Valentine’s Day lands on a Tuesday this year, and we don’t want you to miss out on these date-worthy specials, so we extended them through 2/19!
Appetizers and Salad
grilled oyster with spinach, garlic, panko crumbs, parmesan cheese $3 each
five bacon wrapped dates stuffed with blue cheese $4.50
shaved brussels sprouts, almonds, bacon, apple cider vinaigrette $4sm $8lg
two bacon wrapped pheasant breasts, white wine mushroom cream sauce, choice of side $22
Pan Seared Arctic Char
citrus orange butter, choice of side $19
scallops, shrimp, crab, garlic wine butter sauce, orzo pasta $16
Grilled Cowboy Ribeye
22oz bone in certified angus beef, choice of side $42
Dinner for Two
Grilled Cowboy Ribeye
Check out our first annual beer vs wine dinner under our events tab! We hope to see you there.
It’s easy to go to a restaurant, take a cursory glance at the wine list and order a glass of the house something-or-other, right? What if you’re feeling a little fancy? What if you’re out for your anniversary? What if you just say “hey, I just want to get a bottle of wine”…(who needs an excuse, really). So you grab the wine list…and become severely overwhelmed. How are you supposed to pick?! Let’s take some time and sort this out; the quicker we do so, the quicker we can enjoy that first sip! Let me just preface this by saying that I am going with the basic assumption that you have no general aversions to wine as a whole, and have somewhat experimented a little with wines and have narrowed it down to a handful you can appreciate. This is made a lot easier by enjoying at leisure, developing your nose and palate, doing a little research on what geographical locations or regions your favorite wines may stem from, and recognizing those particular nuances. For instance, one of my favorite wines is a sauvignon blanc; originally from the Bordeaux region of France, there are variants that are popular from New Zealand to Chile, with general notes ranging from heavy grassiness to sweet tropical flavors depending on the origin. Personally, I prefer New Zealand sauvignon blancs over others – a hint of the grassiness, with a punch of citrus that is crisp and refreshing. If you have gotten this far with your personal palate, look for your favorite varietals and regions first. The second big thing to look for is if it has a vintage, a specific year listed on the bottle. If you are familiar with the particular region, the vintage may help you determine the quality of the wine even if you do not know the producer. Not many people you encounter in your lifetime are going to have 2,000 square foot wine cellars below their homes, so vintages are more for predicting the weather during that year and how it affects the overall taste, rather than the conundrum of putting it on a shelf for a couple of years yet. Vintage will only help you though if you have done some previous research or are swift with the App Store and have downloaded some useful apps like Delectable or The Wine Coach. If all else fails, ask your server what has been most popular or if they have any recommendations; you might be surprised! It’s not an exact science, think of it more as one of the more interesting experiments in your lifetime!
MJ’s by the Lake was not the first restaurant to inhabit these walls. Many guests remember a time when restaurants such as the Knotty Pine were here, and nothing precedes the Knotty Pine’s reputation more than their extensive martini list. However, if you’ve wondered why the building looks so similar to a house, you’re not wrong. The building site was built in the 1930s and was originally Huber’s Resort. Mr. Huber was a NASCAR driver and has trophies in Indianapolis. It has been a restaurant or resort since, and some of the previous restaurants include Huber’s Resort, Walther House, Viking Club, Sherwood Forest, the Knotty Pine, and the Loreili. Although it underwent many changes, some of the “old bones” were kept – the fireplace, the bar, the flooring in the banquet room, as well as the beams and window trim in the main dining room are all original. It did need a little TLC though – the bar is brand new, complete with hand-picked stone, and MJ and her husband built the forms and poured the concrete bar top. The patio is a new addition as well! We have a great mix of old and new, and a great history to prove it.
One of everyone’s favorite breakfast items, Eggs Benedict, contains one of the most technically difficult items in the culinary world, and I’m not talking about hollandaise (today). Poaching eggs is one of the most sensitive processes for non-culinary professionals to master, and I’m here to help! Chrissie is a wealth of information, and many of you have tasted her mastery of this skill at our brunches (did you guys try the Eggs Benedict we had at Mother’s Day? *swoon*). She walked me through the process and it seems relatively painless. You’re going to want to grab a 2 quart pot with a lid, a slotted spoon, a small bowl or ramekin, a timer, and some kosher salt and distilled white vinegar. First, grab your pot and fill it up until one inch remains from the water line to the top. Add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 2 teaspoons of distilled white vinegar. Put the pot on medium heat and bring it to a gentle simmer. Next, you’re going to take your egg, and crack it into your small bowl or dish. Take your spoon and create a whirlpool of sorts by swirling your spoon in the water; once you have a good one started, take your bowl with your single egg and drop it in the middle of the whirlpool. This helps with keeping the egg white together. Turn off the heat, put your lid on and set your timer. It’s important to get your egg whites cooked, but if you’re going for that classic, beautiful runny yoke, set your timer for 2 minutes. If you’d prefer a medium cook on your yolk, three minutes, and hard yolk is four minutes. Remove your masterpiece with your slotted spoon and serve it immediately on an english muffin with canadian bacon or over hash for a yummy breakfast. If you feel like being a true master, tackle some hollandaise sauce, but be prepared to work hard for your breakfast!
Due to tonight’s Wine Dinner, MJ’s will have limited hours and will be open from 11am-1:30pm. Have a great day!
It’s Friday night, time for fish fry and an old fashioned to end your long week. So you head down to your favorite spot for fish, and you decide to have a drink at the bar first. You’ve been ordering them the same way since you can remember: brandy old fashioned sweet with olives. Your bartender creates your cocktail with the finesse you’ve come to expect, and you go about your evening as if nothing is amiss. In an alternate universe, you are visiting somewhere on the coast, let’s say New York City, and it’s Friday, so that means fish and an old fashioned right? You find somewhere with a good seafood selection, and you decide to have a drink before your meal. You order an old fashioned, but before you can specify your usual, the bartender whisks away and is whipping up something across the way. When they come back, what is put down before you is most definitely not what your alternate is enjoying back home. What gives?
The old fashioned has been around almost as long as the term “cocktail” and has evolved many times over. However, Wisconsin has one of the most unique recipes for old fashioneds. Here in Wisconsin, and especially at MJ’s By The Lake, when you order an old fashioned, a couple of questions come up: would you like brandy or whiskey; sweet or sour; what would you like for a garnish? We begin by muddling an orange wedge, a maraschino cherry, Angostura bitters, and simple syrup – the ultimate basis for your libation. We then follow with ice and your choice of alcohol, the most popular by far being Korbel brandy, and top it off with a wash of your choice – white soda for sweet and sour mix for sour. A plethora of garnish choices follow, including but not limited to maraschino cherries, olives, and pickled mushrooms, among others. It’s a perfect companion to your perch fish fry. Elsewhere, you would be getting a sugar cube muddled with the same Angostura bitters and a dash of water, minimal ice, and a serving of rye whiskey topped with a large orange twist. This version of the cocktail was established and solidified in the early 1900s and is considered an “Unforgettable” by the International Bartenders Association. Regardless of its origin, it’s a cocktail enjoyed by many wide over; make sure when you cross state lines, you know what you may be getting into!