Until I moved to New York I had no idea that supper clubs and Friday night fish fries were exotic species, or how hard it was to make a real Old Fashioned (the cocktail specialty of my wee little Grandma Geltemeyer).
From an important study at Grub Street :
Q: So are supper clubs typically in tourist areas like Door County or the Dells, or do they just pop up anywhere?
A: A lot of them are out in the middle of nowhere — they’re in a place that you would never, ever stumble on them unless they were your destination. Good service, big portions — that’s the draw. You have a drink at the bar, you have dinner, you finish off with a drink like a grasshopper — that’s your evening.
Just hearing someone call it "the Dells" rings like a tuning fork from home.
My grandfather's top spot was Chissy's in Waldo, where all the waitresses knew him by name. Every time we visited him in Sheboygan Falls we would pile into two cars and drive for 25 minutes in the dark ("Take a left at the round barn") for a $10 rib eye with a baked potato and a side of cole slaw and $5 pitchers of beer. It was the life.
p.s. Never in my many long years have I witnessed anyone ordering a grasshopper in a supper club.