Last year, we decided to stick close to home for our regular summer trip. Instead of traveling west, we made a “tour du Wisconsin” in the camper.
Our itinerary for our 2015 summer vacation included stays at:
- Devil’s Lake State Park
- Lake Wissota State Park
- Copper Falls State Park
- Kettle Moraine State Forest, Northern Unit
We set off on June 6, our 7th wedding anniversary. First stop — Devil’s Lake State Park for the sole purpose of having our anniversary dinner at the Ishnala Supper Club in the Wisconsin Dells.
Do you know what a supper club is? If you’re not from Wisconsin or haven’t spent substantial time in the state, you probably don’t. A restaurant concept not restricted to Wisconsin — but embraced here more than other places — supper clubs are hard to describe. You just have to experience one for yourself, or read about them here:
- Defining Wisconsin’s supper club culture
- Wisconsin’s supper club culture
- Wisconsin Supper Clubs: An Old-Fashioned Experience [Book & Movie]
We have been dying to visit Ishnala for years, and a last-minute campsite opening at Devil’s Lake on our anniversary provided the perfect opportunity.
Ishnala is nestled on Mirror Lake, adjacent to Mirror Lake State Park. The setting makes the experience. Jason and I have eaten at many supper clubs, and nothing beats the setting of Ishnala.
The bar at Ishnala is classic. First, it juts out from the main restaurant and provides an incredible view of Mirror Lake — which just as the name implies, is like glass most days.
After a couple of Old Fashioneds at the bar — the drink of choice at Wisconsin supper clubs — we were taken to our table. As we were walking through the restaurant, it slowly became apparent that we were being seated at the table at Ishnala! The table featured on the cover of Wisconsin Supper Clubs: An Old-Fashioned Experience. A table for two looking out over the lake! It’s perfect!
For dinner, we started with cheese curds — we need to “test” them at every supper club we visit. They were good cheese curds — not the best we’ve ever had, but we still polished them off. I had the Beef Tenderloin Medallions, which were excellent. Jason did the Prime Rib. Again, not the best prime rib he’s ever had, but still very good.
Overall, we love our first Ishnala experience. The food was not as good as it is at our local Buckhorn Supper Club, but the location and atmosphere trump any supper club we’ve visited (so far … ).