CHAMPCAR/CART: Kika's guide to dining in Elkhart Lake

Immigrant Room at the American Club, Kohler. Extraordinary food, impeccable service a winning combination This was the moment we'd been waiting for.. Address: Highland Dr., Kohler Rating: ****Phone: (920) 457-8888. The Immigrant is The American...

Immigrant Room at the American Club, Kohler. Extraordinary food, impeccable service a winning combination This was the moment we'd been waiting for.. Address: Highland Dr., Kohler Rating: ****Phone: (920) 457-8888. The Immigrant is The American Club's showcase restaurant. A gourmet's treasure, The Immigrant's designation as a winner of the Drone Award from Distinguished Restaurants of North America, places it in the company of the best 350 restaurants in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The Immigrant is arranged as a series of six rooms decorated to salute the European ethnic mix of early Wisconsin settlers. The room themes are French, Dutch, German Hunt, Normandy, Scandinavian and English. Fine wines are featured and contemporary fine cuisine is the menu focus. The restaurant, which is on the lower level of the luxurious American Club, is world class. The Immigrant, which is named for the many immigrants who came to Sheboygan County to work at the Kohler bathroom-fixtures plant. The building that now houses the American Club provided housing for many of those workers at the turn of the century. . It's the ideal spot for a special occasion or a delightfully different dinner.

The Winery, a European-style wine cellar, is located adjacent to The Immigrant. This lounge provides a comfortable atmosphere to enjoy cocktails or meet friends for a leisurely drink before or after dinner. A Curviness system offers guests a choice of eight premium wines by-the-glass. Live entertainment is offered on the weekends

Pretoria Stefano (Italian cuisine) 522 South 8th Street, Sheboygan - 920-452-8455. Zanardi , is the one that told me about this place and Father Phil highly recommends it. What is great about it.... I can walk from my hotel! Try the brusquest. Family-run authentic Italian dining. Entrees include homemade brick oven pizza, pasta, fish, meats. Wonderful selection of Italian wines; informal atmosphere. Open for lunch and dinner.

Whistling Straits Restaurant - tel. 920-457-4448 - Casual Attire Located at the Pete Dye-designed golf course along Lake Michigan, the clubhouse is reminiscent of a fortified farmhouse in the Irish countryside. In the midst of a wildly beautiful landscape, you will find an inviting refuge. Within the magnificent stone walls, a Celtic illustration is brought to life. This place and its furnishings -- like an ancient legend -- seem to have been passed down through the generations. The Whistling Straits clubhouse is a feast of architectural detail, rustic ambiance and a historical tribute to a time-honored game. In this relaxed setting of intriguing timelessness and spectacular panoramas, you can enjoy the tastes of distinctive American cuisine with an Irish flair.. Last year I had a superb dinner at the Whistling

La Covina 725 East Woodlake Road. Kohler - 920-452-3888 Overlooking scenic Wood Lake, this Italian bistro features a delightful range of Italian specialties. Ornate Roman columns, a majestic domed ceiling, and the scent of garlic sautéing in the kitchen surround diners with the sights and aromas of Italy. Cucina is a delightful respite from shopping, or a romantic retreat for dinner in the Shops at Woodlake, next to the American Club in Kohler is well known for good Italian food in a pleasant, upscale setting. A great Italian restaurant offering the warmth and charm of Old World Italy. Check for restaurant hours as they may be different on race week ends. Good Calamari Fritti

The nostalgic Wisconsin Room is The American Club's classic dining hall. (920) 457-8888 Refurbished in 1993, the room provides seating for up to 140 people. Oak paneling, antique chandeliers, leaded glass windows, elegant floral print draperies, and fine furniture pieces by Baker are distinguishing aspects of the interior design. The cuisine at The Wisconsin Room is as interesting as the decor, with regional Midwestern fare, including a Friday night American Bounty Seafood Buffet and a grand Sunday Brunch. Breakfast and dinner are served daily. For warm weather entertaining, The Wisconsin Room features two private dining terraces

River Wildlife, Set in the heart of a 500-acre nature preserve, the rustic, log dining lodge at River Wildlife is renowned for its unique "country gourmet" cuisine. Lunch is served daily and dinner is offered on Friday and Saturday evenings. In 1990, the restaurant was listed as one of the 32 finest restaurants in an eight state region in the Viking Penguin cookbook, "Best in the Midwest." is a private membership club. Reservations are. Sit back and savor the nationally acclaimed heartland cuisine. Enjoy a rustic retreat from your busy schedule, an exclusive opportunity for entertaining clients, or just the camaraderie with good friends. It's all yours at River Wildlife. For River Wildlife membership information, call 1-920-457-0134.

52 Stafford in Plymouth 52 Stafford St., Plymouth. (920) 893-0552. *** The dining room at this Irish Bed and Breakfast is excellent, although they always get behind on race week ends. Varied menu changes, but everything is good. Duck is one of the chef's favorites and it's done very well. Great desserts. Moderate prices. Reservations a must on race week ends. A good place to go early in the race week end (Wednesday or Thursday). (Also a wonderful place to stay if you can get a room--they allow well behaved pets.) Desserts are homemade. Credit cards: All major. Hours: 5 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Prices: $11.95 to $19.95.

Harvey's Q's Quarters in Elkhart Lake. 191 S. Lincoln Street Hwy 67, Elkhart Lake, WI - 920/876-2216 - Wisconsin's best steak, duck and seafood served year-round. Banquet Facilities Available. On the bend as you come into Elkhart Lake on 67 from the track. Unpretentious, good food in the traditional Wisconsin supper club style. Have never had a bad meal here. Moderate prices. Varied menu. Good steaks and prime rib without the wait of Schwartz's in St. Ann's. Out the back side and across the (dormant, I think) railroad tracks from the Osthoff. Reservations accepted.

The Greenhouse The American Club, Kohler. (920) 457-8888. An old-fashioned ice cream parlor in the courtyard of Kohler's American Club features desserts, homemade ice cream, pastries, coffees. Seasonal hours.

Butch's Old Casino 555 N. 7th St., Milwaukee - 271-8111.(For whoever flies to Milwaukee...) *** If you're a steak lover, you've probably known about Bernard "Butch" Schettle's place for a long time. For years the restaurant was on Water St. midway between downtown and Brady St. In its new location, the restaurant's kept up its reputation for great steaks, some of which are hand-cut by Butch himself. The filet mignon and New York strip steaks are some of the best in town. Credit cards: All major. Hours: 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 5 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; closed Sunday. Prices: $14.95 to $27.95.

Just Otto's at Osthoff Resort - 101 Osthoff Avenue, Elkhart Lake, WI - 920/876-3366x572 - Fine American cuisine, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Elegant Sunday brunch. Smoke-free environment - located in the Osthoff Resort overlooking beautiful Elkhart Lake. The Osthoff restaurant, just Otto's, features a full menu of American cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner, open seven days a week for your dining pleasure. Fantastic Sunday Brunch, Full bar in the restaurant, Children's Menu, Outdoor cafe dining and beachfront concessions in season. Spectacular setting, casual attire. Smoke-free environment. Groups, banquet and meeting facilities also available. Reservations recommended.

Bruce's Supper Club N8350 Hwy J Elkhart Lake - 920-876-3179 Bruce's in Elkhart Lake is a longtime local favorite. I haven't eaten there in a long time, but it's a local choice of lots of race fans

Horse and Plow at the American Club, Kohler. Tel. 920-457-8888 Handsomely decorated in rich wood, brass and stained glass, this casual country tavern was once the tap room for Kohler Co. workers who lived at The American Club. Abundant booths convey a cozy atmosphere, while the tabletops, made from the original American Club bowling alley, perpetuate the historic tradition of Kohler Co. The Horse & Plow serves appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and hearty entrees, along with more than 80 regional microbrews and 12 Wisconsin beers on tap.

Blackwolf Run Restaurant 111 W Riverside Drive, Kohler. (920) 457-4448. The most extraordinary public golf course restaurant in the country is found at Blackwolf Run Restaurant Signature dishes, such as corn sausage chowder and hot maple walnut salad dressing, make the restaurant (which operates year-round) a favorite for golfers and non-golfers alike. Hearty, traditional fare is complemented by an inventive menu of specials celebrating the bounty of the heartland. Diners enjoy a panoramic view of the golf course whether seated inside or out. The main dining room features a huge fieldstone fireplace and loft area; there is also a glass-walled dining porch, a bar overlooking the Sheboygan River, and dual 18th hole greens for the Meadow Valleys and River courses. Open daily for lunch and dinner; seasonal breakfast hours. Food from the heartland.

Millhome Supper Club Hwy 57 & 32 Kiel - 920-894-7920 Millhome in Kiel is good food with an emphasis on beef. Another place favored by locals.

Rupps Lodge 925 North Eighth Street Sheboygan - 920-459-8155 Rupp's is famous in Sheboygan with a varied menu, several dining rooms, but not a lot of upscale atmosphere. Reasonable prices

Sal's Elkhart Inn 91 S. Lincoln(Hwy 67), Elkhart Lake, WI - 920/876-3133. This year-round establishment offers fine dining in an "old world" atmosphere. Serves a full menu from 5 PM to 9:30 PM daily. Lower recreational bar and private parties available. Fine Dining in an "Old World Atmosphere" Originally built in 1886, the Elkhart Inn remains one of the area's historic landmarks .Serving a full & varied menu Steaks * Ribs * Seafood * Cajun Entrees * Sandwiches Friday Night Seafood Specials; Saturday Night Prime Rib Special OUR SPECIALTY Chef Bill's Blackened Prime Rib straight from Bourbon Street -- oven roasted and covered with Cajun spices.

Schreiner's Restaurant 168 N. Pioneer Rd (Hwy 41 & 23) Fond du Lac - 920-922-0590 Schriener's in Fond du Lac is the place where we always stopped for lunch on the way to summer camp. But of course that was decades ago. I always thought of it as a road stop place, but it's been famous in Wisconsin for generations.

Siebken's Resort 284 Lake Street, Elkhart Lake, WI - 920/876-2600. This antique-filled dining room offers a reputation of four generations striving for excellent food. Main dining room open for breakfast Sat-Sun 8:30-11am; lunch daily 11:30am-2pm; dinner Wed-Sun 6-9:30pm. Tavern and sandwich bar serves nightly specials and homemade desserts. 4pm-1am. Open May through September, call for hours. Historic turn-of-the-century resort situated on Elkhart Lake.

Stocks's on the far west side of Manitowoc, not far from the Holiday Inn. Another prime rib place--remember this is Wisconsin. Varied menu. You're assigned a number when you come in--no reservations--and when your number is called your table is ready. Free hors d'oevres in the bar while you wait for your table. Again, not a lot of trendy atmosphere, but good food. Moderate prices. Another spot favored by locals for decades.

Quit Qui Oc 500 Quit Qui Oc Lane, Elkhart Lake. (920) 876-2833 A mouth-watering menu combined with superior service and an inviting ambiance. Open Mon-Sat 11am-3pm and 5-9pm; Sun 11am-2pm.

Schwarz's Retail Fish Market 828 Riverfront Drive, Sheboygan. (920) 452-0576 Take out munchable, delicious fish dinners with all the extras. Fresh fish available daily. Mon-Thu 8am-6pm; Fri 8am-8pm; Sat 9am-4pm.

Wards Supper Club H8326 Hwy 67 - Elkhart Lake 920/876-2763 - Open year round. Sunday buffet breakfast and Sunday Brunch. Wednesday Buffet. Reservation recommended. Wagon Wheel in Howard's Grove. (on the way from the track to Manitowoc if you take the back roads--at the main crossroads in Howard's Grove) Typical Wisconsin Supper Club with a salad bar. Varied menu. Moderate prices. Have never had a reservation even on a race week end. Have waited at most 30 minutes. Not big on upscale atmosphere, but if you gauge a restaurant by where the locals eat, this is the place.

Woodlake Market Cafe Woodlake, Kohler. (920) 457-6235 Sky lit cafe is a perfect place to enjoy a quick deli sandwich, bakery or other deli offerings prepared fresh daily. Delicious, healthy, out-of-the ordinary. 6am-10pm.

-KC

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Series IndyCar