A fresco of French romantic painter Eugène Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People crowns The Inn At Versailles's stone fireplace. The mural's subject raises a fist clenching the French flag into the sky. Her gesture symbolizes the inn's rise from the ashes and unites its European-inspired artworks, many of which were painted locally.
A calamitous fire ravaged the village of Versailles in 1901, destroying six blocks of businesses and 38 homes. As residents rebuilt, they paid architectural homage to their town's namesake palace and to the Europe of the early 1900s. Since 1993, The Inn At Versailles has taken part in the European tradition with its vintage environs.
Local artists have ornamented nearly every room with original murals, frescoes, and prints inspired by Gallic culture at the turn of the century. The inn's guest rooms and suites join the elegance of ornate chandeliers, four-poster beds, and fireplaces with the modern pizzazz of TVs and WiFi access.
Complimentary continental breakfast every morning gives way to upscale lunch and dinner served at the onsite restaurant, Michael Anthony's at The Inn. Chef Michael Delligatta crafts upscale Italian fare bolstered by an international wine list that has garnered Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence every year since 2007. Visitors may carry their revelry to a nearby winery or one of the many other attractions in the village of Versailles.
At Aunt Katie's, the walls covered in black-and-white photos of women in baseball uniforms and team rosters filled with women's names. The eponymous Aunt Katie is Katie Horstman, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988 to commemorate her contribution to the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which the movie A League of Their Own made famous. The decor complements the menu of traditional cooking. Prime rib, lobster tails, and breaded pork chops comfort appetites better than a deep-fried Snuggie.
A smattering of 20 sauces and seasonings dripping from handspun wings coats patrons' fingers as they cheer on their favorite professional sports teams broadcast on Buffalo Wild Wings' TVs. Eyes are torn between watching teams dribble a ball, shoot a puck, and land a grand jeté, and plates of plentiful wings, burgers, wraps, salads, and ribs. For more entertainment, trivia games exercise brains, and the Blazin' Challenge offers recognition for those brave enough to down a dozen wings slathered in the eatery's hottest sauce in 6 minutes.
The walls of LeDoux's Restaurant, which are honey-hued with well-loved patches of exposed brick, embody the warm, homey nature of Cajun cuisine. Steam infused with bay leaves, cayenne pepper, and andouille sausage spirals from cauldrons of jambalaya and gumbo. A fireplace pours forth its toasty affections in the bayou-inspired interior, where a fountain whispers softly alongside hanging plants that swing slowly over patrons like Tarzan during rush hour. At the full bar, mugs of Louisianan libations, such as Turbodog, Purple Haze, and Dixie ale, leave cool rings of condensation next to plates of fried frog legs and gator. Sated sighs drift from LeDoux's patio, where crackling torches cast orange accents on the liberal sprinkling of fleurs-de-lis that festoon the building and the staff's uniforms. On select nights, applause rolls over live musical acts and free-range shadow puppets.
TJ Chumps' menu supplies sports fans with hearty helpings of amped-up bar food in an atmosphere appropriate for family WWF viewings. Whet a peckish palate with the buffalo shrimp ($7.50), five jumbo shrimp slathered in honey barbecue, Caribbean jerk, or hot wing sauce, before scaling the strata of the southwest turkey sandwich ($7.95), a sedimentary selection of smoky turkey, pepper jack, and lettuce with house-made chipotle mayo. Where disc-shaped fare is concerned, the Veggie Chump pizza ($11.95/$17.95) appeases herbivores, while the beefy Reuben pizza ($10.95/$16.95) gives the boost of energy required to colorfully converse with televised sportscasters and fictional spell-casters. Entree eaters can try the choice New York strip, with maitre d'butter and house-made smashed potatoes ($19.95), or the sushi-grade salmon dinner, with rice, broccoli, and a dollop of tartar sauce ($15.95).
Taste Creative Cuisine entertains eardrums and taste buds at the same time by presenting a menu full of contemporary twists on classic Southern cooking and regular sets of live jazz. Like carving a family chicken dinner with a laser-knife, the food roster modernizes mainstays of country-style dining. Fried chicken rests atop sweet-potato waffles, creamy aioli garnishes Cajun catfish sandwiches, and artichoke butter sauce adds flavor to cornmeal-breaded walleye pike. Handcrafted cocktails complement the Louisiana-fusion fare, as muted jazz trumpets, wailing saxophones, and standup comics keep audiences dancing and laughing into the night.