The Midwest supper club is sweeping the nation. Why? Because we’re all craving a sense of familiarity, a feeling of belonging — and these eateries dish that up in ample servings. From legendary institutions to modern-day homages, here are 10 restaurants that are keeping the supper club tradition alive and well.
New York City
What began as one of Wisconsin’s most beloved supper clubs was reincarnated in Brooklyn in 2019 by a couple of Minneapolis childhood friends who grew up going to the original. They shipped key elements, like the trademark heart-shaped bar, across the country but are putting a new spin on everything from decor to dishes to introduce this Midwestern favorite to a new audience.
Acclaimed Chicago chef Grant Achatz pays homage to his Michigan hometown with this true-to-its-roots supper club situated in the historic meatpacking district. And Alinea it is not, quite purposefully. Making its debut in 2019, this eatery hits all the right notes, from the paper placemats to the prime rib to the Andes mint that comes with the check.
Cannon Falls, Minnesota
Minnesota chef J.D. Fratzke opened his take on a new-age supper club last year with Falls Landing, an ode to early 20th century north country fish camps and hunting lodges, “places of refuge and hospitality made popular by locals and well-heeled urbanites who sought escape from the noise and flash of the big city.” The restaurant certainly succeeds on that front, with a focus on comfort, laughter and deliciousness.
Founded in 1953, this family-run institution is the real deal. It is best known for its filet mignon that’s so tender that it can be cut with a butter knife but also serves up favorites like Wisconsin cheese curds, shrimp cocktail, walleye pike and the like. And the service doesn’t get any more familiar than this, with most employees working there for decades.
La Porte, Indiana
Just a stone’s throw away from Lake Michigan, the current iteration of Heston Supper Club dates back to 1982 and honors the rural Indiana town of Hesston. Its menu boasts prime rib, lake perch, house-smoked barbeque and more. And the dress code — no dress code — sets the tone at this casual fine dining establishment.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Dating back to the early 1900s, the oldest supper club in Cedar Rapids was once a gas station and members-only key club known as a hot spot for illegal activities like drinking and gambling. It’s been Ced-Rel since 1935, and today, it dishes up steak, seafood, frog legs, catfish and Iowa pork loin.
As this Wisconsin institution’s website puts it, “What better place to hobnob than at the Hobnob?” This family-owned restaurant offers a pleasant blast from the past, with classic decor, supper club favorites and impeccable service. In fact, the eatery is a semifinalist for the 2020 James Beard Award for outstanding hospitality.
Dubbed Sacramento’s “most elegant restaurant and dive bar,” Arthur Henry’s sits in the same building that once housed Primo’s Swiss Club, having been restored to its former glory. Opening in 2013, this cash-only 21+ establishment features live music most evenings, a menu heavy on steaks, and a bar program centered around inventive craft cocktails.
The structure housing Bergs’ Landing was built in 1876 and has since served as a meat market and a bus depot among other things. In 1986, the dilapidated building on the shores of Green Bay was restored and is now a registered historic structure. These days, it dishes up water views along with steaks, seafood, veal and pasta.
Offering Italian-American favorites since 1946, Lydia’s is one of few traditional Meaderville-style supper clubs still around today. In fact, the eatery is such a standout that it counts Anthony Bourdain among its fans. The cuisine may have a slight twist to it, but the vibe embodies that distinct supper club feeling.