Monday, August 15, 2016

Wisconsin Supper Clubs: An Experience to Last a Lifetime

I still remember it well. I was about 10- or 11-years-old when I took my first trip to a supper club. It was a Friday night – it was always a Friday night when we went to one – and I truly couldn’t contain my excitement.

I’d heard so much about them until then. Who hadn’t? They were basically a rite of passage as a Wisconsinite. The ambiance. The incredible food. The drinks, alcoholic or otherwise, and the entertainment. They were all intoxicating to take in. I was mesmerized.

Dinner at a supper club is an experience not to be missed.

For those of you who are not familiar with supper clubs, they open for business late in the afternoon (typically around 3 p.m.) for what’s known as the “cocktail hour.” Brandy Old-Fashioned sweet and Manhattans are often the libations of choice. For me as a child, however, nothing beat a Shirley Temple with lots and lots of cherries.

Dinner service starts at about 5 p.m. The meal begins with a relish tray with crinkle cut carrots as the centerpiece of the entire presentation. This is quickly followed by a bread basket: dinner rolls, breadsticks and crackers with butter. I mention the butter because it is common practice to apply the butter to your crackers more so than your bread.

The main course du jour is either prime rib, surf and turf or fried fish or shrimp, each with heaping servings of salad and baked potatoes or fries.

No dinner is complete without a post-meal ice cream drink, and live entertainment in the form of a polka or big band.

As you plan your next visit to Wisconsin, remember to include a visit to one of these top supper clubs to your itinerary.  You won’t be disappointed.

Five O’clock Steakhouse, 2416 W. State Street, Milwaukee (414) 342-3511
Five O’ Clock Steakhouse has been a family-owned and independently operated Milwaukee supper club since 1946. It’s been named “One of America’s Best Steakhouses” by TV host Rachael Ray and The Travel Channel’s “Steak Paradise 3.” It was also voted one of the “Top 100 Steakhouses in America” by OpenTable Diners’ Choice 2014.

The HobNob, 277 S. Sheridan Road, Racine (262) 552-8008
Established in 1954, the HobNob has the ambiance of a classic Wisconsin Supper Club, and prides itself on serving what it considers the "Best Food in Town." 

The Buckhorn Supper Club, 11802 N. Charley Bluff Road, Milton (608) 868-2653
The Buckhorn has been serving guests for over 80 years, on the shores of Lake Koshkonong. The beautiful sunset view over the lake is nearly as magical as the supper club itself.

About the Author:
Andrea Hubbert is a proud Wisconsinite who loves to share her state’s hidden gems. 

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