Tag Archives: supper club

Supper Clubbing

Jason and I have been going old school lately, hitting up the supper club scene.

In case you aren’t familiar, supper clubs are a Wisconsin tradition. These old-fashioned, fine-dining restaurants are often family-owned. The food is focused on comfort, with steak and fish the stars of the show. They are the common backdrop for my beloved Friday fish fry.

Growing up in Wisconsin, I frequented local supper clubs with my parents. I have fond memories of dinners at the Black Stallion, a hometown supper club that closed probably 20 years ago. I sipped my kiddie cocktail while my parents enjoyed their drinks of choice – a brandy old-fashioned for mom, a brandy manhattan for dad. Then there was the beer sign along the back wall of the bar area, a lit-up rotating northwoods scene (like a Hamm’s Scene-o-Rama). The whole thing is pure Wisconsin nostalgia.

Lately, Jason and I have been enjoying the Buckhorn Supper Club. We ate there for our February date night, and we invited our friends Lisa and Patrick to meet up with us there last weekend.

Buckhorn Supper Club

Being creatures of habit, both Jason and I had the same meals each time. Jason is all about their prime rib. And thanks to my dinner during our visit to Shenandoah National Park, I have been on a trout kick. On our first visit to the Buckhorn, I had the trout stuffed with a crab cake. The second time, I went with the simple broiled trout.

There are so many supper clubs we would like to visit. Maybe we’ll make this a summer of supper clubs  🙂

Our First Candlelight Hike

One of the things I want to do in 2012 is have regular “date nights” with Jason. It’s not that we don’t spend time with one another – we’re together a lot. But most of the time, we hang out at home. If we go out for dinner, it’s often a random decision based more on laziness than specialness. We’ll switch off each month planning our date night – January was my month.

For our inaugural date night, I chose the 5 O’Clock Club for dinner followed by a candlelight hike at nearby Lapham Peak in the Kettle Moraine State Forest.

The 5 O’Clock Club is supper club in Pewaukee (outside of Milwaukee). I trolled around Urbanspoon looking for good options near Lapham Peak, and I found this to be the best option based on ratings and the menu. Jason is a supper club kind of guy.

I started my meal with the homemade rosemary fries with garlic aioli. OMG! These were incredible! The fries were seasoned just right, and the garlic aioli added the right punch of flavor. I highly recommend these fries. Jason ordered mozzarella sticks. They were made with wonton wrappers, and Jason liked that a stick of fried cheese could taste lighter.

For my entree, I went with the chicken caesar salad. I got adventurous and added anchovies. The salad was good, not great. I was kind of surprised I didn’t like it more based on how salty it was. The kalamata olives and anchovies were a bit much even for me. Jason had the “classic cluck,” a large, fried chicken half. It was massive! The meat was very juicy, but the fried batter wasn’t super flavorful. We finished our dinner with a tasty – and free – slice of cheesecake. It was a good ending to a nice meal.

After dinner, we headed to Lapham Peak. Jason and I had never visited this unit of the Kettle Moraine, so we weren’t completely sure where we were going. After entering the park, we turned into the first parking lot we saw – a lot full of cars and people walking around. We got out of the car and walked towards what appeared to be the trail. I was mildly concerned that everyone had skis – it was a ski/hike event. There was also no candlelight, but actual lights. We didn’t see any signage and no one said anything, so we started off on our hike.

About 10 minutes down the trail, a cross-country skier stopped us and kindly let us know that other skiers would likely get upset with us walking on the cross-country trail. We explained our confusion, and he pointed us further down the road. We were grateful that someone guided us – not one of the other people we passed, including the person at the entrance section, bothered to point us in the right direction. So, we high-tailed it back to the car and headed down the road. We quickly found ourselves in the right location.

The trail was a one-mile loop lit with milk jug luminaries. Temperatures were around 10°, but I managed to stay warm in my Columbia thermal base layers – long sleeve top and tights – and Heat Elite jacket.

We hiked for about half an hour. It was tougher than I anticipated – the snow really throws off one’s balance – and it made for a good workout. Jason and I were both sore on Sunday. Some people did have snowshoes, but I didn’t think using my snowshoes for the first time in the dark was such a good idea. Maybe next time.

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