Rookery Pub Fine Dining, Cable, 1/4/19 & 2/8/19

building
building

Bill Brakken opened the Rookery Pub Fine Dining restaurant in 2008.  The building originally was constructed in 1978 and had the restaurant on the upper levels.  Bill made those areas into the lodge when he bought it in 2005 and then renovated the downstairs to become the Rookery Pub Fine Dining, named for the breeding colony of Blue Herons nearby and to signify a general place for social gatherings.  Interestingly, Bill worked as a bartender at the original Kliszcz’s Karczma, the Polish Palace as it was known then, the first year it was in business.  Now as you enter the place you see a building on your right with stairs and that is to the lodge and the lower sidewalk goes to the restaurant.  You enter into the large bar area and to the right is a hallway, opening onto a row of 4 booth seats, which leads to the small main dining room.  The walls are lined with prints of animals (most of which have prices if you want to buy one) and in the corner is a fireplace.  The bare wood tables are good sized and well spaced.  The menu covers a good breadth of choices with some changes for seasonality and the wine list is better than most.  You can have cocktails at your table or enjoy them at the bar before you are seated.  Service was efficient and super friendly.  Portions are large. Continue reading

The 300 Grill, Iron River, 1/3/19 and 2/7/19

exterior
exterior

The 300 Grill is the restaurant attached to the bowling alley, all owned by the Carignans.  It is a small place with about 3 booths and some assorted sizes of tables.  They serve burgers, pizza, sandwiches and Henny-Penny broasted chicken.  It is extremely casual.  The walls are adorned with framed old photos from people and places in Iron River, Wisconsin.  A window into the kitchen is on one wall and the check out counter is at the back.  The tile floor and bare wood tables are set with rolled up flatware and napkin dispensers, along with some fresh flowers.  Service is friendly and efficient.  The food is good but not compelling.  Our first visit was pretty good and it made me want to go back and check out more things.  Maybe if you hunt around the menu you’ll find just the right thing for you but otherwise I think it may be a good place to snack if you’re bowling. Continue reading

Hyde’s on Buskey Bay, Iron River, 11/10/18

exterior
exterior

Hyde’s on Buskey Bay is a couple of miles down County Road H when you turn on it from Hwy 2 in Iron River.  It overlooks a large lake which you can see if you chose seating on the enclosed porch.  I always have preferred to sit in the back section, which is the older portion with softer lighting and where the bar is located.  This night had live music in the form of an electronic keyboard playing at a nice volume in that back portion.  In the winter it’s less crowded but in the summer or other more tourist heavy times you are best to call ahead for a reservation.  The welcoming owners, Don and Helen Hyde, divide the duties with Helen running the kitchen and Don watching over the dining area while tending bar.  The large menu is all a la carte with nightly specials Wednesday thru Saturday.  All dinners and specials come with a trip to the salad bar, soup and dessert bar.  Many plates also include a choice of potato.  Portions are generous as are pours in the wine-by-the-glass.  Selection of wines is limited but a full bar can provide cocktails and beer.  This night our server was efficient, friendly and good with pacing. Continue reading

Sawmill Saloon, Seeley, 11/9/18

exterior
exterior

The Sawmill Saloon is a huge place with several rooms, each having a different feel but all getting food from the same kitchen.  The first rooms are on either side of the large bar and decorations fill the walls and hang from the ceiling.  Crowd noise fills the background but it was still easy to talk with companions at the table.  Service was efficient and super friendly.  The good sized menu pizza, burgers, salads, sandwiches and a selection of snacks/appetizers. They also offer a Friday night fish fry and a Saturday prime rib. Continue reading

Cedar Lodge Steakhouse and Grille, Barnes, 9/14/18 and 10/14/18

building
building

Cedar Lodge Steakhouse and Grille started in 2009 in the location that used to be called “Downtown Barnes”  Owners Collen and Scott Ruhman spent a good bit of time updating and remodeling and adding to the original location.   It is a good sized building that houses a large u-shaped bar in a room that also has room for a couple tables, games and lounge furniture in front of a fireplace.  It opens into the main dining room that is fairly bright with soft background music.  The only televisions are in the bar area.  Bare wood tables are polished to a high shine and fitted with comfortable chairs.  Flat-paint plum walls work well with the copper metallic shiny ceiling.  Walls are decorated with paintings and other objects.  The full bar is available for order in the dining room and they provided a better than average wine list.  The large menu was supplemented by a daily special offering.  All dinner plates come with a trip to the salad bar that also offers a housemade soup, as well as seasonal vegetable and a choice of side dish.  Our friendly server, Denise, turned out to be the owner’s sister and helped steer our order.   Continue reading

Garmisch Restaurant, Cable, 8/28/18

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exterior

Garmisch Inn Restaurant is in the main lodge of the Garmisch USA 65 acre resort.  It is a large complex, where the main lodge and many of the guest homes date back to the 1920’s when they were built for a wealthy Chicago family’s vacation retreat.  The large dining room overlooks the south shore of Lake Namakagon.  It was completely paneled in wood with large wood columns and beams in the ceiling.  Some art hung on the walls but the main decorative touch was the curved window that looked out on the lake the the surrounding woods of the Chequamegon forest. The well spaced white clothed tables were set with black napkins and heavy weight flatware.  The larger tables were in the center of the room and the walls were lined with tables for 2-4.  The lights were lowered.  An equal sized bar was off to the end with the bathrooms in between.  On the way you pass a spiral staircase that led down to guest rooms.  They had a large menu with some German specialties. Service was super friendly and accommodating. Our server Bree had just been there 2 weeks but she couldn’t have made our meal more fun. Continue reading

Kimball Inn, Hurley, 8/23/18

exterior
exterior

Kimball Inn was much smaller than I expected, considering the breadth of their menu.   The entire interior is finished in wood paneling with low ceilings and fairly low light in the dining room.  The good sized bar area is more lit and also had a few tables where additional diners could eat.  In the dining room there were 2 booths with low, straight back benches,  a small window to the street and a few photographs of animals on the walls.  On the way into the dining room was a large chalkboard with the nightly specials.  It cannot be seen from the seating area, so study it on your way in.  The options sounded interesting but somehow they didn’t come off as well as they sounded.  Portions are large.  They offered a number of wines by the bottle but it was not an overwhelming selection.  The server was inefficient and not particularly helpful, sometimes disappearing for long spells and never coming to check if you needed anything.   Continue reading