One of my favorite places to go for a quick weekend respite is to The American Club Resort in Kohler, Wisconsin. The American Club hotel was built in 1918 to house the Kohler Company’s immigrant workers, and is now a member of the Historic Hotels of America. It is also the only Forbes Five-Star resort hotel in Wisconsin and the Midwest’s only AAA Five Diamond resort hotel. Well known for its professional-level golf courses, Whistling Straights and Blackwolf Run, as well as its Kohler Waters Spa, The American Club’s restaurants are worthy of a trip in their own right.
Prior to dinner, I recommend enjoying a glass or two of wine in The Winery Bar, a cozy and warm room with dark woods and dim lighting. In addition to a number of delicious cocktails, the wine list boasts nearly 500 different label selections, including many that are unique to The American Club due to the limited production of wine made. You can pair your wine with a wide selection of award-winning cheeses exclusive to Wisconsin, as well. I recommend ordering a bottle of wine from The Winery Bar and having it sent to The Wisconsin Room to have during dinner, as the wine menu in The Wisconsin Room is much more limited. If Jeremiah is your bartender, you are in very good hands. A sommelier is also on hand to offer thoughtful recommendations.
Located directly upstairs from The Winery Room is The Wisconsin Room, a large dining room that used to serve as the dining hall to the immigrant workers in the early 1900s. It evokes a club-like feel with high ceilings, dark woods, wall tapestries, and carpeted floors. Service is outstanding. Food allergies and intolerances, as well as dietary restrictions, are noted at the beginning of the meal and accommodated without hesitation. The cuisine in The Wisconsin Room features locally sourced products that are prepared artfully, yet simply, in order to let the true flavors of the food shine. The farm-to-table dinner menu highlights the region’s meat, fish, and produce, and highlights the flavors of the season.
To begin, both the seasonal soup, on our visit butternut squash, and the ceasar salad, are delicious. The soup was served tableside in a modern, architectural bowl. The salad arrived looking like a piece of art with full romaine leaves tucked inside a large spherical crouton, much like a napkin is held by its ring. Four fresh anchovies were criss-crossed on either side of the lettuce. With just a squeeze of lemon, the flavors blended harmoniously.
Entrees are equally fresh, beautiful, and outstanding. The Crystal Springs rainbow trout was cooked perfectly, and served atop black beluga lentils and winter vegetables. No knife was needed as the fish was extremely tender. The whole dish was as equally hearty as it was healthy. The sea scallops were just as good – meaty and tender and accompanied by a seasonal squash salad. All meats on the menu are naturally raised and Niman Ranch Prime Beef is exclusively used. Many of the dishes appeal to the resort’s spa-goers and are either naturally lower in calories or have a low carbohydrate content.
Instead of ordering dessert, we elected to return to the comfortable Winery Bar for after dinner drinks. Jeremiah made an exquisite salted caramel chocolate martini that sated my sweet tooth. A large number of dessert wines and cordials are available, as well.
Overall, everything about The American Club was exceptional, including the food and beverage program, and I cannot wait to return.