In a world of constant change, the Colony House in western Kenosha County is an anomaly. Despite the constant shift of the world around it, few alterations have been made to the venerable restaurant’s menu or ambience over the decades. This is no accident.
Snugly situated at the junction of two country roads a half mile south of Trevor, the supper club and steakhouse has gained a steady following since the doors first opened more than a century ago, in the early 1900s. One of its most noted attributes is the striking New England-inspired décor.
“There are a lot of old antique tables and chairs,” Karen Stevens, co-owner of Colony House, says of the interior. “A lot of it has not changed in 80 years.”
The attention to details of yesteryear goes all the way down to the dinnerware, which mimics what was used in a time long since passed.
The Colony House’s quaint, old-fashioned charm is complimented by many of the geographic features in close proximity. Rolling Wisconsin farmlands still dot the nearby landscape. The dining room also provides serene glimpses into an adjacent creek.
Karen and her husband, Eugene, have been overseeing operations at The Colony House the past 27 years. Now, as people seek normalcy after the pandemic’s impact, Karen says diners have been clamoring for the authentic supper club-style dining experience that was once a Wisconsin staple.
“They come from all around Wisconsin because we are that true supper club,” Karen explains of the people who have made The Colony House a destination stop. “People have been looking for that lately.”
The Colony House’s strategic location has made it a unique destination for diners in a number of nearby metropolitan areas.
“We actually get people from all over,” Karen says. “There are quite a few people that love coming up here from Illinois, and, of course, we get people from Milwaukee, Racine, and Kenosha as well.”
The New England ambiance within The Colony House translates over to the menu, which carries an array of fish and seafood dishes. , including fish and chips, broiled fresh salmon, stuffed flounder, broiled shrimp scampi, frog legs, and twin lobster tails.
In true Wisconsin fashion, a Friday night fish fry is also offered each week — often to a full house. Diners have the opportunity to choose between several beer battered options, including lake perch, baby walleyed pike, and bluegill. There’s also French fried smelt, and Icelandic cod available.
Diners have grown accustomed to other menu staples over the years. The Colony House has gained notoriety for its Oscars, which are topped with asparagus, king crab meat, and béarnaise sauce. The Oscars, topped with asparagus, king crab meat, and bernaise sauce, are served as chicken, filet mignon, salmon, and veal.
When asked what truly stands out on the menu, Karen says the prime rib has long been a fan favorite. The slow-roasted USDA choice beef is served with natural juice and is accented with a creamy horseradish sauce on the side. Cuts of prime rib are served up in 10 ounces, 16 ounces, and 20 ounces.
“Our prime rib is hand made every day,” Karen says. “We always serve it fresh.”
Other menu items include chops, de jonghes, marsalas, parmigianas, pasta dishes, piccatas, ribs, and steaks.
Alongside the traditional menu, The Colony House offers daily specials. Diners are treated to a range of dishes, including grilled yellowfish tuna with a side of Wasabi sauce, or sautéed liver with onions and bacon.
A variety of appetizers are also peppered throughout the menu, many with the restaurant’s signature New England twist. Homemade crab cakes, oysters florentine, and sautéed mussels are among some of the options.
The Colony House also offers up a full drink menu that Karen says also has been a signature crowd-pleaser.
“We have an awesome wine list, as well as a great martini list,” she explains. “We have happy hour every day.”
A dessert menu, including such tasty treats as bread pudding, is also available.
The Colony House boasts an old world charm, and Karen says the goal is to give diners a pleasant experience where they feel right at home. An old-fashioned home cooked meal is always the overall goal.
Waitresses wear Colonial dresses amid the backdrop of a crackling fireplace and hearth that gives warmth that is especially appreciated during the winter months.
One of the greatest ringing endorsements of The Colony House’s enduring popularity is the number of people who venture out to the restaurant on any of the six nights it is open.
“We get busy, so we definitely recommend reservations,” Karen says.
She emphasizes that there is a demand for a high-quality, authentic dining experience. She attributes the restaurant’s longevity to its attention to service, alongside the menu and unique interior.
“Our prices are very reasonable,” she adds. “We have lots of regulars.” Take a step back in time for an evening with a visit to The Colony House, where prices are very reasonable and ambience and charm abound.