The Howard is a historic and elegant event space located in the heart of Oshkosh. The building, built in 1927, hosts private and community events. On Thursday and Friday evenings, the basement of the venue opens up to the public for bowling, craft beverages, and...
If you are a Wisconsin resident, you should already know by now what a supper club is. I myself, am working slowly on becoming a true Wisconsinite by trying things that make Wisconsin, truly what it is. When I asked for suggestions on what I can do to familiarize myself with what makes someone a Wisconsinite, I was told that I should, “try a supper club once!” 😉 And one that was highly suggested by many was Bob and Geri’s Black Otter Supper Club in Hortonville. At first, I thought it was just your basic dine-in restaurant with a fancy name emphasis, “supper club”; little did I know, it’s more than a just name, it’s a whole EXPERIENCE!
Supper clubs first became popular in the 1930’s as a social dining spot to grab dinner and a good ole cocktail. It quickly became a trendy restaurant experience in the Midwest serving up big dinners you don’t normally have at home such as prime ribs, all you can eat fish fry, delicious steaks, and a variety of chicken dinners. Fun Fact: Now there are at least 260 operating supper clubs in the state of Wisconsin.
With that being said, I’m excited to take you along on my supper club experience with a very traditional and delicious encounter at Bob and Geri’s Black Otter Supper Club!
Black Otter has been family owned and operated since 1972 and let me tell ya, they’re doing something right! Unlike traditional dining restaurants, Black Otter does not take reservations ahead of time. You can walk in, head toward the hostess, sign-in with your party, take a number and a menu, have a seat at the bar and enjoy a few drinks. A little while later you will be greeted by a waiter/waitress who will take your order at the bar and then have a table set up for you and your party. To me, this completely works against everything I’m used to, but I like it and it works so well!! Doing this gives you time to order a couple drinks at the bar, look at the menu and socialize without the pressure of feeling like you’re at a bar/lounge. That’s the start of a supper club experience.
Diving into the menu, Black Otter has a variety of delectable dishes you can choose from. These all range from famous appetizers, seafood options, a bountiful (and may I say OH SO GOOD) salad bar, potato choices, ribs, prime ribs, award winning steaks and perfectly sized kid’s meals. If you’re reading this DO NOT SLEEP ON THE PRIME RIB, ORDER THE PRIME RIB! You will not be disappointed. I’ll explain why a little later.
Before I get into the good stuff, let’s tap into the fun stuff. The drinks at the bar! Now this was my boyfriend’s (Devin) first time here at Black Otter, so as a true Wisconsinite should, he ordered an old-fashioned and I ordered a bloody mary (not pictured, but very yummy). Now, I personally am not a fan of old-fashioned cocktails, but Devin is. From the many that Devin has had in his time in Wisconsin, he was quite pleased with how tasty this one was! Devin ordered an old fashioned “whiskey sour” and actually went back for a second one during dinner as well! That’s two thumbs up from Devin!
An old-fashioned is traditionally concocted by muddling sugar with bitters, water or seltzer, whiskey or brandy, and garnishing with orange zest and or a cocktail cherry and served in an old-fashioned glass. An old-fashioned has become one of the top staple cocktails in the state of Wisconsin. Here’s a quick Wisconsin Old-Fashioned recipe for you to try:
- 2 oz. light-bodied brandy
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 sugar cube
- 2 orange slices
- 2 maraschino cherries
- top off with water or seltzer
You haven’t had salad until you’ve had one from Black Otter. OH MY GOSH, this is probably one of the best salad bars I’ve ever had. The varieties of choices and options on this bar is almost endless. Now when you order a “dinner”, it also comes with the salad/soup bar and a choice of potatoes. Once you’re seated, you can walk right up to the bar and get served with salad and soup. With the COVID regulations, Black Otter now has servers behind the salad bar and plexi glass/ sneeze guard to ensure safety of all their customers and their employees.
Starting off, you have the three options of greens to lay down the base of your salad. Next,…well…just go wild with toppings, whatever your heart desires because, it’s all worth it! There are a few choices of dressings, spreadable cheese, dinner rolls, fruit, macaroni salads and potato salads as well, and please, don’t skip on those because again, you won’t regret it. At the very end of the salad bar, you have an option between clam chowder soup or chicken noodle soup both which are homemade and very rich in flavor. I chose the clam chowder with a little bit of cheese on top and boy,…that was the perfect choice!
By now you must think, between the drinks and the exquisite salad bar, how are you still able to have the main course? That’s right, I’m not done yet, I haven’t even started talking about my favorite thing before my favorite thing! Haha, the POTATOES! After enjoying your very fulfilling salad and soup, you are then presented with potatoes you totally forgot you ordered from the bar because you were so distracted by the glorious salad bar. If you couldn’t already tell, I’m getting super excited to tell you about the main course.
So it’s pretty obvious we ordered the prime rib dinner, to be specific, we ordered the Queen Cut Prime Rib Dinner. This dinner comes with your main course, the prime rib, a side of your choice of potatoes, a bread roll, and the soup and salad bar. The choices of potatoes you can choose from are: Baked, French Fries, Puffs (a deep-fried mashed potato), American Fries with Onions, bacon mashed potatoes, parmesan wedges or Seasoned Skins (upon availability). I ordered the bacon mashed potatoes and Devin ordered the parmesan wedges. This alone, was heaven. I mean, I could totally be biased because I’m a potato lover, but there’s no way you can go wrong with bacon mashed potatoes. There’s something so warm and homey about that dish and it just sits so well… it makes me so happy! Unfortunately we couldn’t eat all of our delicious potatoe sides as we were trying to still save room for the big “Queen Cut” prime rib. (That doesn’t mean, we didn’t pack potatoes home, haha.)
Now, for the big reveal of this mouth watering 32 oz perfectly cooked medium rare prime rib. . . BOOM! These pictures really do no justice. You’re just going to have to go try it for yourself. This is an award winning prime rib that is probably ordered over 20 times a day! Put two of your palms together…. well, it’s bigger than that. This is a $32.95 prime rib and it’s worth e v e r y penny! Black Otter is known for their excellence in their meat dishes! They brought it and it did not disappoint. Sadly, with all the goodness already stuffed in us, we did not finish our prime rib that was shared between the two of us. What was great about this was, we chose to share the prime rib and only paid $11.95 for an additional soup and salad bar. That’s a great steal! We could not stop talking about how great everything tasted as we were eating and slowly entering the stage of food-coma and yet…we kept going in. We were defeated and packed the rest home to enjoy for the next few days. #stillsogood
Keep in mind, we chose the smallest choice of the prime ribs and also went hungry. There are other options like the King Cut which is a 72oz prime rib, and a Super Cut which is approximately 116oz. As if that wasn’t good enough, you also have the option of adding mushrooms and or grilled onions on top of your steak for added goodness. Why are you still here reading this?…Get your keys, GO GO GO!!!
Saving this little bit for last because it’s a fun tradition that Black Otter partakes in and gives back to those who dare to take the challenge.
The EXTREME CUT: A 4 bones prime rib weighing in about 160oz
The challenge is if you dare to go to the extreme, you must finish this monstrous 160oz prime rib by yourself. There’s a wall of winners right behind the hostess where you can see all of those who are brave and those who are challenge conquerors. The challenge defeaters receive $20.00 gift certificate toward their next visit, their picture on the famous wall, the Extremely best t-shirt, and a very proud moment.
Are you up for the challenge? Let me know in the comments below!
In all seriousness, I had such a wonderful time in Bob and Geri’s Black Otter Supper Club and I wouldn’t have wanted my first supper club experience any other way. A family owned and operated business with wonderfully friendly staff and amazing food and drinks, you cannot go wrong. I had an A+ experience and I know you will too! Please take my advice and check them out!
Thanks for reading, now go on and enjoy!
Bob & Geri’s Black Otter Supper Club
503 S. Nash Street
Hortonville, WI 54944