The Jaipur?s kitchen originally opened its doors back in 1992, and since then it?s finely tuned a vast menu of Northern Indian cuisine. To boot, since 1999, it?s also presented a selection of American fusion dishes. In the deep-purple dining room, rendered beautiful by sprawling murals, the staff serves the chef?s specials. This specialty selection of fusion plates includes indian crab cakes in a yogurt and sour-cream sauce, as well as grilled lamb sirloin cooked with a flavorful spice rub and served with roasted-tomato chutney. The in-house brewery crafts a variety of beers to complement the cuisine, including jalape?o ale, an IPA, and a nut-brown ale. Additionally, The Jaipur offers 23 wines by the glass and more than 180 wines by the bottle, enough bottles of wine to make the Sahara a fruity swimming pool.
In the light cast by 10 big-screen televisions, diners tuck into hand-cut steaks, hearty sandwiches, and cold brews at Jasper's Bar and Grill, where Huskers fans often gather en masse during football season. In between bites of sweet-potato fries and boneless wings, the well-fed spectators sip on domestic beers or snap toes in time with the karaoke and live music events that abound on weekends.
Twelve years ago, Frank and Amy Faust bought a 6-acre plot of land in the Loess Hills countryside with the intention of building themselves a log cabin. Instead, they found themselves sidetracked by a new dream—starting a winery. At Sugar Clay Winery, the Fausts now produce up to 10,000 gallons of wine each year, yet, as they told KETV-7, they still take the time to cork each bottle by hand. Visitors can introduce themselves to 14 of Sugar Clay’s proprietary varietals in the tasting room, such as the sangria-esque Loess Hills blush or a four-grape ambrosia blanc whose flavors morph from apple to butterscotch and almond with each sip. Outside, shaded decks house guests peering out on views of sloping valleys soundtracked by a chorus of birds hiding among the surrounding cedars. A fire pit warms sippers during crisper nights or on afternoons when a tour group of refrigerators shows up, and live musicians fill the air with notes from dulcimers and acoustic guitars.
In 2000, a group of farmers decided to diversify their crop production by planting twirling wine grapes into the rolling Midwestern hills. The initial smattering of vines quickly grew into a 4-acre vineyard and led to the launch of Silver Hills Vineyards & Winery, a small operation intent on crafting 100% Nebraska wines. The vintners’ Midwestern pride can be seen in their choice of ingredients—all wines are made with fruit grown at local vineyards and tattooed with the state motto—as well as their choice of decor: the outdoor tasting deck is shaped like Nebraska.
Silver Hills produces red, white, rosé, and berry wines, which visitors can sample during the vineyards’ limited hours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Bottle labels display woodcuts by John Schirmer, a resident of neighboring Iowa who has carved wood professionally for more than 35 years.
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.
Paul Kavulak and his wife Kim turned a hobby into a career when they opened Nebraska Brewing Company. Paul, lead brewer Tyson Arp, and the rest of the brewers create a collection of award-winning beers that includes Cardinal Pale Ale and the Reserve Series Barrel Aged beers. Beer fans can learn the ins-and-outs of the brewing process during tours of the facility and soak in the atmosphere of where the beer is actually made.