The Ranch Supper Club started out as The Aladdin in 1931. It had a varied following from lumberjacks to timber tycoons to Chicago gangsters. It changed ownership several times during the ’40s and ’50s but finally became the Ranch Supper Club in 1960 when the “colorful personality”, Vivian Levinson owned it. In 1987 Beth and Barney Morgan partnered with Cheryl Haupt to run it for the next 30 years. After Haupt died in 2016 the Morgans were happy to have their daughter Haley and her husband Nathan Bochler take the helm a year later. Haley was raised in the business and her husband is also from northern Wisconsin. They spent 13 years in California learning more about the food industry where she earned a sommelier certificate. We visited on a Sat. night and the place was packed. A large parking area is outside with 2 doors that lead into the large bar area with tables too. Don’t miss the beautiful counter at the bar that is made with colorful inset stones. The dining rooms are behind the bar and have a separate hostess station for check-in. Windows to the woods out back make up one wall with tables in the middle and booths along the opposite wall. Another dining room was in the opposite direction. Faint music is in the background and farm and cooking implements decorate the ceiling and walls along with wood beams. The lighting was lowered, the wine list was above average, the bare wood tables were set with flatware wrapped in a cloth napkin and service was friendly and attentive. Overall it was a good meal but I expected more. However, if you’re in the area I’d stop by and try it out I think it has potential and any drink would taste better drunk over that beautiful bar.
We started with a cocktail from the bar which was a wonderful martini. In supper club tradition all dinners start with a relish tray, theirs includes carrots, celery, radish, pickles, cheese spread and pickled fish along with crackers and butter. The cheese spread was very mild but the vegetables were crisp and fresh. The pickles were a sweet variety and the fish was okay. The main problem was there were only a couple packets of crackers and lots of breadsticks. This was a minor issue and I’m sure the server would have brought more if asked.
Saturday is the prime rib special and they offer a king (16 oz) and a queen (12oz.) cut. It comes with au jus, choice of potato, soup or salad and fresh bread. We both had the salad with the house dressing which is pepper-parmesan. The salad came with the bread which was a basket of one white and one rye roll. The white was drier than the rye, which was just average. The salad was a mix of greens but mostly iceberg with a tomato wedge, cucumber slice and onion slice. The dressing is on the side which is nice if you want to control how much is on the salad but for me I don’t like mixing it at the table because the little pieces of lettuce fly all over. It was a mildly flavored creamy dressing and there was plenty to dress the greens on the plate. It was very acceptable but not exceptional.
We both had king cuts and asked for rare and they did a nice job of keeping the entire piece nicely rare. The au jus was mostly flavorless brown liquid but that didn’t matter cause the meat had flavor on its own and was moist. There was a nice pepper rub on the exterior that caught me by surprise as it was a fine strong flavor. That and the tenderness of the meat were a great combination. Of the potato choices, one of us got hash browns which looked better than they tasted. The other got Lyonnaise potatoes which were browned potato chunks with onions. The potatoes were nicely cooked and had good onion flavor but the onions were mostly way overcooked and dried.
We were too full for dessert but Frankie got a dessert menu for your information.