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Here’s One Reason to Do More Than Visit the Spa at Kohler

Wisconsin’s Destination Kohler is a great place for dining.

Brunch in the historic Wisconsin Room is a steal at $34   Photo: Nina Kokotas Hahn

The food. Though spa-goers call its 25,000-square-foot spa the best in the Midwest and, in warmer months, golfers queue into its bucket-list courses, including the lakefront Whistling Straits (host of the upcoming 2015 PGA Championships), many don’t realize that Wisconsin’s Destination Kohler is a place for great dining.

Make the trip this winter, booking not just the spa, but reservations at any one of 12 eateries—including the faraway-feeling River Wildlife—plus a handful of trip-worthy culinary events.

Here are four you should not miss:

1. Five-Star Dine Around
This Thursday, take part in Kohler’s version of a restaurant crawl with five courses served at five different restaurants, each with a wine pairing and chef presentation. Start with a toast at the American Club, then hop in a shuttle for courses at Blackwolf Run Restaurant, Cucina, The Immigrant Restaurant, and the historic Wisconsin Room. Dessert is served at Craverie Chocolatier Café, where you can pick up Terrapins, Kohler’s buttery version of the chocolate turtle. Five-Star Dine Around begins at 6:30 p.m., costs $99 a person, and is available to guests staying at the Inn at Woodlake or the cozy American Club (from $180). The event happens again in 2015 on March 26 and June 11.

2. In Celebration of Chocolate
Considered a more intimate version of Kohler’s recent Food & Wine Experience, the three-day Celebration of Chocolate from February 6 to 8 focuses on using chocolate in new and unusual ways, such as throughout the entire menu and alongside wine, beer, cheese, and other non-traditional pairings. Headlining the event is James Beard Award winning Pastry Chef and recent head judge of Bravo’s Top Chef: Just Desserts, Johnny Iuzzini. Packages start at $436 a person and include: two nights at the American Club; a ticket to the Chocolate and Wine Dinner, Main Stage Demo, and Sugar High event, where you can arrive early to meet Iuzzini.

3. Demonstration Kitchen Series
Keep it simple with informal chef-led lessons at the Demonstration Kitchen at the Shops at Woodlake, a five-minute drive from the American Club. On January 10, chefs Paul Smitala of Blackwolf Run and Dan Dries of Whistling Straits lead “Favorite Recipes of our Grandparents.” On January 24, learn to cook with Wisconsin cheeses with chef Matthew Bauer of The Immigrant Restaurant & Winery Bar. Classes happen at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. every Saturday from January to April; the cost is $35.

4. Brunch in the Wisconsin Room
Located in the original dining hall for immigrant workers at Kohler Co., the Wisconsin Room at the American Club is also the place for an outstanding Sunday brunch. Make reservations in advance and save room for oysters on the half shell, huge slabs of local artisan cheese, eggs benedict with Nueske’s Canadian bacon, and lush bread puddings. And at $34 per adult (children pay $14), it’s a steal.

If you go, plan at least a day at Kohler Waters Spa where you should try the new 80-minute Detox De’Lite for an energy boost.

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