Get Your Foodie Fix with Dine Around the Lakes!

DATL“10 Days of Delectable Dining” doesn’t even begin to describe the deliciousness that is the 4th annual Dine Around the Lakes, Walworth County’s official Restaurant Week! Held annually, it is November 3 – 12 this year, and has 21 area restaurants participating. The restaurants will offer a unique 3-course menu for lunch and/or dinner, available only during the Dine Around the Lakes time frame. You can enjoy a 3-course lunch for $10 or $15 person, then go again for a 3-course dinner for $20 or $30 per person. Needless to say, reservations are strongly encouraged as this is a popular event!

The 21 participating restaurants include:

  • 240° West at The Abbey Resort, Fontana – dinner, $30
  • The Black Sheep, Whitewater – dinner, $30
  • The Boat House Bar & Grill, Lake Geneva – lunch, $15 and dinner, $30
  • Café Calamari, Williams Bay – dinner, $30
  • Casual Joe’s, Whitewater – lunch, $15 and dinner, $20
  • Crafted Americana at The Ridge Hotel, Lake Geneva – lunch, $15 and dinner, $30
  • Frontier Restaurant at Lake Lawn Resort, Delavan – lunch, $15 and dinner, $30
  • The Geneva Inn Restaurant, Lake Geneva – lunch, $15
  • Gino’s East, Lake Geneva – lunch, $10
  • Harpoon Willie’s Pub & Eatery, Williams Bay – lunch, $15
  • Hawk’s View Bar & Grille, Lake Geneva – lunch, $15
  • Hunt Club Steakhouse, Lake Geneva – dinner, $30
  • The Lookout Bar & Eatery at Lake Lawn Resort, Delavan – lunch, $10 and dinner, $20
  • PIER 290, Williams Bay – lunch, $15 and dinner, $30
  • The Red Geranium Restaurant, Lake Geneva – lunch, $15 and dinner, $30
  • Ristorante Brissago at The Grand Geneva Resort, Lake Geneva – dinner, $30
  • Royal Oak Farm Country Kitchen, Harvard IL – lunch, $15
  • The Trout House at Rushing Waters Delavan, Delavan – lunch, $10 and dinner, $30
  • The Trout House at Rushing Waters Palmyra, Palmyra – lunch, $15 and dinner, $30
  • The Waterfront at The Abbey Resort, Fontana – lunch, $15
  • Ye Olde Hotel Historic Bar & Restaurant, Lyons – dinner, $30

Make a weekend out of trying several restaurants and take advantage of the lodging specials offered by Harbor Shores on Lake Geneva and Lake Lawn Resort, valid during Dine Around the Lakes only. How about a fun and unique date night and add Lake Geneva Clue Room to the plans with their special Dine Around the Lakes discount? It doesn’t have to be all about the great food when there’s things to do in the area as well to add to the experience! Though yes, it’s primarily all about the food!

To help plan where you’re going to go and get a sneak peek at what you’re going to be eating, go to DineAroundtheLakes.com – peruse the restaurants, look at their menus, visit their websites, and plan, plan, plan your schedule to get to as many as possible! I certainly can’t think of a better way to keep me out of the kitchen then going to all these great restaurants and letting their great chefs cook for me! And you can’t beat the prices for the quality of food and ambiance you’re getting! You could easily treat me to a lunch or dinner (or both) without breaking the bank – hint, hint, hint!

New this year is the addition of Charity Day, Tuesday, Nov. 7, where restaurants have the opportunity to partner with a local charity of their choice, and decide what level they would like to donate at, such as a percentage of the day’s proceeds or a specific dollar amount per meal, etc. This is a way to not only showcase the restaurants and their food, but also support local charities at the same time. Four of the 21 restaurants are participating on Charity Day: The Boat House Bar & Grill, The Geneva Inn Restaurant, Gino’s East, and PIER 290. The Boat House Bar & Grill is partnering with Lot of Love, giving 10% of the day’s proceeds. Lot of Love’s focus is supporting the caregiver community as they care for others, but tend to put their own needs aside. The Geneva Inn Restaurant is partnering with the Friends of Big Foot Beach State Park, giving $1 from every meal purchased. Friends of Big Foot Beach State Park is a non-profit volunteer group that raises funds to help and educate the community about the vast resources available at the State Park. Gino’s East is partnering with Dan Green’s Touch A Life, Heal A Heart Foundation, giving 10% of the day’s proceeds. The Touch A Life, Heal A Heart Foundation is dedicated to providing strength and hope to kids with cancer, health and wellness aid to low-income Walworth County residents, and hope and help to Armed Forces personnel in need. And lastly, PIER 290 is partnering with Santa Cause, giving 20% of the day’s proceeds. Santa Cause supports existing charities in Walworth County and performs random acts of kindness throughout the community.
Dine Around The Lakes 2017 is sponsored by Lake 96.1 WLKG, Lake Geneva Country Meats, Harbor Shores on Lake Geneva, and the Walworth County Visitors Bureau.
Again, to view a full list of participating restaurants and their mouthwatering menus, visit DineAroundtheLakes.com. Don’t delay in getting your plan together and making those suggested reservations, besides letting me know when you’re taking me to lunch (or dinner, or both…)!
Bon Appétit!

 

 

If it’s October, then it must be 31 Days of Halloween!

My calendar says it’s October 2, so yes, it’s officially October! Doesn’t matter if it feels like August with the recent 90 degree days, as the leaves changing color, high schools having homecoming, and the end of the regular season of baseball all says otherwise! So let’s get the calendar filled with 31 Days of Halloween and all things spooky, haunting, eerie and just plain ‘ol Halloween fun!

background blue ghosts
31 Days of Halloween

1. Take a “ride” on the Haunted C&NW Railroad at the Lake Geneva Clue Room. Can you find the vampire before it’s too late? (Daily through October)

2. Go if you dare…to the Haunted Trails at Scenic Ridge Campground in Whitewater. (Oct. 7 & 14)

3. Did you know about the sea serpent in Geneva Lake? Learn this and other “Sordid & Scandalous” tidbits on a walking tour of Lake Geneva by Black Point Estate. (Oct. 7, 14, 21)

4. Are you willing to withstand the horror? Shockwave Haunts at The Fuzzy Pig in Whitewater promises to be a frightful scare. (Fridays & Saturdays through Oct., plus Oct. 26)

5. Embrace death like the Victorians did. Join Black Point Estate and the Lake Geneva Cruise Line for “When Angels Carried Them Away: Death & Mourning in the Victorian Era”. (Oct. 6-7, Oct. 13-14)

6. Ghosts and Ghouls are invading the woods for the Haunted Hayride at Dan Patch Stables. (Fridays & Saturdays now through Oct. 28, plus Oct. 8)

7. Get in the Halloween spirit with Snug Harbor Campground’s Halloween Party! Open to public. (Oct. 7)

8. It’s A-Maze-ing! Find your way through Pearce’s Corn Maze, then grab a pumpkin or tasty treat! (Saturdays & Sundays, through Oct. 30)

9. Hear the Singing Pumpkins at Edgewater Park in Williams Bay. (Fridays & Saturdays through Oct. 28)

10. Get chills from stories of the local lore that surrounds Whitewater during their Spirit Tour. Stories like that of the Poison Widow and peeking into the crypt of Mary Worth will send shivers down your spine. (Oct. 13-14)

11. “Toil & Trouble” kicks off Young Auditorium’s season. Enjoy a comic re-write of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. (Oct. 9-15)

12. “Paint Like the Masters” a fall scene of ‘Moon & Pines’ at Northleaf Winery. (Oct. 15)

13. Learn about “Wisconsin’s Most Haunted Locations” with Black Point Estate and Lake Geneva Cruise Line. (Oct. 20)

14. At “Halloween Legends & Lore” at Old World Wisconsin it’s always spooky, sometimes scary. Come witness ghost tales come to life, learn the origins of the Ridgeway Ghost and hear about the folk and fairytales of the Old World. (Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 27-28)

15. Dress up in your favorite Halloween Costume, stretch your legs, and participate in Delavan’s Skeleton Scurry at Lake Lawn Resort. (Oct. 21)

While you’re already in costume, head to the “Miles for SMILES” event. Includes a 5K Fun Run/Walk with trick or treat stations and costume competitions, followed by music, horse Bingo, apple cider and family fun! (Oct. 21)

16. Enjoy jack-o-lanterns, Halloween nature skits, campfires, games and crafts, along with a hike at the “Eco-Halloween Hike” at the Richard Bong Recreation Area. (Oct. 21)

17. Calling all ghouls, zombies, and mummies for “Ghouls Night Out” to visit the local uptown businesses in Whitewater. (Oct. 26)

18. It’s a “Halloween Bash” at East Troy High School with trick or treating through the school, plus costume contest, pumpkin bowling and face painting. (Oct. 26)

19. Grab your family & friends, rock your Halloween finest and head to Phoenix Park in Delavan for Spook-tacular fun with music, games, mini pumpkin decorating and oodles of candy, too. (Oct. 27)

20. Dig out your blacklight to go with the painting you’ll create at Studio Winery’s Blacklight Glow Halloween Cork & Canvas event. (Oct. 27) Come back the next day for the Halloween Costume Party, with music by the Cherry Pickers. (Oct. 28)

21. Join Northleaf Winery for a HalloWine night full of fun! With boo-tiful music by Katie Scullen, a costume contest, and of corpse, wine, beer and appetizers. (Oct. 27)

22. For the ghouls and goblins who do not wish to be spooked, join friendly characters for an Enchanted Walk through the Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy. (Oct. 27)

23. Downtown Burlington will be jumping with Spooky City festivities, including spooky crafts, costume parade, hayrides, trick or treating, and lots more family fun. (Oct. 28)

24. Get ready to be Boo’d all weekend during William Bay’s Boo In The Bay event! Enjoy pumpkin races, a craft fair, pumpkin decorating, and more. (Oct. 28 & 29)

25. Celebrate adventurously at Lake Geneva Canopy Tours with their Pumpkin Drop Canopy Tour & Fall Festival! There will be food, live music, pumpkin painting, scavenger hunt and more! (Oct. 28 & 29)

Dress as your favorite player for Sonoma Cellars’ “Green & Gold Tasting” of 3 different wines in honor of the Packers! Beer & spirits will be available as well. (Oct. 28)

26. For witches and werewolves looking for a little something scary to test your wits, the Spooky Walk at the Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy will do the trick. (Oct. 28)

You’re invited for a Halloween scare, so come join us if you dare! You’ll never know what you’ll find at the Haunted Trail in Wildwood Park in Darien. Both a kid-friendly time and teen/adult-oriented time. (Oct. 28)

27. For an afternoon of frightful fun, it’s Scare on the Square in Elkhorn! Scarecrow and pumpkin decorating, costume contest, bounce house, drinks & snacks – family fun abounds. (Oct. 28)

Start off with “Trick or Treat the Triangle” then bring a non-perishable food item for the local food pantry, and have a fun evening of games and prizes at the Whitewater Youth Halloween Party. (Oct. 28)

28. It’s a Halloween Birthday Spook-tacular Party at Timber Ridge! Carnival games, face painting, arts & crafts, pumpkin decorating, costume contest and more to celebrate Bruce the Moose’s birthday. (Oct. 28)

Light ‘em up at the Lyons Halloween Bonfire after Trick or Treating. (Oct. 28)

29. Trick or Treat on the Street inside the Geneva Lake Museum! Free family fun, with a little bit of history thrown in. (Oct. 29)

Take trick or treating back outside in the Town of Geneva and Delavan Township. (Oct. 29)

Delavan Community Park’s Halloween Party has hayrides, games, a magician, face painting, costume contest, snacks, candy and fun galore! (Oct. 29)

30. Bring the kids for a Halloween Party at the Darien Public Library! There will be games, crafts, and loads of treats! (Oct. 30)

31. Celebrate Halloween with local Trick-or-Treat events throughout Walworth County. (Oct. 31)

Trick or Treat at Aram Public Library in Delavan by visiting the Children’s Desk in costume. (Oct. 31)

Parade through Downtown Delavan in the Goblin Walk, then visit the Spook House afterwards. (Oct. 31)

For more Halloween fun, check out the Events Calendar! Happy Halloween Month!

Oh yah, just a reminder – I LOVE candy corn, so don’t hesitate to bring me some!

So Much Fun & So Much Savings!

Bogo17 CoverYou’ve been patient in waiting for it and here it is! Fun and savings, all in one neat little package! It’s the 2017-2018 Walworth County Visitors Bureau BOGO card, with all deals good through May 31, 2018. Plenty of time to take advantage of the 48 fabulous offers on area dining, shopping, lodging, attractions and more…

The cards are $10 each and are available online at www.VisitWalworthCounty.com/BOGO, and at the Walworth County Travel Information Center at 2375 E. Geneva Street in Delavan (directly across from Lake Lawn Resort, at the airport).
So you’re planning a getaway and you need a place to stay… Look no further than the offers available at Harbor Shores on Geneva Lake, Delavan Lake Resort and T.C. Smith Historic Inn. Situated on the lakefront of Geneva Lake, Harbor Shores offers the best views, fabulous amenities, and easy access to the downtown with all it has to offer.
Delavan Lake Resort is a luxury suite property right on the lakeshore of Delavan Lake, allowing you to unwind and relax while taking in the gorgeous lake view. Experience the luxurious warmth and ambiance of the Grand Victorian era at T.C. Smith Historic Inn Bed & Breakfast, taking in all the historical and artistic significance of the outstanding architecture, all just two blocks from downtown Lake Geneva dining and shopping.
With Mother Nature giving us some beautiful Indian Summer weather and early Fall colors, how about getting out on the links for some Fall golf? Hawk’s View Golf Club, Majestic Oaks at Lake Lawn Resort and Whitewater Country Club each have buy one, get one deals to take advantage of. Nice weather, great golf courses and then each has other offers to use related to fueling up with food after a successful round of golf! Perfect combo!
Even if Mother Nature were to throw some rain in the forecast, don’t despair. There are deals that allow for fun indoors, too! Geneva Lake Museum, Lake Geneva Clue Room, and Spirit of the Lakes Chorus are all good examples of indoor options. If kicking back with a glass of wine is an indoor activity that appeals to you, then the Bottle Shop and Northleaf Winery will fit the bill nicely.
Traditional Fall fun activities of corn mazes, hayrides, apples and pumpkins are covered as well, with Pearce’s Farm Stand and Royal Oak Farm Orchard offering deals. What’s Fall without at least one corn maze and hayride? Boring is what it is! Finding that perfect pumpkin is the ultimate, topped off with a delicious caramel apple!
For a different perspective of things (and a great gift for someone or even for yourself), check out the offer from Gypsy Air Tours and a ride in their open cockpit biplane. If two feet on the ground is more your style, then Lake Geneva Canopy Tours, Lake Geneva Cruise Line, Lakeside Bait & Tackle, Marina Bay Boat Rentals, and the Mountain Top at The Grand Geneva offer biking, boat cruises, fishing, tubing and skiing, respectively, deals.
Need some time to relax and be pampered? That’s offered as well! The Avani Spa at The Abbey Resort and Calladora Spa at Lake Lawn Resort are sure to please with the services they offer. Only requirement is I get to go along to relax and get pampered, too!
Are there family or friends that couldn’t be a part of the getaway? Bring back a gift to let them know you were thinking of them. A+ Power Sports, Geneva Gifts, Lake Geneva Cannery, and Wilson Farm Meats all have deals to fit any type of gift. And I won’t tell anyone if you buy something for yourself, too. It is buy one, get one, so that in itself implies being able to keep one and give one! I would gladly be a recipient of a gift…
So all this activity has me famished, so let’s look at the options for food! My girls and I would do “Dessert First” dinner when they were little, knowing full well we probably wouldn’t get to the actual dinner (‘Woohoo, no broccoli!’ was the usual comment from them…). You can do the same with the deals from 240° West at The Abbey Resort, Delavan Lake Store, and Lake Geneva Pie Company.
If you absolutely insist on eating dinner (or lunch) first, there are certainly offers available for that. Crafted Americana at The Ridge Hotel, Grand Café at The Grand Geneva, Frontier Restaurant and Lookout Bar & Grill at Lake Lawn Resort, Rushing Waters (both Palmyra and Delavan locations), Sperino’s Pepperoni Pub, and Sprecher’s Restaurant & Pub will keep you eating all day, every day, of your getaway.
There are so many wonderful deals to keep you busy no matter what you enjoy doing! A full list of participating businesses and their deals is available at www.VisitWalworthCounty.com/BOGO. Plan that getaway now – heck, plan multiple of them as the deals are good through May 31, 2018!

The Ultimate Fall Drive is in Walworth County!

TW Fall Drive Showdown logo

 

And you can vote here to make it official! Rustic Road 29 – Snake Road in Lake Geneva – has been nominated for the ultimate fall drive in Wisconsin by Travel Wisconsin in The Ultimate Fall Drive Showdown! Help make it the winner by voting now! Yes, right now. Do it! I’ll wait for you..

 

.

Let’s start with a little history lesson, courtesy of the WI Dept. of Transportation: The Wisconsin Rustic Roads program was created over 40 years ago to provide an opportunity to leisurely travel through the state’s scenic countryside. Today, there are 120 designated Rustic Roads in Wisconsin, spanning more than 722 miles through 59 counties.

Every Rustic Road is unique, but all:

  • have outstanding natural features along its borders, such as rugged terrain, native vegetation, native wildlife or include open areas with agricultural vistas.
  • are lightly traveled local access roads, serving the adjacent property owners and those wishing to travel by auto, bicycle, or hiking for purposes of recreational enjoyment.
  • are not scheduled nor anticipated for major improvements which would change their rustic characteristics.
  • are at least two miles long and often provide a completed closure or loop, or connect to major highways at both ends of the route.

A Rustic Road may be dirt, gravel or paved road and it may be one-way or two-way. It also may have bicycle or hiking paths adjacent to or incorporated in the roadway area.

Rustic Road sign
Rustic Road sign example

 

A unique brown and yellow sign marks the routes of all officially-designated Rustic Roads. A small placard beneath the Rustic Roads sign identifies each Rustic Road by its numerical designation within the total statewide system, for example, Rustic Road 29 would read as R 29.

 

 

 

 

So on to the Rustic Roads specifically in Walworth County, of which Rustic Road 29 isn’t the only Rustic Road that Walworth County is blessed to have. As of 2017, there are 6 Rustic Roads in all in Walworth County, with only one other county in the state having more (Racine County has 7). Let’s take a drive together and learn a little bit about each of them!

It seemed only proper to start with Rustic Road 29 (R 29) since it’s being placed front and center with The Ultimate Fall Drive Showdown as an entrant! R 29 may only be 2.7 miles in length, but it’s located in a countryside of natural beauty, passing through an area of natural vegetation and wildlife, bounded in some places by split rail fencing. Another perspective is to think of it as the back yards of the gorgeous lake homes, whose front yards you’ve seen from Geneva Lake, hopefully while taking one of the boat cruises offered by Lake Geneva Cruise Line!

Rustic Road 29 map
Rustic Road 29

The route is particularly beautiful in the fall, hence the inclusion in the Ultimate Fall Drive Showcase! R 29, better known as Snake Road to locals, intersects with WI Highway 50 just west of Lake Geneva and loops back out to WI Highway 50 a bit further west.

Rustic Road 11 map
Rustic Road 11

Rustic Road 11 (R 11) is a 10.3 miles, gently winding route, that provides excellent views of glacial Kettle Moraine topography. It passes through large wooded areas of oak, maple and hickory, with glimpses of a game farm and scenic agricultural land. East of Lake Geneva, R 11 includes South Road, Steel Road, Spring Valley Road and Knob Hill Road between WI Highways 50 and 36. R 11 adjoins Rustic Roads 12 and 36, so you get a 3-for-1!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rustic Road 12 map
Rustic Road 12

Rustic Road 12 (R 12) is a 5.7 miles route that at various points offers panoramic views of lush green hills and valleys. The sharply curving route passes outstanding Kettle Moraine formations, pine and spruce plantations, a tamarack swamp, and several ponds. R 12 crosses the White River and runs through the community of Lyons with its several quaint churches. The route includes Back Road, Sheridan Springs Road, Spring Valley Road, and Church Street, between WI Highways 50 and 36. R 12 adjoins Rustic Roads 11 and 36 for added driving and viewing pleasure.

 

Rustic Road 36 (R 36) includes Cranberry Road and Berndt Road, east from Wisconsin Highway 50, and adjoins Rustic Roads 11 and 12. At 3.6 miles, this narrow, hilly route got its name from from early settlers who harvested cranberries from nearby marshes. The route winds through Wisconsin farmland, glacial marshes and knobs, featuring a wide variety of trees and shrubs.

Rustic Road 36 map
Rustic Road 36

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rustic Road 85 map
Rustic Road 85

Rustic Road 85 (R 85) is 2.5 miles and includes portions of Potter Road and Kearney Road, forming a loop off of County DD. The route runs adjacent to winding Sugar Creek while on Potter Road, as both pass through Nature Conservancy forests and wetlands. The steeply glaciated uplands of Kearney Road includes a mix of farmlands and pine woodlots.

 

 

 

 

 

The newest addition to the Rustic Road family in Walworth County is Rustic Road 120 (R 120). Locals know it as Peck Station Road, with this less-than-2 mile stretch being between WI County Highways A and ES, just west of Alpine Valley Music Theatre, and east of WI Highway 12. It’s so new to the Rustic Road family that the WI DOT hasn’t done an official map of it as of yet. Google however provides, with only a slightly shaky hand adding the brown line in a vain attempt to look somewhat like the other maps! The Google Street View, done in October 2012, of the narrow roadway, shows farm and marsh land, gently rolling hills, and as if to really showcase the rural character of the route, the Google car taking photos of the roadway followed a combine for part of the trip! Can’t get more realistic than that!

Rustic Road 120 map
Rustic Road 120

Whatever Rustic Road you take through Walworth County, the view is guaranteed to be spectacular in any season! My personal favorite is the fall and being able to see the leaves changing colors, hear kids playing in the fallen leaves, catch a glimpse of scurrying little critters in the underbrush, smell the aroma from a burn pile, and enjoy the other wonderful aspects of taking a leisurely fall drive. See you around the bend!

End of Summer, But Not End of Fun…

“I’m bored!”… “There’s nothing to do!”… Plus any other rendition of these phrases that you’ve heard through the summer months from your kids (or significant other, or whomever) shouldn’t be spoken any more when you think about all there is to do this holiday weekend! From the Walworth County Fair, to golf, to a lakeside party & pig roast, to live music, to a movie on the beach, and so much more! Oh my goodness, there’s no way anyone could be bored and find nothing to do in Walworth County this Labor Day weekend!

The biggest thing happening in Walworth County has to be the Walworth County Fair! Rides, food, games, animals, food, 4-H exhibits, music, food (are you seeing a pattern here?!) and lots more will have you back each day with how much there is to see and do and eat! The weather looks beautiful, so plan on some fun at the Fair!

If you’re like me, then water speaks to your soul, and what better way to get out on it than with a cruise on Geneva Lake. The Geneva Lake Cruise Line has a variety of cruise types and times to choose from to fit your holiday weekend schedule. They are each spectacular in their own way, so you can’t go wrong with any of them. I’ve got a couple personal favorites with the mailboat cruise and the Black Point Tour cruise, but you can decide for yourself what your favorite is.

Get out on Delavan Lake with Lake Lawn Resort’s Delavan Lake History Tour or the Sunset Wine Tour. The History Tour offers the details of this crystal clear, glacier-cut lake being settled by Native Americans around 1000 BC, as well as highlighting the five Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes nestled along the 11 miles of picturesque shoreline. The Sunset Wine Tour speaks for itself in being beautiful – sunset and wine, come on!

With history in mind, head over to Old World Wisconsin for their Hop Harvest Weekend and Historic Beer Brewing. As part of the historic brewing program, a field of hops has been cultivated and now it’s time to take part in a traditional community harvest. The added benefit is having a cold brew afterwards and talk with Old World Wisconsin’s historic brewing team. If beer isn’t your drink of choice, root beer is also available.

Golf is happening all over Walworth County and the season is far from over! Enjoy specials at Grand Geneva, Geneva National, Hawk’s View, Evergreen, and other courses in the area for the holiday weekend. Hawk’s View is offering a private Callaway fitting if you’re in the market for a new set of clubs or even if you didn’t know you were! With the cooler temps this holiday weekend, take advantage and play as much golf as possible – it’s a 3-day weekend so that could translate to 108 holes of golf ‘coz why waste the daylight and not play 36 each day! Now for a shameless plug alert: The Lake Geneva Area Golf Trail and its Golf Trail Passport can offer you discounts, too, for this weekend and for any upcoming golf trips.

Now I’m a lover of live music and if I can’t find any this holiday weekend then I need my eyes and ears checked! Martina McBride and Foghat with Blue Oyster Cult are at the Fair. Triple D is one of only several bands at Lake Lawn Resort. The Ridge has Doghouse Roses as one of many options to choose from. The Belfry Music Theatre has a Fleetwood Mac Tribute band. There’s always karaoke to test your own musical skills – I know better than to do this as ya’ll wouldn’t want to hear it!

I certainly can’t talk about everything there is to do this holiday weekend, so it’s a good thing there’s a place to go to find a list of it all! VisitWalworthCounty.com and the Events Calendar! Okay, I forgot to announce there was another shameless plug coming with that!

Whatever you choose to do, have fun!

 

 

Beer Matters…

So if I were a betting person, I’d take a stab at the title of this blog having caught your attention! I mean think about it: hot summer day, cold brew (beer, not coffee) and isn’t that a pairing to beat all pairings? Well, maybe not beating out chocolate and peanut butter as a pairing. Oh, and wine and cheese. Oops, forgot about milk and cookies. Never mind – back to beer!

Beer Matters course at UWW_logo

“Beer Matters” is a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) offered by UW-Whitewater (with a shout out to my alma mater for doing something so awesome!). You’ll learn about the history of beer from ancient times and across the globe, to Prohibition (what were they thinking?!), Super Bowl ads (Clydesdales and Dalmatian puppies, anyone?) and more. Now don’t go thinking that you didn’t really care for school and learning, even though this is about beer, and decide it’s not for you until I tell you about the meet-ups at local breweries that are part of the course! Yep, class at a brewery. Wonder if the outcome of my 5 credit Calculus and Analytic Geometry course might have been different if it had been at a brewery, or even a coffee shop, for some of the class times? Probably not… hahaha

So a MOOC is what? Massive Open Online Course – translates to an online learning experience that shoots for unlimited participation (beats signing up for something you really want to do and finding out it’s filled, so love this!), doesn’t require any previous college-level or online learning experience, is open to adults 21 years old and older, and isn’t offered for credit. For “Beet Matters” specifically, this MOOC is made up of six areas of content, including video lectures, reading materials, primary documents, and images. You can move through it at your own pace, interacting with other classmates in online discussion boards. The sections are then complemented with bi-weekly meet-ups at local area breweries, led by the instructor. The meet-ups are optional, but are meant to further develop interaction and create a sense of community among the course participants. Think of it as hanging out with your friends at the pub!

Wondering about the instructor, ‘coz who doesn’t wanna know something about their teacher ahead of the first day of class? Ken Brown, Assistant Professor of History at UW-Whitewater, has been teaching a very popular undergrad course on the history of beer and brewing for a few years and is excited to how the course works with the MOOC format of online content and discussion boards, paired with the bi-weekly meet-ups at local area breweries. Before going to graduate school for his PhD, Brown worked in brewpubs in Japan and Greece, so “Beer Matters” gives him the opportunity to combine his formal training as a historian with his past experience as a professional brewer. His goal for this course is to have everyone come away with a broad understanding of beer in history – from prehistoric times to Prohibition, and from colonial times to modern-day corporate mergers – and the basic knowledge necessary to brew beer, wine, mead or any other fermented beverage. Now that’s something I’d use in real life, unlike Calculus and Analytic Geometry!

“Beer Matters” begins on September 6, with participation in the online course being free and the meet-ups having a minimal fee. Again, meet-ups are optional, but come on – like I said earlier, class in a brewery?! I would so be there! No beer or alcoholic beverages are included in the meet-up fee, but you are able to purchase beer on your own (drink responsibly!). Here’s the meet-up schedule:

Beer Matters course at UWW_MobCraft logo aSaturday, September 16 – Old World Wisconsin, Eagle WI: Watch brewers from the Museum of Beer and Brewing use equipment and techniques from the 1800’s to brew beer using heirloom hops grown at Old World Wisconsin. Purchase craft beer from MobCraft on-site.

 

Beer Matters course at UWW_Bent Kettle logo

 

Saturday, October 7 – Bent Kettle, Fort Atkinson WI: Visit Bent Kettle Brewing, one of the area’s newest breweries, serving craft brews like Insolence Double IPA and Thwack!, an American smoked IPA.

 

 

Beer Matters course at UWW_Second Salem logo a

Saturday, October 21 – Second Salem, Whitewater WI: The last meet-up comes home to Whitewater, to learn about the strange events, figures and architecture that provide rich stories that translate into extraordinary beer.

 

 

Black Point Estate and its Director, David Desimone, assisted Ken Brown with the historical research component of the course, helping with the content and background information, so a shout out to Desimone and Black Point Estate, along with Old World Wisconsin, MobCraft, Bent Kettle, and Second Salem, for partnering with UW-Whitewater on this fun and fascinating MOOC course.

I’d say hurry up and register now so as not to lose out, but again, the beauty of being a MOOC is there is no class size limit to worry about! To register for “Beer Matters”, go to Beer Matters registration

Bottoms up!

Beer Matters course at UWW_beer can a

Eat Your Way Through Walworth County!

Restaurant_what's new

Are you hungry?! You will be before you’re even done reading this…! Let’s work our way through Walworth County and find out what’s new at some of the area’s restaurants.

 

 

Waterfront at Abbey Resort_outdoor seating

Outdoor Patio at The Waterfront, located at The Abbey Resort

The Waterfront at The Abbey Resort not only has a new look, but a new menu. They’ve kept many of the crowd favorites, but added a few healthy and unique items, such as the Black Pepper Parmesan Chicken Sandwich and the Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burger. The Wild Mushroom & BBQ Burger is a popular addition, as well as the French Doughnuts dessert. Add a craft beer like the Geneva Lake No Wake IPA or a “fire on the water” drink like the Waterfront Sangria, throw in some live music, a view of the lake and you’ve got a combination that can’t be beat! Besides working your way through the menu, Sundays throughout the summer should be spent “Burnin’ Down the Docks” enjoying live music, cold beer and mouthwatering house-smoked BBQ from The Abbey’s award winning BBQ Pit Masters. Think slow-smoked in a traditional southern outdoor smoker, with hand applied spice rubs, and a signature BBQ sauce to finish things off. Are you right there with the aroma and flavors already feeding your senses? How about some seasonal specials on top of everything else to bring you to the Waterfront? Half price apps and $5 beer flights on Mondays; Taco Tuesday with $5 margaritas; $3 draft beers on Wednesday and Thursday; or go with the Wisconsin Beer Experience on Thursday, which is three courses paired beautifully with three beers. Hmmmm… Now go get there to feed your stomach and not just your senses!

Learn more about The Waterfront here

 

Red Geranium_wine cellar look down
The Red Geranium – with a view DOWN in to the wine cellar

The Red Geranium’s lunch menu offers a couple of new salads, a few new sandwiches and entrees. The Peach and Berry Salad, described as Boston bib lettuce, peaches, assorted berries, mushrooms, grape tomatoes, fresh basil with honey lime & Riesling vinaigrette, definitely caught my eye for something light at lunch. If you want a twist on a BLT then oh my goodness, the Red Geranium Lobster BLT – yes, you read that correctly, Lobster BLT – is the way to do it! Chef’s lobster sensation, apple wood bacon, lettuce, tomato, bacon aioli on a butter croissant, and I’ll probably never eat another “regular” BLT again. Feeling a little more hungry for lunch? Then try the Chicken Angelina, which is a boneless breast of chicken marinated with garlic, thyme, rosemary, lemon, oregano and cracked pepper, grilled on the open hearth and finished under the broiler with ‘bruschetta’ style tomatoes and Asiago cheese. The Red Geranium’s dinner menu added a couple of new chicken dishes that are a must to try, such as Chicken Felix, which is served with grilled shrimp, broccoli spears and a béarnaise sauce. I, being the seafood loving girl that I am, can’t help but notice the Lobster & Shrimp Mac ‘n Cheese – what a combination of seafood and comfort food that I certainly can’t resist.

Learn more about The Red Geranium here

 

Evergreen Fish Fry
Evergreen Country Club and AYCE Friday Fish Fry

Evergreen Country Club’s Friday Night Menu has an added delicious item with their beer battered shrimp. This only makes the decision that much harder as to choosing between their famous AYCE Friday Fish Fry, one of their other fabulous dinner entrees or a good ol’ burger! Maybe if I borrowed a golf cart so I could roll on out of there it would be okay to do both the Fish Fry and the beer battered shrimp! Or the Fish Fry and the 8 oz. filet? Or the 8 oz. filet and the beer battered shrimp? Or a double 1/3# each certified Angus beef cheeseburger with a baked potato? See the problem here?! Oh my and then they have corn fritters with the AYCE Fish Fry! Good thing they have live music on the patio every Friday night ‘coz after eating as much as it sounds like I’m gonna be doing, I’ll need to hang out for a while!

 

Learn more about Evergreen Country Club here

 

Lake Lawn Resort_Chef Ross
Executive Chef Ross at Lake Lawn Resort

The Frontier Restaurant at Lake Lawn Resort has a new summer dinner menu that features a sophisticated culinary twist on some familiar comfort foods. Start off with the Rustic Artichoke, Olive & Goat Cheese Bruschetta or the Jalapeno Maple Glazed Shrimp for an appetizer. Follow that up with the Wild Mushroom Wisconsin Cheese Soup and then pick any one of about a dozen entrees to choose from, trying desperately to save room for dessert. And good luck with that, as when you have entrée choices like Sweet Chile Glazed Salmon, Bourbon BBQ Baby Back Ribs, Pasta Primavera with Grilled Chicken, and Filet Mignon, to name only a few, dessert isn’t even a rationale thought (but I’d still do it!) If you want to make eating your way through this menu a little bit easier, then the Frontier Restaurant has a way for you to dine like a VIP! Their VIP Dining Card entitles you to ten (10) “2 for 1” menu entrees or buffets, as well as first choice invitations for select special events. The VIP Dining Card cannot be used on holidays or for special events, but there are so many more other days in a year, that it’s not an issue! This will make deciding what to have so much easier when you know you’re coming back again and again.

Learn more about The Frontier Restaurant here

 

So how about working your way through the restaurant choices at the Grand Geneva Resort? Better get a room booked for the weekend to make it on this foodie tour! Where to begin… Ristoranté Brissago, Geneva ChopHouse, Grand Café, Smokey’s Bar-B-Que House, or Links Bar & Grill? Everyone has a little bit of Italian in them, so I’m headed to Ristoranté Brissago and bringing along whoever wants to call themselves family so we can take advantage of La Famiglia. This is an Italian feast serviced family-style, offering a great way to connect and share a meal with both family and friends. There’s a choice of salad or soup – I’d go for the Tomato and Basil Caprese; starter – each choice is good, so I’m not sure which to choose; pasta – here again, it’s difficult to choose, but I’ll try the Wild Mushroom Ravioli; two main dishes – Eggplant Parmesan and Chicken Saltimbocca; and two desserts – which for me has to be the tiramisu ‘coz it’s my favorite! If you prefer to choose from the full menu and maybe not have to share with being that hungry, it’s certainly acceptable, as goodness knows, it’s all delicioso! If you’re a meat and potatoes kind of person, then Geneva Chophouse is your kind of place. Let’s start with a hand-selected, custom-seasoned steak, prepared to perfection on an open-hearth grill. Can you smell it already? Pair it with a great glass of wine and sit back to enjoy! Don’t forget the delectable choice of sides, from loaded baked potatoes, to grilled jumbo asparagus, to lobster mac n’ cheese. You can even upgrade your steak with some seafood options, like Dungeness Crab Oscar. Pick a seasonal drink to finish off the meal, and what else can I say. The Grand Café not only starts your day with a morning kickstart, but can carry your through the day as well with their all day dining menu. Start off breakfast with something light, like house-made granola with berries and local honey, or jump all in with the Farmers Frittata or the Pulled Pork Benedict. Either way is good and maybe the decision is all about what you’re then going to choose for lunch later on. For example, Widmer’s Cheddar Burger with Applewood bacon, garlic aioli, Cipollini and tomato marmalade, and butter lettuce, might require a lighter breakfast, but a Wisconsin Seasonal Grilled Cheese might not. Then again, who knows the size of that Grilled Cheese! This is Wisconsin, Cheese Capital of the Universe! Spending time at Timber Ridge Waterpark? Then Smokey’s Bar-B-Que House will take care of you from breakfast through dinner. Just like the Grand Café, you can start the day off light with Cookie Dough Pancakes or go a little bit more with the Biscuits & Gravy Omelet (I’m a Southern girl, so that got my attention!). Lunch can be some Applewood smoked chicken wings and fried pickles, or a BBQ Pork sandwich with kettle chips, then maybe dinner is Smokey’s Choice, ½ lb. slow smoked Angus brisket with cornbread, choice of side and choice of sauce. Did you save room for dessert? Kentucky Bourbon Pecan Pie or Cheesecake with Berry Preserves sounds right up my alley. I’m not sure I’ll float in the lazy river very well after all this, but I’ll be sitting poolside with a big ol’ grin on my face with being all satisfied! Not to be outdone as you go hit that little white ball around one of the two championship golf courses, the Links Bar & Grill offers a full breakfast menu and all day treats to keep you going strong. Who knows with the right combination of a Breakfast Burrito finished off with a Mulligan, Grand Geneva’s signature Bloody Mary, in the morning, and Lake Geneva Country Meats Bratwurst with Spotted Cow Sauerkraut, of course paired with a cold Spotted Cow, you might be ready to take on the Hole-in-One Challenge! Enter this new challenge by upgrading your round on The Brute or The Highlands for just $5 to participate, then sink an ace on select holes to win up to $10,000! You know, in thinking about all of this at the Grand Geneva, just a weekend’s stay isn’t going to do it – better make it a long weekend!

Eat your heart outLearn more about the Grand Geneva Resort here

Certainly these are not the end all and be all of the many fabulous restaurants in Walworth County, but these are the ones I know have had something new happening with their menus recently. Get out and try each of the ones I’ve talked about here, but certainly don’t hesitate to try one that I haven’t talked about as there’s many to choose from in Walworth County! Let me know what you find to be a new favorite menu item at a new favorite place or an old favorite at a tried and true place. Let’s eat our way through Walworth County and then share the love of food with everyone! Bon appétit! (Channeling Julia Child for a minute there… lol)