The Big Easel, is, without a doubt, the most daring concept restaurant and enchanting environment in northern Wisconsin. All the restaurants in this part of Wisconsin are in the woods or near dairy farms, which serve the same food in the same formulaic manner. They are called “Supper Clubs.” You enter the restaurant find a seat at the bar, the bartender gives you a menu and takes your drink order. After a minute or two the bartender takes your food order. With in minutes you are seated at your table, salads or soup are immediately set before you. Before you are finished with starters the entrees are jostling for a place on the table. All the while wait staff inquiring are you okay on cocktails. Yeah, my Brandy Old Fashioned Sweet with Mushrooms is fine but my Mom needs another Lambrusco on the rocks with three marinated Brussel Sprouts.
Plus they all serve the same menu based on the day of the week. Fish is Friday, Broasted Chicken is Sunday, Prime Rib is Saturday, Tacos are Wednesday. Can’t comment on Tuesday or Thursday, my mind is numb!
So let’s move on to a bright light in the culinary landscape, The Big Easel in Wabeno Wisconsin. It is a restaurant owned and operated by Tim & Connie Friesen, they are tremendous supporters of the local art community and the restaurant is awash in paintings and sculpted works. There is a charming bar set off in a side room where people can garther, I have gathered there many times myself. The restaurant is always packed, Tim works the front of the house and is a great host. Connie is in the kitchen. Now here is the fun part, Tim and Connie offer dinner only once or twice a week. Connie will focus on a different cultural cuisine. It maybe Hungarian, Chinese, Mexican, etc. She is so sweet, she always provides an American menu for less culinary adventurers.
While we were all on Corona lock down, the Friesens offered take out Indian Food. Are you kidding? That’s a monumental accomplishment. Connie and Tim offered this to all of us shut-ins.
PASSAGE TO INDIA
Shafia (Onion Fritters) with Tamarind Chutney
Potato Samosa with Mint Chutney
Aloo Matar (potatoes with peas)
Tomato Onion Salad
Keemas Matar (Beef with Peas)
Creamy Chicken Korma with Basmati Rice
The food was great, especially Saag Paneer and Mumbi Lentils, but who could choose, it was all delicious. Well thought-out and each dish beautifully presented. Jim and I highly recommend you eat there, maybe you will be lucky enough to attend Moroccan night.