Supper clubs are all about connection in Wisconsin, and that includes nooks for romantic interludes. Count these restaurants with white linens among the prime places to woo your sweetie. It all begins with a private booth, an intimate dining room or a lakefront view for two.
HobNob – Kenosha
HobNob is a retro name means a place to mingle, and art deco décor is over-the-top gorgeous and sultry: Naugahyde seating in white, passionate purple ceilings, fringed drapes, silky wall hangings. Book the Moroccan Room, nicknamed the “footsie room,” to pop the big question or mark a special anniversary.
You can’t miss the Highway 32 location, between Racine and Kenosha. Right out the door is Lake Michigan, flashy neon signage and a painting of a giant martini.
On the menu: thick lamb chops, roasted duckling and lots of other momentous dinner fare.
House of Embers – Wisconsin Dells
One of the best tables at the House of Embers is the Omar Sharif Room for two, a converted coat closet with a cozy booth just big enough for one couple. The little hideaway is cloaked in framed scenes from the leading man’s movies, “Dr. Zhivago” to “Lawrence of Arabia.”
Order the hickory-smoked, slow-roasted ribs. Save room for from-scratch desserts.
Norwood Pines Supper Club – Minocqua
Scoot between the towering red pines that nearly hide this longtime rural respite from Highway 70 in Oneida County. What could be more comfy than a seat on the screened-in porch during summer or near the fireplace when weather chills? Views of Patricia Lake are soothing in any season.
“Relaxed elegance” is the promise at Norwood Pines Supper Club. Start with seared ahi tuna and a hot kick of wasabi. End with vanilla cream crepes in a strawberry sauce.
In-house ghost stories should give you an excuse to scooch a little closer.
Smokey’s – Manitowish Waters
Two miles out of town and near Rest Lake in rugged Northwoods Wisconsin is unexpectedly refined dining at a location best known decades ago as an earthy tavern for hunters and fishermen.
Today, Smokey's supper club classics with gourmet flair are the draw, and it is not unusual for customers to arrive dressed to the nines for a leisurely feast in the 60-seat dining room. Chateaubriand for two, anyone? Up North dining turns into a quietly stylish experience.
Tornado Steak House – Madison
Tor-NAY-do? No, it’s Tor-NA-do and just off of Capitol Square in an 1850s building with low lighting, sultry Sinatra tunes and a few booths that are perfectly suited for two.
In addition to 8- to 28-ounce steaks, Tornado Steak House specialties range from rack of lamb to a venison tenderloin filet. Add a side of Yorkshire pudding instead of the more typical baked potato.
To linger after dinner, the lounge offers late-night nibbles until 1 a.m.