Surrounded by 400 acres of rippling hills and more than 12,000 grapevines just north of Lincoln, James Arthur Vineyard proves that award-winning wine doesn't just come from the West Coast or a billionaire's bathroom-sink faucet?it can hail from the Midwest, too.
In a cozy tasting room complete with crackling fireplaces and gourmet snacks, visitors can sample the finest. Proprietor Jim Ballard's personal favorite is the 2012 Vignoles, whose delicate m?lange of apricot and peach notes won the Jefferson Cup that year, along with a Best of Show at the Colorado State Fair Wine Competition. The winery's ros?s?particularly the 2011 Horizon and the 2011 White St. Croix?have made similar splashes at competitions throughout the U.S. The 2010 Game Bird Red stands out from the dry reds with its subtle, nose-tickling burst of strawberry, and James Arthur Vineyard occasionally unveils a limited-edition specialty such as its brandy-fortified Tropasti dessert wine.
When Nate Kellison was brainstorming a unique idea for his restaurant, he consulted one of his most trusted culinary sources: his mom. She reminded him of reuben rolls, a treat she'd often made for him and his brother when they were young. The idea was simple enough: take the sandwich's ingredients and roll them all up in dough. To give them an even more unique look, Nate's wife suggested they make them as little pot pies. And just like that, Round-Abouts was born.
Today, Round-Abouts doesn't just serve "rounds" stuffed with reuben ingredients. There are also mini pies stuffed with pizza fixings, barbecued chicken, broccoli and cheese. All of these options share the menu with breakfast flavors and smaller dessert versions filled with chocolate or fruit. To maintain the homespun vibe, Nate invites local musicians and artists to share their work in his restaurant.
John Benton can describe his approach to cuisine in a single sentence: "I believe in simple food cooked perfectly." That's a lofty goal, and one that Mr. Benton works tirelessly to achieve as executive chef at Venue Restaurant & Lounge. Of course, it helps that he can rely on local and organic ingredients, including those he grows as part of his own rooftop organic gardening feature.
While he may look close to home for his herbs and veggies, Benton reaches across oceans for his culinary inspirations. A typical lunch at Venue might start with a gluten-free salmon ciabatta featuring fresh, grilled salmon open-faced with lettuce, tomato, capers, and drizzled with house-made remoulade or an uncured New York strip pastrami Reuben with house-made pastrami and Russian dressing topped with sauerkraut and Swiss. At dinner, the chef's brick-oven pizzas are browned golden and topped with smoked Gouda, chicken, artichokes, and savory Alfredo shrimp. Other meals are a bit more spontaneous. Benton's dry-aged steak of the moment, for example, changes nightly.
The chef's creativity extends to the rest of Venue's team, which includes bar manager and resident mixologist Barrie Kuhn. In addition to assembling an international wine list, Kuhn has dreamed up several original house cocktails and also offers barrel-aged liquors. Try the James Dean, which features Wild Turkey, Budweiser syrup, and orange bitters garnished with an orange peel or the Snap Pea Gimlet, featuring sugar-snap-pea-infused gin, fresh-squeezed lime juice, and house ginger syrup.
Perhaps one of the best words to sum up winemaker Orville A. Gertsch's method is patience. In 1996, he decided to turn his winemaking hobby into a profession, and planted his first vines the following year. And yet it wasn't until the 2001 harvest that Orville was ready to push his wine into full retail production. That same year, he registered his operation's name: Prime Country Winery.
Though he handed the managerial reins to his son Fred in 2002, Orville still draws from more than 30 years of experience to produce a range of handmade red, white, and blush wines. He and his staff use only the grapes they harvest on their own Denton vineyard, a decision central to their mission and to ensuring none of the grapes are actually tiny spy cameras. They pick all of their plantings by hand, and rack—rather than filter and pump—the must, a labor-intensive process that Orville finds infinitely more rewarding. Using these old-fashioned, chemical-free processing techniques in tandem with modern steel equipment, Prime Country Winery fills its tasting room with craft wines ranging from dry to sweet.
At Lincoln?s historic Haymarket, visitors relax with time-honored forms of entertainment, such as taking in a play or browsing the farmer?s market. When the Haymakers brought indoor football back to the city after a seven-year drought, they decided to honor the importance of the Haymarket by naming their team after it. The biggest difference between the two: the Haymakers regale people with high-octane entertainment in the form of bone-crushing tackles and soaring touchdown catches.
Playing as part of the Midwest-based Champions Pro Indoor Football League, the Haymakers gather players from across the country to compete in the league?s fast-paced, eight-on-eight arena style of football. Off the field, the team makes a positive impact in the community by holding youth camps, organizing parties, and constructing human pyramids to cover up unwanted graffiti.
The cuisine artists behind Henry’s On South whip up a seasonally updated menu that features modern European and American cuisine that makes use of the freshest produce and meats. They grab handfuls of the fresh herbs that hang in the kitchen while crafting white truffle macaroni and cheese, New Orleans–style Cajun shrimp, or flat iron steaks.