Winery owners Randy, Kelly, and Nate Meyer are so passionate about winemaking that they've designed their entire vineyard to symbolize it—each phase of the buildings' architecture reflects a different step in the winemaking process. A planter crafted from locally harvested limestone marks the entrance to the winery and supports arbors symbolizing trellised grape bushes in the vineyards. The arbors extend through the earth-toned Chancellor Hall, where a towering cathedral ceiling laced with heavy beams can shelter more than 200 guests at once. Inside, light streams in through towering windows overlooking the vineyard, as well as through heavy double doors leading out to a patio and courtyard, where the same arbor continues to form a roof and shield wines from straw-wielding helicopter pilots. Outside, 16 acres of vineyards house rows of Midwest varietals such as Vignoles, St. Vincent, Frontenac, and Catawba. Staffers pluck vines entwined on trellised rows and carry their bushels into a processing building, where they unload pounds of fruit into imported presses and custom-made fermentation tanks. These grapes age into wines in a room designed in the shape of a barrel, which represents the winemaking and fermentation process as well as the winemakers' fear of being trapped inside a barrel. The Meyers also use the wines in these barrels to reflect their love for the region; they've named many of the dry and semidry wines for weather phenomena associated with Tornado Alley.
Staff Size: 11?25 people
Most popular offering: Steak-grilling kit
Pro Tip: For tender steaks, sear both sides first, locking in the natural flavors.
Madison Taylor Entrees' butchers collect meats from throughout the Midwest and seafood from both coasts. They put their knives to work, paring each delivery down into individual portions, which they then age to the peak of flavor. Then, they flash freeze and vacuum seal each portion, packing the serving-sized cuts for delivery. Customers can always recognize the delivery truck coming, thanks it's bright yellow paint job, commercial sub-zero freezer bed, and rows of people lining the streets, slow-clapping as it drives by.
The owners of Brewsky’s Food & Spirits know that the best way to get friends and family together is to create a vibrant space filled with live music, all the best sporting events on TV, frosty brews, and a menu of comfort foods. While taking pride in being the spot to gather for Huskers games, as well as all other major sporting events, the owners also take immense satisfaction in serving a selection of juicy steaks, flame-broiled burgers, and wings that their chef concocted exclusively for the restaurant. The team also entertains patrons with trivia nights and shows such as dueling pianos or quarreling xylophones at the Haymarket location.
Founded by twin sisters Denise and Kim, TwoTwins Café satisfies both of the body's stomachs with a menu of fresh, homemade recipes cooked from scratch and a tasty selection of European-style bakery goods. Break fasts with a three-egg omelet with Swiss cheese and smoked ham ($7.95), sidekicked by your choice of breakfast potatoes or signature breakfast rice and a biscuit or toast. Or traverse the towering heights of three fluffy buttermilk pancakes ($5.95), served with TwoTwins' tasty maple syrup. Exhausted existentialists can stir awake soul-searching with a mocha ($4.25) made from fresh-ground coffee beans while also pondering the absurdity that is the universe over a four-inch pecan roll ($2.99). TwoTwins Café also satisfies midday cravings with a lunch menu featuring items such as a Caesar salad ($5.95), moistened by drops of homemade Caesar dressing dew. Or try the Big Red Reuben ($8.25), a marble-rye-sandwiched collection of homemade corned beef, grilled sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, classic Russian dressing, and Husker pride. Beverages anxiously awaiting deglutition include Lipton iced tea ($2), specialty beers ($3.95), and various red and white house wines ($4.50–$5 per glass).
Goodcents champions customization, spreading build-your-own sandwich and pasta creations throughout the Great Plains and beyond. At each location, sandwich-stackers pile fresh-baked white or wheat bread with sliced-to-order meats such as pepperoni, salami, capicola, and roast beef. American, provolone, and pepper jack cheeses tuck in the fillings, keeping them warm and providing a blanket to hide under if the boogeyman comes. Then, more than 20 deli toppings, including pickles, peppers, spicy mustard, and vinegar, finish off the creation. Customers can also decide between pasta entrees, each tossed with meatballs or chicken and tomato marinara or cheese-based alfredo sauce.
Food has always been important to the Knudson family. Kal Knudson built a career as a leader in the restaurant industry and, with the rest of the family, established a holiday tradition of serving meals to the homeless. When his son, Kevin Knudson, decided to open a restaurant of his own, he named it Greenfield’s both for the rolling pasture beyond the building’s big, covered patio and as a nod to a piece of scripture that reminded him of his dad. The menu and the ambiance also carry on the family tradition in their way, designed to appeal to families of all kinds and give even large groups enough options for everyone to go home full. Homestyle staples include roast beef, meatloaf, and pasta, but the chefs aren’t afraid to put their own twists on the classics: the grill turns out a euro burger topped with basil pesto and feta cheese along with a peanut-butter burger, voted 1 of the top 10 burgers in the state by the Nebraska Beef Council and the Nebraska Peanut Gallery.
Nature photographs by John Coffey line the dining-room walls, creating a rustic atmosphere with help from decorative grasses and wrought-iron pendant lamps. But Knudson and his team don’t confine their food to the handsome dining room—all these years later, they still follow in Kal’s footsteps by occasionally warming the bellies of the community with random doses of hot chocolate and chicken soup.