I always consider Memorial Day weekend the unofficial start of summer. If you’re traveling to Wisconsin Dells, I’d recommend having dinner at Ishnala Supper Club, which is open each season from May-October.
This 59-year-old establishment sits on the serene Mirror Lake, and the big windows let diners enjoy the view. With all the surrounding woods, you may feel like you’re in Northern Wisconsin. In fact, the secluded feel was part of the reason a portion of “Public Enemies” was shot on location here.
When you arrive, have a drink at the Arrowhead Bar, named after its shape. (I think it would have been nice to have high-top tables on the perimeter of the bar room, but alas, the area is too narrow.) There are plenty of specialty cocktails to try, including the Chief Ishnala, which includes vodka, rum and tequila.
Surprisingly, this supper club doesn’t have Friday fish fry. If you crave seafood, you’ll have to choose among five entrees, including the North Atlantic salmon ($28), made tender and flaky but needing a bit of salt.
Prime rib ($33 for 16 oz., $28 for 10 oz.), a feature of most supper clubs’ Saturday specials, is actually available every day at Ishnala. The meat was roasted perfectly, though the flavor had to be enhanced with the au jus. I combined the prime rib with the delicious butterflied prawns for $34.
Other items on the menu include the bone-in ribeye ($38), the roast Wisconsin duck ($27) and the chicken Oscar ($29).
During the season, Ishnala is open every day for dinner. The nearest “landmark” is Tanger Outlets; from there, it’s just a short drive through some winding roads.