ironically, the advertising department at New City-Chicago encouraged us to place an ad. I responded the editorial department took no interest in this event.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #28 - May 21st, 2017, 9:42 pm
    Post #28 - May 21st, 2017, 9:42 pm Post #28 - May 21st, 2017, 9:42 pm
    Taking a meandering path on the way back from a graduation party at the Iowa/Minnesota state line, my wife and I happened upon The Edgewater Supper Club in Jefferson, which is roughly 10 miles north of Fort Atkinson, probably 20 miles NE of Madison.

    FullSizeRender (5).jpg Edgewater Supper Club

    Online reviews on my wife's phone were pretty solid, so when we wound through the backroads & came upon this ramshackle building, I thought it was a mistake.

    FullSizeRender (12).jpg

    FullSizeRender (6).jpg

    But inside, a beautiful burnished bar led to the 'patio' area, which was an add-on built many years ago that had a definitive list to it in the direction of the Rock River. The waiter said it was safe, however, and I trusted him implicitly. At least my three-olive Absolut martini was level.

    FullSizeRender (8).jpg

    FullSizeRender (7).jpg

    Aged steaks were the thing to order here, but first a warm bread loaf and a salad with housemade bleu cheese dressing.

    FullSizeRender (10).jpg

    FullSizeRender (9).jpg

    FullSizeRender (11).jpg

    Finally, from a local butcher in Burlington, WI was the 16-ounce Kansas City bone-in strip, topped with mushrooms, sided with a gigantic 40-count baked Russet and heavenly sauteed Brussel sprouts in bacon, deglazed with balsamic vinegar. Ordered medium rare, truth be told the KC was a cooked a little less than that but I didn't care. With just a tad of salt & pepper, this was a marbled beauty to be reckoned with. A great piece of beef.

    FullSizeRender (13).jpg

    While the current owners have only had The Edgewater since 2013, the building dates back to 1903, and rumor has it--like many, many other Wisconsin supper clubs--that it was a speakeasy and a waystop for the likes of Messrs. Dillinger & Capone in the day. And I was shown the dropbox behind the bar as proof.

    Very interesting little place, solid steaks, reasonably-priced, I'll be back.

    The Edgewater Supper Club
    N3522 County Road K
    Jefferson, WI 53549
    (920) 674-9942

    https://theedgewatersupperclub.com/
    Last edited by jnm123 on May 22nd, 2017, 9:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #29 - May 21st, 2017, 10:58 pm
    Post #29 - May 21st, 2017, 10:58 pm Post #29 - May 21st, 2017, 10:58 pm
    jnm123, what a beautiful little find. The odds of my ever making it up that way are slight, but this looks like a very pleasant place to stop for a drink and a steak. The homemade look of this "club" is quite inviting.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #30 - May 22nd, 2017, 12:29 am
    Post #30 - May 22nd, 2017, 12:29 am Post #30 - May 22nd, 2017, 12:29 am
    Had dinner at Supper in Milwaukee last night. Rye and brandy old fashioned were spot on as was the lazy Susan and the prime rib. Will definitely be back.

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