Danish people have a word for feeling cozy, convivial, and content — “hygge.” Wisconsinites have two words to define the feeling — “supper clubs.”
This winter, when it’s dark and chilly, escape to these Wisconsin supper clubs and dine next to their crackling fires. You’ll feel like you’re being wrapped in a warm hug. These supper clubs’ legendary friendliness, local charm, brandy old fashioned’s, and farm fresh comfort food bring hygge to a new level.
Even with all the trademarks of a traditional supper club — rural setting, history dating to the Prohibition, inviting bar, relish tray, delicious steak and homemade desserts — the Duck Inn Supper Club stands out with its 24-foot stone fireplace in the main dining room. The rest of Duck Inn’s decor accentuates this coziness, with twinkle lights lining the ceilings and wood paneled walls insulating against the outside.
The Duck Inn’s fish fry and prime rib are popular, but the duck dishes are standout. Consider ordering the cashew duck breast with apricot drizzle or apple brandy glazed duck on spaetzle.
Pinewood Supper Club offers picturesque views of Halfmoon Lake from a historic dining room warmed by a century-old stone fireplace. When the lake freezes over, you’ll be snug in an actual pine dining room, indulging in baked French onion soup and hand-cut prime rib. For something lighter, try Pinewood’s famous crusted walleye with wild rice.
Pinewood makes a point to serve local and homemade food, and you’ll notice the difference. You may also notice Pinewood’s “fainting goats” that help sustain Pinewood’s garden.
As its name implies, the House of Embers Supper Club draws you in with the heat of more than one fireplace. With an enormous, dual-sided fireplace warming both the lounge and one of the dining rooms, you can drink and dine fireside. Order a Wisconsin wine, hickory-smoked BBQ ribs for dinner, and chocolate toffee cake for dessert.
This supper club’s vibe is comfortable and nostalgic, like an old movie. The decor in the varying, themed dining rooms recalls Old Hollywood actors like Humphrey Bogart, Rudolph Valentino, and Omar Shariff. Live music in the lounge on Saturdays adds to the fun.
Ambling up to Timmer’s Resort, you’ll notice sweet smoke rising up from multiple chimneys. Fireplaces dominate this recently-renovated, historic supper club on Big Cedar Lake. The original brick fireplace in the bar dates back to the early 1900s, and the dining room features an impressive two-story stone fireplace as well.
Start your meal with the always-delicious soup of the day, like popcorn-topped white cheddar. Settle in with the pot roast or prime rib.
Insider Tip: Treat yourself to Timmer’s on Fridays to catch live music.