As it prepares to unveil a new craft distillery and restaurant, headed by an accomplished chef, this New Glarus vineyard is elevating its experience to a whole new level.
Nestled in the scenic hills of New Glarus, Wis., is Bailey’s Run Vineyard and Winery, a popular stop that’s growing and expanding to include a distillery, an expanded restaurant and a new full-time chef.
The business at N8523 Klitzke Road celebrates its fifth anniversary this year. Owners Todd and Janet Kuehl are marking the milestone by adding a craft distillery named Whiskey Run and a new kitchen and restaurant called Barley’s Bourbon Kitchen. Both complement each other by offering different experiences, depending on the time of day. They are expected to open later this summer. To handle the increase in business, Trisha Coughlin was hired last February as the first full-time chef and kitchen manager.
“We knew at some point we would need a chef to help us move forward, as we had more and more private parties and plans to grow,” says general manager Julianna Bocvkiewicz. “We already have a big customer base who like what we do and are excited about what we are going to do.”
So far, Coughlin has reworked the catering menus and added wraps and salads to the regular winery menu. She’s also added new flatbreads and made some adjustments to longtime favorites.
Bocvkiewicz says Bailey’s Run is building on its reputation as a popular lunch place, adding more substantial dinner selections to convince diners to stay for an evening meal.
“What makes Bailey’s so popular is the vibe. When people are here, they forget about the outside world and whatever problems they are having,” she says. “There is so much energy here, and when people come here they stay for hours. There’s no such thing as a bad day, and the views are to die for.”
Coughlin was born in Texas and moved to Wisconsin with her family when she was 10 years old. Her inspiration to be a chef came from watching television cooking shows, especially her favorite, Chef Emeril Lagasse. She went to culinary school in Arkansas.
Coughlin feels at home at Bailey’s Run in more ways than one.
“When I first sat down with Todd, I picked up on his passion for good food and drink,” she says. “He is so ambitious, hard-working and has a vision for the future. He is very open and just wants the best from the best. His goals are completely in line with my own. I feel like everyone working here is a family.”
Coughlin says she likes to be known for being able to cook anything, from fancy elegant meals to upscale bar food. Some of her favorite dishes to make are Asian/American. She loves the fun, freedom and imagination that goes into making meals from scratch and often looks to other recipes and images to spark an idea.
One of her most recent and successful creations, she says, is a marinated chicken breast sous vide with a variety of seasonings that’s then pan-fried to a golden brown. The French cooking technique means “under vacuum,” because the food is vacuum-sealed in a cooking pouch and heated at a precise temperature in a water bath.
“It is the most moist and tender chicken I have ever had,” Coughlin says. “When I’ve been to weddings, I never order chicken because it is usually so dry. I found a way to make it moist and have a fabulous taste.”
Bailey’s Run serves only wine, beer and lighter fare for lunch and early dinners. Whiskey Run will focus on whiskey, bourbon and craft cocktails while Barley’s will have dinner selections such as burgers, steaks, sandwiches and more dessert choices. Janet Kuehl’s famous three-layer carrot cake, made with cream cheese frosting and entirely covered with chopped nuts, is served in a portion large enough to share.
Bailey’s Run Vineyard and Winery is open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.