Wisconsin is famous for many things – Beer, schnitzels, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesen, cheese curds, the Green Bay Packers, the Dells, Friday fish frys, and supper clubs. Of these it’s Wisconsin’s supper clubs that make me long for a leisurely road trip through America’s Dairyland.
There is no exact definition of a Wisconsin supper club. It’s an “I know it when I see it” kind of place. A working definition might be that a supper club has a large bar and dining room with live entertainment, is only open for supper, serves large portions of traditional American food, is often located in rural parts of the state near a lake or resort, and is typically themed in some fashion. An excellent example of a classic supper club is the Hobnob in Racine not far from Chicago.
Another clue that you’re in a true supper club is the serving of a unique Wisconsin cocktail, the Brandy Old Fashioned. Unlike Old Fashioned’s elsewhere, the Wisconsin version uses brandy instead of rye or bourbon and is very sweet – even when you order it ‘sour.’
The linked articles above are terrific introductions to Wisconsin’s supper clubs located throughout the state.
Cheese curds, anyone?
- AN OLD FASHIONED IDEA: Author delves into the great stories behind our beloved supper clubs (wiscnews.com)
- Wisconsin cheese curds: America’s best regional food? (usatoday.com)