We have been to many of the great supper clubs of Wisconsin, and to my mind Ishnala deserves to be on the short list of the very best. The architecture is arresting, an ancient lodge of hardwood perched overlooking the lake. The bar is in the shape of an arrowhead: a fun place to wait for a table and have an old school cocktail or shrimp cocktail.
Ishnala is unusual in that the restaurant is owned and operated by the Wisconsin state park system: they do a great job. Service is professional, warm and prompt. The seating is staggered to allow the kitchen to deliver on the quality the price tags suggest: my steak was the perfect temperature and well rested, with a flavorful sear. This means, however, that it is more traditional than chef-driven flavor-wise: my dining partner wished for more aggressive seasoning.
There something about being greeted by a giant sign over the wooded road that reads, “Ishnala,” and then you enter a parking lot with the big band songs of the forties and fifties drifting from the water. I had a lot of fun and a great meal in this world and would love to go back!