With panoramic views of the Gary Player designed golf course and the western shore of Lake Como, Geneva National’s rustic Hunt Club Steakhouse draws loyal diners year-round with the choicest cuts, winningest wine list and clubby ambience.
Partly visible from Highway 50 in Lake Geneva and set just inside the entrance to Geneva National, the restaurant is housed in a grand gray-and-white Palladian-style estate ensconced among a quaint gathering of cedar, maple and pine trees. Built in 1915, this gracious two-story was once home to plumbing magnate Richard Crane and a retreat for Crane Plumbing’s executives. Its finest hour yet, however, was circa 2013, when the mansion was revived and reopened as the Hunt Club Steakhouse.
Four booths and three tables in the dining room, two bar tables and nine tables in the bar area and a separate private dining room make the setting intimate. Darkly stained pine paneling, a holdover from its days as a hunt club, make it comfortable. A crackling fire, framed by a stone fireplace, creates warmth.
Focus on Excellence
A passion for superlative ingredients spans every inch of the seasonal, fresh menu -- from the corn-fed Sterling Silver steaks to the New Zealand Ora King salmon. Aged a minimum of 28 days, each steak is at the top one percent of choice and prime and personally inspected before being allowed into the restaurant.
The most requested starters are the cast iron skillet of warm spinach and artichoke dip as well as the calamari. The 8-ounce filet mignon, 16-ounce ribeye, cedar-planked salmon and steak burger with truffle fries are the most popular entrées among palates, says Hunt Club manager Martha Militello, who adds that few can pass on the menu’s divine crème brûlée and tiramisu. Patrons also embrace the Club’s thematic specials -- including the Monday and Saturday prime rib and Tailspin Tuesday lobster tail dinners -- as well as daily happy hour from 4-6pm.
Drink to That
Known for artistically pairing food and wine, the Hunt Club hosts monthly five-course meals matched with meticulously selected wines from the evening’s featured vineyard. “All of our wines are carefully chosen by taste, structure and price to match with our distinct menu offerings,” Militello said.
The restaurant's cellar is so ambitiously stocked that Wine Spectator magazine has honored the Hunt Club for 11 consecutive years for featuring a well-chosen assortment of quality producers along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style.
Touch of Comfort
As a fine dining restaurant with such high standards, a striking juxtaposition is the relaxed dress code, which Militello said jibes with the restaurant’s comfortable, cordial atmosphere. “Our servers wear denim so that whether you are stepping off the golf course or dropping in after work, you will feel at home here,” says Militello, who hopes each guest is “blown away by the feel of this wonderful old house, the high quality of the food and the dedicated service.”