A Real Wisconsin Supper Club Experience
HobNob serves steaks, chops and cocktails in a classic setting
Whether or not you call it retro, HobNob is still doing it right after 60 years. Hobnob means to socialize, mix, associate or mingle, and from the moment you pull into the parking lot with the mural of a martini on the building and the red neon HobNob light glowing in the sky, the mood is set for a real Wisconsin supper club experience.
HobNob opened in 1954 and sits on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan for an outstanding view. The well-maintained ’50s décor, along with high standards in food and cocktails, transport you back to a time when supper clubs were as popular as small plates are in our era. The excellent service from the moment we walked in the door continued throughout our meal, making us feel like we were hobnobbing with royalty. The cocktail list runs from classic to exotic, but the martini mural and ambiance inspired me to have a traditional martini, a benchmark of a good supper club (along with the bread basket with warm rolls and real butter). It delivered with high marks, as did the selection of wines, beers by the bottle and a good selection of craft beers as well—all reasonably priced and generous pours. Also on the drink menu are cognacs, fine ports and sherry, but save room for a nostalgic trip back to the ’60s with the one of their famous retro ice cream drinks like a grasshopper or pink squirrel.
The menu is all you would hope for at a supper club. We took our server’s suggestion and ordered oysters Rockefeller ($12.95) and snails á la Bourguignonne ($9.95). The four beautiful oysters sat on a sizzle platter of rock salt, nestled in their shells, covered with a good amount of spinach and cheese to complement without taking away from the gem inside. The tender small snails were served in a good amount of butter and garlic with a coin-sized puff pastry, crisp on top with enough doughy layers to soak up the juice and butter below. Other starters included crab au gratin stuffed mushrooms, French onion soup and their signature garlic bread with Gorgonzola sauce. All entrées include a soup, salad (spinach or tossed) and choice of potato. The evening’s soup special was New England clam chowder, a hot and creamy cup filled with fresh clams and potatoes. The á la carte Caesar salad ($3) was crisp with a good balance of acid and saltiness from the anchovies and cheese plus a tasty garlic crouton. The spinach salad comes with warm bacon dressing and great caramelized onions.
It’s hard to choose an entrée because of the vast selection of beef, lamb, pork and a wide variety of seafood including both a whitefish and salmon broiled on a plank. The salmon was in a lovely grainy mustard ($24.95) glaze and paired perfectly with a vegetarian polenta primavera ($18.95). House specialties include calves liver, duckling and prime rib when is available—it was that night and proved to be a great choice. The prime rib ($32.95), a massive 13 ounces on the bone (they also offer a larger cut that’s 26 ounces for $59.95), was done rare as requested, had a flavorful and crisp outer crust, and was served au jus. The other specialty was the wiener schnitzel ($25.95), large pieces of tender and crispy veal topped with lemon and capers or a là Holstein, was topped with an egg perfectly cooked with anchovies.
HobNob’s desserts are the perfect ending to a nostalgic evening whether you need a banquet room for 100 or a private room for popping the question. It is certainly a place where memories are made and live on.
227 Sheridan Road, Racine
Handicap access: Yes
CC, FB, FF, GF, RS