Helpful ReplyHot!Wisconsin Supper Clubs

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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2016/03/27 18:00:52 (permalink)
ScreamingChicken
I came across this article while doing some research for a trip next month.


And not real far from Monroe Wisconsin!
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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2016/06/04 21:07:40 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby JRPfeff 2016/06/04 23:36:16
The last thing I wanted was to get in a fight,
In Jackson County, Wisco on a Saturday night,
'Specially when there was 6 of them and only 1 of me.
 
Sorry, Charlie.
 
2 Saturdays ago I was in my ancestral home of Black River Falls and when I asked the motel owner about supper clubs in the area he immediately mentioned Castle Hill, so after getting settled I headed north on US-12/WI-27 for a late dinner.

 

 
In keeping with Supper Club Protocol I immediately headed for the bar and this comforting sight (and I don't mean the TV).  Note the old-school checkerboard ceiling!

 
Nobody likes a dry whistle.  I've had boozier BOFs before but this one had a nice balance, and with Castle Hill being well out in the country it's not a bad idea to pour the drinks so your customers can enjoy a couple without having to worry about getting home.

 
I'm pretty sure I was the youngest person at the bar (and I'm AARP-eligible) and my camera definitely attracted some attention and friendly banter from the locals; I even overheard one woman say to her husband, "Maybe he's with that supper club book."  And the owner (at least I think she is) didn't exactly look thrilled when one of the regulars told her to turn around so she could have her picture taken.
 
But all good things have to come to an end and eventually my corner table was ready.

 
Some supper clubs I've visited use plain white paper placemats but Castle Hill does it the right way.  I'm not sure why "famous" is in quotes, as from what I can tell the only other famous thing in Jackson County is the Nekkid People Orgy Camp just down the road.

 
I glanced at the menu but already knew what I wanted: prime rib for the entree and French onion soup to start.  What's that...there's no FOS tonight and the only choice is chicken noodle?  I must've had a fairly dumbfounded look on my face (I suppose the old fashioneds could've had something to do with that) as the server quickly assured me that Castle Hill's homemade soups are quite good.  I suppose I'll give it a try...

He wasn't selling me a bill of goods, as this was a cup of excellent soup.  Well-seasoned and flavorful with big, soft noodles, I didn't miss the onion version at all.  Well, maybe just a little bit.
 
Time to get down to business.  On the menu this was listed as a 12-ounce cut but it sure seemed like more than that, and like most prime rib it was fairly ordinary in the center with the crust having to do some heavy lifting.  Fortunately whatever Castle Hill does for the crust works well, as it had a lot of flavor and I found myself trying to cut the meat in such a way as to give me a little bit of crust in every bite.

 
The hash browns I chose as my side were quite good, too.  Crisp and crunchy on the outside and soft and potatoey on the inside, I didn't leave any behind.

 
From what I could tell Castle Hill doesn't offer relish trays and I don't recall seeing cracker baskets, although I did receive a couple of rolls that I managed to avoid because I didn't want to take up stomach space.
 
Now for the interesting twist.  The following Monday I mentioned Castle Hill to our office manager, as she's originally from that part of the state and told me that she's eaten at Castle Hill several times.  But then she said, "I think Jim's in-laws own it."  Jim is one of our salesmen so I asked him about it a few days later, and he confirmed that he is indeed married to the owners' daughter.  How weird is that!
post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2016/06/05 00:08:34
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Ketteract
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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2016/06/05 03:38:48 (permalink)
Haruka
It is a special type of swanky and snazzy restaurant only open from 4:00pm to 10:00pm and usually closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. It is typically operated by a husband and wife with the living quarters above the restaurant. Men should definitely wear a sports jacket and probably a tie ...
 
During the heyday of supper clubs, dining was at a leisurely pace. Expectations were for having a few drinks ... Then the diners would be entertained by a pianist and a singer. So. A person could easily spend three or four hours. 




That sounds just delightful.  The closest thing I can find to this in CT is The 9th Note "Jazz and Supper Club" in Stamford.  It looks rather swanky, it has live entertainment, its food seems upscale, and it's designed so that patrons while away an entire evening there - it would appear to have the spirit of what you describe, though I've no idea how close it comes to matching the food and dress standards of yore.
 
All that being said... I'd love to go to any of the places that ScreamingChicken and others have mentioned.  I'm just as fascinated by this apparent intermediate category, which retains some of the old supper club characteristics, and keeps the label, but has definitely changed to meet modern dining experiences.  
post edited by Ketteract - 2016/06/05 03:46:09
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joerogo
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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2016/06/05 09:41:39 (permalink)
ScreamingChicken
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  And the owner (at least I think she is) didn't exactly look thrilled when one of the regulars told her to turn around so she could have her picture taken.

 

Santa's Protege didn't look to please either!
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ScreamingChicken
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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2016/06/11 09:50:31 (permalink)
Ketteract
All that being said... I'd love to go to any of the places that ScreamingChicken and others have mentioned.  I'm just as fascinated by this apparent intermediate category, which retains some of the old supper club characteristics, and keeps the label, but has definitely changed to meet modern dining experiences.

The next time you're back in the QC and have some extra time on your hands, head on up to the Dubuque/SW WI region.  I don't know when you were last up around there, but 61's an easy drive and that area seems to have a number of choices.
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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2016/07/01 21:50:34 (permalink)
If I may, I'd like to take a moment to make a point about supper clubs.  But not just any point...a Hi Point.

 
Located just outside of Ridgeway, WI and literally a stone's throw from US-18/151, Hi Point has been around for over 70 years.

 

 
Has it been decided that high-back barstools are required for supper clubs?

 
You knew this was bound to happen.  Not too strong, this BOFS had a nice mix of flavors and because I want to make sure I report only the facts, I had a second one just to be sure.

 
Corner table for one, please.

 
I didn't receive a relish tray but neglected to check out the salad bar to see if it contained any traditional relish tray favorites.  My bad.
 
However, I did receive a warm, crisp, pillowy bun to start things off.

 
French onion soup is an upcharge item when ordered in place of the soup du jour, and for an extra $1.49 I received a large crock filled with hearty broth and soft onions.  Money well spent!

 
It was a Saturday night (afternoon, really, as I was the first diner of the day) so that meant one thing: prime rib as rare as I can get it!  This was an excellent piece of beef, with one of the most peppery crusts I've encountered on prime rib in a long, long time...maybe even ever.

 
Hash browns also cost a little extra when ordered in place of baked or garlic smashed potatoes, but they were as crispy outside and creamy inside as they should've been.

 
Dessert?  None for me, but I can tell you that the Kahlua coffee cake at the upper right was appreciated by Mrs. Chicken.  After all, since she was at work while I was out for dinner it was the least I could do.

 
I did close out the evening with a grasshopper, which wasn't quite as white as it appears here.  I've had stronger ones (and to be honest, I don't think it's possible to use too much creme de menthe) but the presentation in the martini glass was perfect.

 
Not to be overlooked, the service was outstanding in both the bar and the dining room.  I don't think I got the bartender's name but Megan was my server and she did an excellent job.
 
Kudos to JRPfeff for mentioning Hi Point a few months back and getting it on my radar.  It's just under 50 miles from my house so it's not a place I'd frequent, but I'd absolutely return for another meal.  Come to think of it, they have fried chicken on the menu...
post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2016/07/01 21:57:03
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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2016/07/01 21:58:13 (permalink)
Awesome stuff as usual, Brad. 
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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2016/07/01 22:26:33 (permalink)
WOW!  Sounds like a  great dining event!
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ann peeples
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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2016/07/02 10:30:10 (permalink)
Everything looks wonderful!
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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2016/07/02 19:04:38 (permalink)
Great looking food!
Michael Hoffman
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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2016/07/02 20:13:34 (permalink)
You drink Grasshoppers? Anybody who'd drink a Grasshopper would drink a Pink Squirrel.
ScreamingChicken
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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2016/07/02 21:16:29 (permalink)
Thanks for the kind words!
 
Michael, when I was sitting at the bar at Castle Hill a Pink Squirrel did get ordered...but not by me.
Michael Hoffman
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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2016/07/02 21:29:51 (permalink)

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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2016/07/02 21:48:06 (permalink)
The prime rib and hash browns look great.
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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2016/07/03 12:12:40 (permalink)
Everything there looks great. Especially like the look of that onion soup. That's a favourite for me.
ScreamingChicken
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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2016/07/12 13:32:21 (permalink)
Thanks!  It was certainly a classic Saturday night supper club dinner.
 
Recently while planning our annual vacation I came across Silvercryst and thought it would be perfect for an overnight stay.  Unfortunately the motel's completely booked that night so a visit will have to wait for another time, but it's definitely on the list!
ScreamingChicken
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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2017/01/20 19:57:55 (permalink)
While many supper clubs are standalone structures, often outside of the incorporation limits, some are located right in town.  Such is the case with Fredrick's Supper Club (formerly Luke's) in Milton, about a 17-mile drive from home for me.

 
Fredrick's has the required absence of illumination.

 
Even though I ordered it sweet my Old Fashioned was one of the less sweet ones I've come across, but still good.

 
A warm mini-loaf was quickly delivered to my table and was accompanied by an excellent tomato-parmesan compound butter.  Good stuff!

 

 
Fredrick's occupies a fairly small space so I didn't see a salad bar and there was no relish tray, but I did have the standard soup-or-salad option.  As it was Saturday I upgraded to the baked French onion and received a crock of rich, slightly salty, onion-laden broth.  Between this and the bread I could've easily gotten by without an entree.

 

 
But the idea of a Saturday night dinner without an entree is pretty silly, and since the special was an 8-oz. slice of prime rib with 3 grilled or fried shrimp I knew exactly what I was going to have.  The beef was nicely tender and had an excellent crust like prime rib should, and the shrimp were lightly seasoned and cooked just right.

 
Fredrick's gets bonus points for having good potato pancakes, which were tender and not too oniony.

 
This was a very enjoyable dinner and the service was also excellent (thanks, Lindsey) and I'd definitely go back.  And maybe even take Mrs. C along!
post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2017/01/20 19:59:19
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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2017/01/20 20:26:22 (permalink)
Maybe you should take me for the celebritory World Series Championship Cubs dinner.  
ScreamingChicken
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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2017/01/20 21:47:32 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby joerogo 2017/01/21 10:30:44
ChiTownDiner
Maybe you should take me for the celebritory World Series Championship Cubs dinner.

Can I refill your soda for you?  Get you some prime rib to eat?  Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?
ChiTownDiner
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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2017/01/20 22:13:00 (permalink)
ScreamingChicken
ChiTownDiner
Maybe you should take me for the celebritory World Series Championship Cubs dinner.

Can I refill your soda for you?  Get you some prime rib to eat?  Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?




Two outta three ain't bad.....
BuddyRoadhouse
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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2017/01/21 01:51:26 (permalink)
Now boys, you know The Contingent's rules: We can talk about politics, sex, and religion, but the Bears and Packers are off limits.  Do we need to add the Cubs and White Sox to that list?  May as well toss in the Brewers while we're at it.
 
Buddy
 
 
ChiTownDiner
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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2017/01/21 07:29:35 (permalink)
BuddyRoadhouse
Now boys, you know The Contingent's rules: We can talk about politics, sex, and religion, but the Bears and Packers are off limits.  Do we need to add the Cubs and White Sox to that list?  May as well toss in the Brewers while we're at it.
 
Buddy
 
 




Brewers have already been tossed up!  And who are the White Sox?  I think the Boston team is the Red Sox....
ScreamingChicken
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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2017/02/09 18:49:15 (permalink)
A couple of weeks ago I traveled northeast for my annual visit to Appleton and this year I decided to hit a Calumet County (or close to it) supper club.  County Road Q took me into Johnsburg and Blanck's Supper Club.

 
But Blanck's wasn't my destination; perhaps someday it will be but I had my sights set on St. Anna and Schwarz's Supper Club.

 
The view from my seat at the bar.  In traditional fashion diners check in and order at the bar, and then head into the dining room when called.  Notice the Korbel bottle at the ready.

 
Might as well put that bottle to use, right?  Schwarz's mixes a nice Old Fashioned with a good sweetness and decent kick.

 
Fortunately my table was in the corner of the dining room, which gave me a nice view.  Schwarz's was already in the Valentine's Day spirit.

 
When diners are directed to their tables the salad, dressing, relish tray, and bread basket are already set up.  I declined the salad (ChiBears15's heart is breaking) but fortunately the dressing caddy was left on the table.  From top left I'm thinking creamy Italian, blue cheese, French, and ranch.

 
The cherry pepper, gherkin, and most of the black olives were missing when the tray was removed.

 
While I'm not certain I think these might've been asiago cheese rolls, and they were quite good.

 
Normally a soup shot would go here but Schwarz's interestingly doesn't have soup...well, at least on Friday nights.  I didn't think to ask if it's available other nights but I don't see it on the menu, either.
 
I actually ordered 2 dinners: the 2-piece perch plate and the 2-piece dark chicken plate.  The kitchen was nice enough to give me 1 piece of breaded perch (left) and 1 piece of beer-battered perch.

 
I liked the battered perch well enough but it was a little more oily than the breaded perch, which was extremely good.  And the broasted chicken was absolutely top-notch as it was nicely seasoned, crispy, and juicy.  Winner winner combo dinner!
 
One Calumet County supper club down, 30-some to go...
post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2017/02/09 23:18:37
ann peeples
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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2017/02/09 19:45:01 (permalink)
Love that place! Went there a few times while living in Sheboygan.
ScreamingChicken
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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2017/02/11 10:01:27 (permalink)
And here I thought I'd picked a place that nobody here had ever been to!
 
What about Roepke's Village Inn?  It's on my list of possible stops next year.
ann peeples
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RE: Wisconsin Supper Clubs 2017/02/11 13:44:15 (permalink)
Was never there, Brad, but the menu looks good!
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