When I was a kid, starting at the age of 9, I was relocated each summer
to my cousin’s farm for two weeks.  I recall being very confused that
first year about dinner and supper. I pondered why dinner was apparently
called supper? And why lunch was the same things we had for lunch in the
city, just called dinner out here?  Perhaps supper clubs were the source
of the confusion, or the other way around? I never did figure it out.
And, I still have no idea.
So the 14-mile venture to Dennison wasn’t as much a quest to find yet
another supper club, as it was a hope that the drive might be a little
more interesting. True, Dennison is very small, but also true, the path
through the horse farms and bluffs along County 24 is quite charming -
so the first 12 miles of the drive fly by, then hang a right on County 9
and you are there.  Or, if you are already at the State Park
(Nerstrand-Big Woods) and want to stop for dinner on the way back to
Cannon Falls, this is an excellent choice too.
On our visit, we ordered up drinks and an appetizer of deep fried
mushrooms – based on the server recommendation.  These were bountiful
and good, not greasy, decent size, nice flavor with a very good dipping
sauce made on site.  In regard to the bar they have a good selection of
liquor, and some interesting beer choices. The wine list was adequate.
I was struck by the fish & seafood selection on this menu which ranged
from the standard all you can eat fish fry, to walleye fillet,
Mahi-Mahi, a few versions of shrimp and several others.  There are,
interestingly, some oddball flavor concepts on this menu that wander
outside the realm of the typical supper club formula. Take the steak
with the creamy parmesan shrimp sauce – as an example.   But, the
entr?es, by and large, are a cooked meat/fish choice, a potato (a few
choices) and a salad or soup. I speak, of course, of the dinner choices
and specials, listed on the menu of this supper club.  It turns out,
they also serve lunch?
The atmosphere is rather casual. The dining room, which is comfortable,
is the opposite of upscale.  The bar has plenty of nice bar seating,
plus a row of tables along a wall across the aisle. But don’t expect a
romantic window view or cozy fireplace seats.  Our service was mixed,
and we sat at the bar.  One of the bartenders who was very pleasant, but
not terribly knowledgeable about Fireside’s menu, attended to us well
enough.   The staff seemed very accommodating and service oriented,
fully devoid of any pretense – as expected.
In the end, if looking for dinner at a supper club, you can drive up
the highway to The Black Stallion, you can drive straight through the
cornfields to Wiederholdt’s, or you can head down to Dennison – and at
all three you will essentially be served the same food.  The bonus in
the case of The Fireside is the drive is more interesting, and if you
like fish & seafood you’ll have a few more choices. Or, you could go for
dinner, um – I mean lunch.  Enjoy!