Nestled in the Silent Forest—a place rich with local legends and tall tales—Hidden Lake Winery and Banquet Center carves out a cozy spot among the canopy of trees. The rustic lodge plays host to tastings where folks sample a selection of the winery's award-winning, hand-crafted wines. Each of the varietals is made from locally-grown fruits and bottled on-site. On weekends, chefs craft dishes from a quaint menu to pair with the wines, such as artisanal flatbreads, spinach-artichoke dip, and crispy deep-fried ravioli. For folks who'd like to make a weekend of it, Hidden Lake opens up deluxe cabins complete with jacuzzis and fireplaces.
Executive Chef James Solomon and owner Dino Karagiannis enrich each of The Tenderloin Room's charbroiled steaks—from New York strip sirloins to porterhouses—with a special blend of seasonings, taken from a secret Karagiannis family recipe. With these tender slabs as its focal point, Chef Solomon builds the rest of his menu around other choice meats such as grilled lamb and seafood including broiled tilapia.
To help wash down each juicy bite, bartender Mary—Dino's oldest daughter— keeps domestic and imported wines on hand. She uncorks selections beneath a shimmering stained glass ceiling, one of several touches that evokes an elegant atmosphere like steakhouses of old. Eleni —Dino's youngest daughter— greets you at the door, revealing chandeliers illuminating three dining rooms, shedding light on polished wood, wraparound booths, and comfy chairs that have consumed the loose change of stars such as Frank Sinatra and George Clooney.
Though upgraded and modernized with new amenities, Sam’s Steakhouse is housed in an early-20th-century building and preserves an Old World charm while offering a selection of succulent steaks. Patrons can sidle up to a wooden bar or sit beneath soft track lighting at a table near a gently crackling fireplace. Large banquet settings and private party rooms are also available to host larger parties. Soft music enhances the atmosphere as appetizers such as lobster ravioli and shrimp fromage pave roads toward massive 24-ounce porterhouse steaks and fried lobster tails accompanied by delicate wines.
Since a menu comprised entirely of mouth-watering steak would be both unimaginative and difficult to read if overcooked, Chef Andrew Shrensker lets 15 Steakhouse's diners choose from a wide range of favorably flavored menu options made fresh from rotating, seasonal ingredients. Lead off with some toasted chorizo dumplings dipped in tomato jam ($8)—or skip the appe-teasers entirely and head straight for home plate with options such as build-your-own burgers or one of Jim Edmonds' 14 oz. rib eye steaks ($29). If you want to separate the men from the boys without dividing the turf from the surf, combine beer battered ribs ($9) and pesto crusted salmon ($20). A lengthy list of sides lets you pair your main plate with wild mushrooms, cheddar, garlic or butter mashed potatoes, fries with buttermilk basil peppercorn aioli, or mac 'n' cheese ($5 each).
In the family-style dining room at LuBar & Bistro, chatter from an underground bar, full-service bar drifts up the stairs, hinting at hidden revelry. A stone-fired oven for pizzas spills warmth out across the open space, skilled hands craft Italian ice cream, and spoons click against pots of housemade barbecue sauce, dressings, and marinara. Servers cruise by, transporting sandwiches and gluten-free options down to the underground lounge, where neon darts in ghosts of blue and pink off of a forest of bottles and a gleaming marbled bar. Bartenders mix drinks, ice clicking to punctuate tunes on the jukebox and occasional live music. As patrons lower glasses full of suds from Sam Adams, Hoegaarden, and Smithwick’s, big-screen TVs show sporting events and a soon-to-arrive cadre of video games—including Golden Tee—promise digital thrills. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, a breakfast buffet beckons to early risers from 8 a.m. to noon.
There's plenty of entertainment at Silver Creek Saloon & Grill: live bands perform throughout the week, and RedZone football games are broadcast on an oversize projector and nine flat-screen televisions. In the warmer months, visitors can play sports themselves, serving volleyballs across Silver Creek’s sandy court.
Lump crab cakes, steak sandwiches, and hand-breaded shrimp po’ boys are just a few of the snacks available to patrons who arrive hungry or who work up an appetite on the court. Bartenders mix cocktails and pour cold beers to slake thirsts indoors or on the outdoor patio. Groups of friends can also gather in the pub's private party room, which can be reserved without a fee.