Nestled on the grounds of Pheasant Bonanza, Roosters overlooks hunting fields dotted with plump fowl. Chef Aaron Schroder, a hunter himself, draws inspiration from the view, infusing an ever-changing menu with fresh pheasant and other succulent cuts of meat and seafood. Though born and raised in Nebraska, Schroder cut his teeth as a chef at his mother's Italian restaurant in Seattle and then at eateries in New York City, including Mario Batali's Lupa in SoHo. Since returning to Nebraska, he has applied his skills to prepare such favorites as smoked pheasant and slow-roasted pork shoulder. His wife, April Goettle, brings 20 years of bartending experience to Roosters, where she curates an artisan drink menu alongside simple pours of whiskey and beer.
Though its menu always promises something new, Roosters' decor is a reflection of the past. Mounted animals on the walls pay homage to hunting lounges of the 1950s, and the wooden tables, chairs, and bar top pay homage to really old trees.
Colorful neon signs illuminate The Bar’s staff as they fill glasses with domestic brews, crack open imported bottles, and carefully infuse cocktails with premium liquors. A large outdoor beer garden shelters patrons who dine on free pizza on Fridays and drink in the sounds of occasional live music. Home to summer basketball and baggo leagues, The Bar also opens its doors to private events such as graduation parties and shuts them against pillaging Vikings.
The wine wizards at A World of Wine transport sophisticated sippers to distant ambrosial lands with libations from around the globe. Groups of grape aficionados can gather for a private tasting to sample six different wines, ripened to perfection and aged for the amount of time it takes the bottle to cross the ocean in a paddleboat. During the one-hour session, a vino connoisseur discusses each sample and offers as much tasting tutelage as desired by each group of drinkers. Duos, quartets, and octets can engage their taste buds with three red and three white wines in the comfortable confines of the wine shop's tasting area that allows for an intimate event in which to share opinions, observations, and embarrassing grape-stomping photos.
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.
The brewers who keep Keg Creek Brewing Company afloat in fermented fare began as homebrewers. Though they now operate an entire company, their experimental, do-it-yourself philosophy remains the same. From mash tanks and fermentation vessels come the brewery's lifeblood, a lineup of expertly crafted beers that flow forth daily in the onsite tasting room. The brews include Wabash Wheat, a light-bodied wheat beer that honors the Wabash Trace Nature Trail, and Breakdown Brown Ale, a malty brew named after the communication breakdown that resulted in East Dakota’s statehood. As the seasons change, Keg Creek's brewmasters rotate their output with it, brewing beers both big and small to fit the weather.