A Squared: 48 Hours in Wisconsin: Dining in Kohler

Monday, November 11, 2013

48 Hours in Wisconsin: Dining in Kohler

A vacation recap wouldn't be complete if we didn't talk about food.

We only stayed at the American Club for one night, but when we were planning our visit the one thing I knew I wanted to do there was to dine at The Immigrant Restaurant. We knew that the Milwaukee leg of our trip would be more casual, so we decided to try something a little more special for dinner here.

The Immigrant is a Four Diamond restaurant tucked away on the lower level of the American Club-- it's kind of spooky and old fashioned and romantic all at the same time. The restaurant includes a wine bar at the entry and then six separate dining rooms each decorated in the traditional styles of the people that emigrated to and settled Wisconsin: French, Dutch, Normandy, Danish, English, and then the German room where we were seated for the evening.

The restaurant is formal, but it doesn't feel stuffy. The staff was wonderful and had lots of great information when I quizzed them about the menu. The menu is creative and upscale, but still rooted in traditional American cuisine and built around local seasonal Wisconsin ingredients. In order to sample it all and get the full experience, Alex and I decided to take on the restaurant's five course tasting menu. And I can't say enough about how delicious it was!  Here's a peek at what we ate...

*Photography apologies: It was SO dimly lit and I was a little nervous to use a flash in a place like this!

First course: A Tasmanian red crab cake topped with a soft boiled egg, asparagus, and lobster hollandaise sauce. This was definitely my favorite course! It was really rich, the egg was perfectly cooked, and crab cakes are one of my favorite foods.

Second Course: A chilled carrot and coconut curry soup served with a a carrot and jalapeno beignet and grilled pineapple relish. This was the course I was most nervous about Alex possibly not enjoying, but I think he was pleasantly surprised! This dish had such an interesting combo of flavors: sweet, spicy, curry, coconut... I also wasn't expecting a chilled fall soup, but this worked really well.

Third course: President brie and prosciutto crepinette served over petite greens, Belgian endive, and cantaloupe jam in a postachio vinaigrette. This was a warm little chunk of brie that was tightly wrapped in prosciutto so that when you cut into it the cheese was all melty... so delicious.

Fourth course: A duo of Berkshire pork. Cured pork belly and slices of roasted tenderloin were served with a roasted baby tomatoes, basil potato puree, and a smoked tomato demi-glace. This was probably my second favorite course of the evening-- both pork preparations were cooked perfectly. The belly was not as fatty as usual and tasted like bacon, while the tenderloin was super tender.

Fifth course: Dessert! A deconstructed banana split consisting of strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla ice cream with bruleed bananas, pineapple compote, peanut butter powder, and caramelized whipped cream. It was totally weird, but really good-- and that caramelized banana? Just give me a bowlful of those with some vanilla ice cream and I would be all set.

One of my favorite things about fancy restaurants is that just when you think you are done eating, they continue to surprise you with more food! When we were paying, they brought out these adorable bite sized cranberry tartlets and then sent us on our way with little bags of Kohler Garden Ganache truffles.
The Immigrant Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Well, after that lengthy and filling dinner we (understandably) ended up sleeping right through breakfast. Oops.

Instead of rushing down to a late breakfast, we decided to catch an early lunch before we hit the road. We stopped into the Horse & Plow, the American Club's onsite pub for a more laidback lunch. The place has a very casual English pub vibe and was perfect for us that afternoon-- especially when we found fried cheese curds on the menu! When in Wisconsin..., right? These cheese curds were very good and a little bit different-- big, fluffy breading, and the curds were yellow! I'm so used to seeing white cheese that the yellow color was a bit of a fun surprise. They are served with this crazy rich and tasty ranch dip that our waitress informed us is housemade by the chef: ranch seasoning, buttermilk, and sour cream. Wow.

Because I clearly can't get enough cheese, I ordered their sandwich, salad, and soup combo, which includes their signature Wisconsin beer cheese soup. If you're not from the Midwest, beer cheese soup (and cheese curds) is a big thing here-- a creamy cheese soup with great beer flavor in the background usually garnished with bacon or croutons. This one was served with a simple side salad and half of a chicken salad sandwich.
Horse & Plow on Urbanspoon

The Immigrant Restaurant and the Horse & Plow are both located at the American Club resort in Kohler, Wisconsin.


  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the Kohler Club. I haven't been there in quite a while but after reading your review, I think it's time to make another visit. It's beautiful at Christmas and they do have a chocolate tasting weekend in February which is totally worth experiencing. :) @impeccableimage

    1. Kimberly, I loved it! Would loved to have stayed for a lot longer-- or to have been there for the Food & Wine Festival. Perhaps I need to head up and check out the chocolate weekend though. I bet Kohler is gorgeous in the snow! :)


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