Wisconsin Food Favorites at The American Club
I found piece of heaven, and it’s in northern Wisconsin in January.
A few weekends ago, Ben and I had the opportunity to visit The American Club, a luxury spa and resort located in Kohler, Wisconsin. I was familiar with Kohler as the headquarters of the Kohler Company, as well as the location of Whistling Straits golf course, host to several PGA Championships. What I didn’t realize is that Kohler is also home to the American Club, a place where I would discover some of the best food, service, and hospitality I’ve ever experienced. It’s been rated a Top 100 Golf Resort by Conde Nast Traveler and is the Midwest’s only AAA Five Diamond Resort Hotel.
In addition to being a relaxing, romantic place to spend any weekend, The American Club presents a variety of special events throughout the year, including the Wisconsin Food Favorites weekend, which Ben and I attended. As a transplant to Wisconsin, I’ve become enamored with much of the state’s fare, and the WI Food Faves events highlighted the best of it.
In my recap, I’ll be highlighting both the resort itself, as well as specific WI Food Faves happenings. Overall, I was delighted with our experience, and I can’t recommend The Amercian Club enough.
Though the American Club Resort has many wonderful qualities, the service is what struck me when we first arrived, and it continued to touch me throughout the weekend. I stepped into The Carriage House (the part of the American Club where we stayed), and was immediately greeted with a glass of champagne, quickly followed by a fabulous selection of gourmet munchies waiting in our room.
Every staff member we encountered was incredibly polite and friendly, and they added so many little touches that made our stay feel special. The most over-the-top: coming back to our room and finding the staff had organized all of our toiletries. Spoiled!
Our room was absolutely lovely. Soft, comfortable bed, a bathtub big enough to swim in, and Ben’s personal favorite: a high tech Kohler shower that sprayed water from all sides.
Although outdoor golfing isn’t in season here in Wisconsin at the moment, I did want to note that Kohler is home to two premier golf courses (Whistling Straits and Black Wolf Run), so if it’s a favorite pastime of yours, you have yet another reason to add The American Club to your bucket list. Even in the winter, visitors can enjoy indoor golfing, and the Kohler Golf Academy offers lessons too. Ben took a one-hour private session and found it very helpful.
The American Club offers a range of dining options, and I enjoyed everything we tried. One of the best surprises was the wide selection of fresh seafood in all of the restaurants. It can be challenging to find fresh, high quality seafood in landlocked Wisconsin, but Destination Kohler flies in fresh fish regularly. Two fresh seafood lovers, Ben and I were in paradise.
The Winery Bar
Although I loved everywhere we ate, The Winery Bar was my absolute favorite. The wine selection and expert recommendations would make a vino fan giddy, the craft cocktails were creative and well-balanced, and the food—oh my. In addition to a tasty selection of small plates (and even sushi!), the Winery Bar prides itself on its selection of cheeses, all of which are from Wisconsin. I let the bartender pick our plate and was so happy with his choices. All of the plates were beautifully presented, and I could have happily spoiled my appetite for dinner.
The Immigrant is the resort’s 4-star restaurant. Friends, this is fine dining at its best. I almost felt bad taking a bite, because the food was so beautifully presented. Almost. Our fish was perfectly cooked, and the tuna tartar might as well have been the food of angels.
Black Wolf Run Restaurant
Don’t let the cozy lodge setting of the Black Wolf Run Restaurant run fool you—the food is creative, thoughtfully prepared, and bursting with creative flavors. I’m still dreaming about the scallops.
The Horse and Plow
A gastopub to love, The Horse and Plow offers more than your average classic bar food, an excellent beer selection, and a barbecue pork belly that Ben has brought up every day since we departed. I mean, just look at it. Swoon.
Wisconsin Food Favorites Events
The weekend we visited Kohler was focused on one of its special events, Wisconsin Food Favorites. While Wisconsin does have phenomenal cheese (which we thoroughly sampled throughout the weekend), it also is home to others that you might not expect.
Stack and Pour Maple-It-Up Breakfast
Alternative title: The Brunch of All Brunches. From house-made croissants, to quiche, to banana bourbon bread pudding, this buffet, held in the resort’s beautiful Wisconsin Room truly offered something for everyone, including (are you ready for this?) made to order crème Brule French toast (!).
Pure maple syrup, a brunch essential, is a source of pride in Wisconsin, and once you’ve tasted it, nothing but the real stuff will do. Meuer Farm, a 150-acre family owned farm, provided the syrup for the brunch, along with homegrown oats. Each of these bottles is liquid gold.
To go along with it, we had fantastic applewood smoked bacon and sausage from Jones Dairy Farm. This is Ben’s second helping:
Cooking with Wisconsin Cheeses Kitchen Demonstration
We went from eating to learning combined with eating at the Kohler Demonstration Kitchen. The Immigrant restaurant’s lead chef Matt Bauer showed us three incredible ways to cook with Wisconsin cheese, culminating in a roasted mushroom and blue cheese macaroni and cheese with Parmesan bread crumbs. After the Stack and Pour Brunch, I told myself that I couldn’t eat another bite….and then I cleaned this plate, along with two others.
One of the best parts of the demonstration was Chef Matt himself. He was so open, fun, and even made time to chat with us after the demonstration.
The Wisconsin Room Tea Party
I have a major weakness for homemade jam. To me, it is one of the most loving treats than can come from any kitchen, and I cherish it for giving us a taste of summer in cold winter months. The Wisconsin Room hosted a charming tea featuring Betram’s James, Jellies, and More, and the loveliest part of all was the company’s owner herself, Jayne, whose passion for and dedication to her product was inspiring.
Old Fashioned Demonstration
As many old fashioneds as I have sipped since moving to Wisconsin, I didn’t know the history of the drink until we attended this demonstration, hosted by Death’s Door Spirits. As it turns out, an “old fashioned” is more of a general formula that can be applied to any spirit, and the pre-prohibition version was much boozier than the post-prohibition, which I can now vouch for personally.
Public Service Announcement: If you are looking for a gin that even non-gin drinkers will enjoy, check out Death’s Door gin, a personal fave.
Taste of Wisconsin at the Kohler Design Center
At the Kohler Design Center, we took an up-close look at some of Kohler’s most innovative products—and I shopped for my dream kitchen and bathroom.
I also learned that a giant wall of toilets can awe.
For the weekend’s closing event, the design center was filled with all manners of Wisconsin wines, beers, cheeses, and treats, and I felt proud to live in a state with so many wonderful local products to enjoy.
Don’t You Dare Miss:
Craverie Chocolatier Café
From the above WI Food Faves recap, you might suspect that I didn’t have room for dessert, but one step into the Craverie Chocolatier Café affirmed that there is always room for chocolate. From fantastic homemade toffees, to truffles of all flavors, to gooey clusters of nuts and caramel, Kohler Chocolates has a sweet for every tooth. After through “investigation,” I can say with confidence that Kohler offers some of the best chocolates I’ve tried, and they make fantastic gifts too.
Kohler Waters Spa
I’d like to say I saved the best for last with the Craverie Chocolatier Café, but it does have some competition in the form of the Kohler Waters Spa. Located at The Carriage House just a few floors down from our room, the spa is tranquil, relaxing, and seamlessly integrated with the facility. Guests can comfortably walk directly from their rooms to the spa in their bathrobes and slippers, a policy I wish every public establishment would emulate. The Head to Glow and Rockin’ Morracan Pedicure left me feeling pampered and at ease with the world, and the French macarons and lemon tart from The Carriage House tea room I brought back to my room afterwards made it official: I could happily live at The American Club for the rest of my life.
Kohler and The American Club truly offers something for everyone. If you are looking to spend a few days in total relaxation, prefer to be more active (you’ll find a variety of outdoor activities in both winter and summer), or enjoy a blend of both, you will cherish your time at this resort. With superior service, dining, and atmosphere, The American Club is truly a special place, and I feel so grateful to have been able to experience it. Whether it’s for a romantic weekend, fun girls trip, or another special foodie event, I truly hope to return soon.
In the meantime, I have the Kohler Chocolates online store bookmarked.
Ready to visit The American Club? Check out these upcoming events:
- Kohler Festival of Beer, May 29-31
- New Kohler Waters Spa Service Menu, Starting May 1
- PGA Championship, August 10-16
- Kohler Food & Wine Experience, October 22-25
Thank you Destination Kohler for hosting Ben and myself for this special weekend. No monetary compensation was received, and I was under no obligation to write this post. As always, all opinions are my own, and I truly cherished my weekend at The American Club.