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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Another Reason to Visit Kohler

The Blind Horse serves fine food in a rustic setting

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Anchored by golf courses, the American Club resort and the Shops at Woodlake, Kohler has been an elegant vacation destination for decades. The Woodlake shops include a fine Italian restaurant, Cucina, and the American Club houses several good places to eat, including The Horse and Plow and The Immigrant Restaurant.

Last year saw the opening of another reason to visit Kohler, the Blind Horse Restaurant & Winery. Located on a spit of Kohler land at the edge of town, past the “Welcome to Sheboygan” sign on Highway O, the Blind Horse offers fine food in a charming rustic setting. The Horse dominates the frontage of one of the area’s oldest farms and sits along Granny Creek, a stream linked to the Sheboygan River and screened by stands of trees. The restaurant occupies the renovated farmhouse, which began in pioneer days as a log cabin and grew into an edifice of brick and fieldstone. The original logs hold up the ceiling of the wine cellar, whose massive table, fashioned from barn wood, is available for private parties.

Upstairs, where lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch is served, guests will find wooden floors, beamed ceilings, fireplaces and brick walls hung with contemporary paintings. “We used as much of the old brick and wood as possible,” says Chef Gerald Feger Jr. Feger is a name familiar to Milwaukee foodies from his years at Mimma’s Café, the Bartolotta restaurants and, most recently, Carnivore. He brings a stylish sense to the Horse’s menu, whose French and Italian influences are grounded whenever possible in locally sourced ingredients. Toasted rolls, for the lunchtime walleye sandwich, come from a Sheboygan baker. Produce from area farmers is washed and sorted in the Horse’s cellar. Dishes are prepared with imagination and attractively served. Look for unique items such as the Italian sausage corn chowder special (and served with oven-warmed flatbread) or a delicious side of French fries dressed with truffle oil and sprinkled with fresh Parmesan cheese. The ingredients are balanced with care; no flavor overwhelms the other.

Lunch offers a thoughtful menu of salads, crepes and sandwiches; the roster expands at dinnertime to include entrées of pasta, fish, chicken, beef, veal and pork. Top off the meal with cheesecake, made in house, or the subtle flavors of gelato (with a sprig of fresh mint) from a Sheboygan shop.

In summer, the Blind Horse’s patio is lush with flowers and greenery. There is even a small pond stocked with brightly colored goldfish. The property is still being developed. A garden center and gift shop occupies an old building, an outdoor bar is slated for construction and the Blind Horse winery should be up and running by next spring.

The Blind Horse is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-10 p.m.

 

The Blind Horse Restaurant & Winery

6018 Superior Ave., Kohler

920-467-8599

$$-$$$

theblindhorse.com

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