In 1918, the American Club building itself was built as a dorm for all Kohler employees. Once a dormitory for immigrant employees with a pub, bowling alley and barbershop, The American Club Resort remerged in 1981 as a full-service hotel. Today this Tudor-style redbrick building welcomes guests with gracious hospitality that has earned a Forbes Five-Star and AAA 5-diamond rating, due to its campus of luxury destinations offering guests the latest in bathroom technology and design.
Located in Kohler, Wisconsin, 60 miles north of Milwaukee, the Club is primarily known for its luxury spa, fine dining and championship golf courses. Continue below for our weekend’s food review (amenities and spa review/interview with the Kohler Waters Spa Director to follow in part two and part three).
My weekend at Kohler included attendance at some of their best restaurants and activities of my choice as well as staying at their Carriage House. The 55-room annex boasts a prime location above the Forbes Five-Star Kohler Waters Spa and offers guests the ultimate KOHLER experience, from Five-Star hospitality to top-of-the-line bathing experiences. The Carriage House offers a unique guest experience in a variety of ways, most notably with access to the common areas of the Kohler Waters Spa – a tranquil spa known for its innovative hydrotherapy treatments and top-level service. Guests who stay at The Carriage House can wear their robes around the entire building and enjoy the complimentary continental breakfast, afternoon tea and evening cordials, all while never having to leave the comfort of the building. There are shuttle buses available on demand to transport you to the sports club, shops or spa although none are very far from one another.
After checking in late at the Carriage House, my boyfriend and I’s first stop was dinner at Blackwolf Run Golf Club. With panoramic views of the Pete Dye-designed championship golf courses, this rustic American grill features regional cuisine, such as corn and sausage chowder, soy-glazed Alaskan wild-caught salmon, honey-glazed smoked pork chops and premium steaks. Blackwolf Run Restaurant has been honored with the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence since 2002.
We were able to dine in front of a huge fieldstone fireplace, overlooking the 18th greens of the River and Meadow Valleys courses. We started off with their Coconut Kataifi and Almond Fried Shrimp, served with spicy fruit relish and vanilla rum cream then moved next to my boyfriend’s favorite, their Chorizo Sausage Grilled Flatbread, with house-made Chorizo sausage, Chihuahua cheese, cilantro, tomato topped with a balsamic reduction.
Next, I got their Corn Sausage Chowder a savory blend of pork sausage, potatoes, onions and corn. Did you know the same chef has been making this soup for the last 20 years? Just from that information, I can tell you this is one of the best soups I have had in my life. My bf ordered their Tomato Basil soup prepared with truffle croutons and parmesan cheese. The Spinach and Poached Pear Salad was not only plated beautifully, the spiced almond cracker paired well with the candied almonds, creamy Boursin cheese, and almond vinaigrette.
The Green Peppercorn Crusted Bison Top Sirloin entrée, served with a sauté of young vegetables and petite herb dumplings, with just a hint of cherry red wine sauce and the Spicy Honey Glazed Smoked Double Thick Pork Chops entrée grilled until the juices flow then stuffed with pistachio, caramelized apple and Wisconsin blue cheese, sour cream mashed potatoes, fresh asparagus was beautifully presented by our knowledgeable and engaging server.
The next day, we stopped by the Shops at Woodlake Kohler. Their collection of specialty shops and restaurants, affords views of the gardens and lakes. After a session of hot yoga, we had light lunch at the Craverie Chocolatier Café, where all the homemade KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates are created. As soon as you walk in, be sure to stand behind the glassed-in area at the front of the café to watch the “chocolateers” create and decorate the beautiful treats. Their treats were even selected as one of the items on Oprah Winfrey’s List of Favorite Things.
After admiring the beautiful décor and ambiance of the stunning restaurant, we both started our meals with the KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates blend hot chocolates. Next, we both decided to get their half sandwich, half soup combo – we got their signature Warm Black Forest Ham and Brie Panini and it paired beautifully with a cup of their Roasted Cauliflower Soup. I ended up ordering and taking their triple layer chocolate cake and French Macarons to-go for our golf session next.
After our private lesson golf with Mike O’Reilly, Head PGA Professional at Whistling Straits, we were treated to a trap shooting session, more information on all of the fun activities will be coming in my next blog post.
We were treated to dinner at River Wildlife after our trapshooting session since dining reservations are available to only River Wildlife members and resort guests with a purchased activity pass.
River Wildlife’s Lodge Restaurant is a rustic log cabin bordering a lush hardwood forest. The six cozy and inviting dining areas include three intimate lofts that feature an eclectic mix of primitive wood furnishings, earthenware place settings and fresh wildflowers. The imaginative, seasonal menu features fresh, seasonal Midwestern fare, showcasing ingredients such as walleye. Service is warm and gracious yet professional in its attention to detail and anticipation of guests’ needs. Located in a rustic log cabin bordering a lush hardwood forest, River Wildlife’s Lodge Restaurant delights with six cozy and inviting dining areas.
The dinner menu at River Wildlife, one of eleven restaurants within the campus, was mind-blowing in its creativity and originality. The pumpkin cheese fondue with fruits and vegetables was exquisite, followed by the delightful Asiago Cheese & Almond Crusted Canadian Walleye with Citrus Caper Remoulade and the Peppercorn Bacon & 4-Year Cheddar Cheese Stuffed Beef Tenderloin with a Roast Garlic Cabernet Sauce were the perfect entrees. The Triple Layer Chocolate Cake with Peppermint Vanilla Frosting was the perfect ending to that heavenly day.
As I sat in the Wisconsin Room in the American Club the next morning for brunch, I couldn’t believe this used to be the original dining hall of immigrant workers. The Wisconsin Room now features innovative, farm-fresh cuisine in an elegant but approachable atmosphere. The menu, which rotates seasonally, is frequently complemented by daily specials drawing inspiration from what’s in harvest at that moment. During the spring, you might experience local morels, wild ramps, spring lamb and freshly caught fish from the Great Lakes. During the summer months, the chef might feature wild strawberries, fresh herbs from the garden and a wide selection of freshly harvested local produce. Our brunch selection was consisted of the following:
Chocolate and Butter Croissant, Signature Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake, Sliced Fresh Fruits and Smoothie Shooter, Seasonal Salad Selections, Pasta Salad, Deviled Eggs and Assorted Canapés, Chilled Jumbo Shrimp & Oysters on the Half Shell House, Cured & Smoked Pastrami Style Salmon, Walleye and Mussels, Roasted Vegetable Platter, Selection of Wisconsin Artisan Cheeses and Cured Sausages, Artisan Bread Selection, Poached Eggs Benedict, Applewood-smoked Nueske’s Canadian bacon, Crystal Springs Trout Amandine, Chieftain wild rice pilaf, toasted almond brow butter, Quiche, Baked Hash Brown Casserole, Breakfast Sausage Links, Prime Rib with creamy horseradish sauce, Crème Brûlée French Toast, vanilla bean whipped cream, Buttermilk Pancakes & Belgian Waffles with strawberries, blueberries, chocolate chip, Wisconsin maple syrup, Eggs and Omelets, Wisconsin Artisan Cheeses, Pumpkin Bread Pudding with bourbon caramel sauce and a huge assortment of French macarons and pastries.
What makes this Five-Star resort stand out from all the others is the history behind it. The history behind Kohler and this resort can be seen in many of the details, but it’s never overbearing. The American Club knows what it is and does it well. From their bellhops with top hats, their front desk staff to the restaurant wait staff – the service is top notch and definitely worth a visit.
*I received a complimentary stay at The American Club in order to facilitate this review. As always, all opinions expressed herein are my own.