What's Your Favorite Wisconsin Supper Club?

Ron Faiola is a filmmaker and author.

Ron Faiola is a filmmaker and author who has produced and directed numerous critically acclaimed documentaries and is the author of Wisconsin Supper Clubs: An Old-Fashioned Experience.

That question is a great conversation starter anywhere you go in Wisconsin, guaranteed to produce many comments and recommendations. Having been to more than 50 supper clubs around the state myself, I get asked that question a lot and I always reply: "It's hard to say."

And honestly, how could I pick just one? Each is unique, whether it's the décor or the personality of the families who run it. Then there are the drinks, the food and the best relish tray or biggest salad bar ever. And how about that scenic view of Lake Amazing or that wonderful middle-of-nowhere location or neighborhood hot spot? That's the beauty of the Wisconsin supper club experience: there are plenty to choose from, and each is special in its own way.

Since I can't narrow my favorite supper club down to just one place, I'll tell you about the food: some of my favorite dishes and experiences from my travels.

At Shaffer Park Resort and Supper Club on the Peshtigo River in Crivitz, people love the fried chicken, walleye and perch. Made with Grandma Shaffer's secret recipe, the moist, plump chicken is fried in lard. It's the best I've ever had.

The lobster boil at the Buckhorn Supper Club in Milton is not to be missed. The lobsters are fresh caught and flown first class (so I've heard) from Maine the day before, placed in a kettle of boiling water, and served up after the big flame-over finale. With a beautiful view of Lake Koshkonong it doesn't get any better than this.

At the Indianhead Supper Club in Balsam Lake, chef Roark Flenniken presented me with amazing seafood including crab cakes, shrimp lollipops, and the real highlight: scallops served over his homemade saffron ravioli stuffed with spinach and cheese. Truly superb.

Finally, one of my most unique dining experiences was at the 3 Mile House in Hazel Green where I tried deep-fried turtle, fresh-caught from the Mississippi River. It was a little intimidating at first, but very tasty - the flavor reminded me of dark-meat turkey.

There's so much more to experience, so take some time for a nice evening out at a Wisconsin supper club. And save a place at the table for me. Scallops Indianhead Supper Club Balsam Lake

Ron Faiola is a filmmaker and author who has produced and directed numerous critically acclaimed documentaries, such as "Wisconsin Supper Clubs" and "Fish Fry Night Milwaukee." He is the president and founder of Push Button Gadget, Inc., which has been specializing in multimedia and business theater production for nearly 20 years. Wisconsin Supper Clubs: An Old-Fashioned Experience (Agate Midway 2013) is his first book.

This entry was posted in Dining, Restaurants, Local Foods