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Old Rittenhouse Inn Among USA Today’s Top 20 B&B’s

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

As innkeepers who have been around quite a while (over 40 years now), we congratulate on their 20th year as leaders in our industry.

To commemorate this occasion, B& provided with a private tour of 20 Inns and B&Bs across the country, which in turn inspired a feature photo article: 20 great B&B’s for a holiday — or any — weekend.

Bayfield, WI lodging

Old Rittenhouse Inn is pleased to be included among our peers in the article, which features a lovely shot of the Le Chateau property at dusk taken by photographer Christian Giannelli. The accompanying text makes note of the Phillips family’s 40 years in the inn keeping business.

A second photo, also by Giannelli, depicts Room IV, one of the Old Rittenhouse Inn’s original bedrooms, and shows off the room’s antique furniture, stained glass, and period wall coverings.

Madeline Island Inns

“Room IV was always my favorite as a child, so I was happy they chose that shot,” says 2nd generation Innkeeper, Mark Phillips. “I especially love the incredible carved wood bed in that room, which was made by a waiter of ours (at the time) who was also a master carpenter.”

In fact, that’s frequently how it goes at the Inn according to Phillips, who says that often the talent and creativity it takes to run the Inn come from within.

“There have been so many innovations, improvements and other great ideas over the years that came from our employees and of course that continues today. We realized long ago that our staff is one of our best assets.”

Wisconsin B&B

Wendy and Julie Phillips

As Old Rittenhouse Inn celebrates its 40th Anniversary, Phillips reflected on what it takes to run a family business for so long. “The most obvious answer is family. We all put in a lot of hours and wear many different hats. We truly care about this place and what we do here for people. As a rule, we are “on call” at all hours. In our daily lives, we must be prepared for the unexpected to arise at any time.”

And then there’s Julie! ‘We are so fortunate to have had my Aunt, Julie Phillips, with us all these years. She can cover just about any job at the Inn. Julie is knowledgeable and personable, and guests just love her. She really is an extension of ourselves as innkeepers. We trust her with our lives,” says Mark.

The Phillips family kept their hospitality business going for over 40 years by assembling a recipe for success that includes five ingredients: unique historic properties, a destination location, a hard working staff, dedicated owner/innkeepers, and the best, most loyal customers in the world.

The owners and innkeepers, Jerry, Mary, Mark, Wendy, and Julie, thank everyone who had a hand in making Old Rittenhouse Inn one of USA Today’s Top 20 B&Bs. We will work hard to continue to be worthy of such an honor.

Romantic Getaway in Wisconsin

February 6 – 7: Red Wine Weekend at Old Rittenhouse Inn

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Get ready for our Red Wine Weekend taking place Feb 6-7, 2015. Enjoy fine wines, delicious food, and exceptional lodging in Bayfield, WI. Events are held at Le Chateau, a sister property of Old Rittenhouse Inn, and the historic Landmark Restaurant at Old Rittenhouse Inn. The highlight of the weekend events is a 6-course dinner with wines specially selected by the weekend’s guest host, Dennis Kohl, to match each dish.

Dennis and Julie at Old Rittenhouse Inn's Red Wine Weekend

Make It A Weekend!

Discount weekend lodging packages include:

  • Friday “Bold and Beautiful Red Blends” tasting & appetizer reception
  • A hearty 2-course breakfast each morning
  • A Saturday tasting of 8 Zinfandels
  • Saturday evening’s 6-course Pinot Noir Dinner (see menu below)

Call 715-779-5111 or Book Online to Reserve Your Spot

Friday February 6th Appeatizers:

  • Spanikopita-Style Beggar’s Purse with cream cheese, feta, and spinach wrapped in phyllo
  • Cider braised pork belly egg rolls
  • Artisan Cheese Platter
  • Marinated Flank Steak with Dijon Glaze
  • Slow Braised Bison Meatballs in Tomato Wine Sauce
  • Crawfish Dip with crostini
  • Chocolate Napoleons.

Wines for Friday, February 6th: “Bold and Beautiful” Red Blends

  • Chateau Greysac Medoc-France – 2009  made with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot.
  • Helena Road Vineyard, Maier Family Cenote , Sonoma County -2007 made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc.
  • Three Vineyard Carignane Rose, Contra Costa county -2012
  • Castelmaure Col Des Vents Corbieres -2013 made from Carignane, Grenache and syrah.
  • the Big Easy from Fess Parker, Santa Barbara- 2010 made from Syrah, Petit Syrah and Grenache.
  • Cline late harvest Mourvedre-2011

Saturday February 7th afternoon tasting will feature Zinfandels, with a nice little Frog’s Leap vertical at the end:

  • Edmeads 2009,  Mendocino
  • Seghesio 2009, Sonoma
  • Buehler 2010, Napa
  • Ravenswood 2011, Lodi
  • Eaton 2010, Amador
  • Frogs Leap 2012, Napa
  • Frogs Leap 2010, Napa
  • Frogs Leap 2008, Napa

Saturday February 7th – 6-Course Pinot Noir Dinner Menu


Appetizer: Smoked & Seared Scallop over wilted spinach with beurre blanc. Wine pairing- Light Horse, Napa
  • Soup: Creamy piquillo pepper and chickpea with chicken. Wine Pairing- Drouhin  Laforet , France
  • Salad: Baby Spinach with Honey-Pecan Vinaigrette, Roasted Grapes, Chevre & Shallots. Wine Pairing- Cloudline, Oregon
  • Sorbet: Blueberry Port
  • Entrée Choice 1: Pan Roasted Quail. Warm Farro Salad. Red Wine-Tomato Sauce. Wine Pairing- Drouhin Chorey Les Beaune, France
  • Entrée Choice 2: Seared Rack of Lamb. Pistachio Chutney. Yukon Gold and Sweet Potato Au Gratin. Wine Pairing- Alloro Estate, Oregon
  • Dessert: Chocolate Espresso Mousse. Wine Pairing- Gloria Ferrer Blanc Noir, Carneros Sparkling

Dinner Includes 6 courses and 5 wines. $75/person plus tax and gratuity. Reservations: Call 715-779-5111

For discount weekend lodging packages, Call 715-779-5111 or Book Online to reserve your place at the table.


Jan. 31 – Feb 1: Red Wine Weekend at Old Rittenhouse Inn

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Get ready for our Red Wine Weekend taking place Jan. 31 – Feb 1, 2014. Enjoy fine wines, delicious food, and exceptional lodging in Bayfield WI.  Events are held at Le Chateau, a sister property of Old Rittenhouse Inn, and the historic Landmark Restaurant at Old Rittenhouse Inn. The highlight of the weekend is a 6-course Italian dinner with Italian wines specially selected by the weekend’s guest host, Dennis Kohl, to match each dish.

Bayfield Wisconsin Events - Red Wine Weekend
Join Dennis Kohl and Julie Phillips for a festive and fun weekend!

Make It A Weekend

Discount weekend lodging packages include the Friday California Pinot Noir tasting and appetizer reception, a hearty 2-course breakfast each morning, a Saturday tasting of French Reds and “Ringers” (a white wine, a Spanish wine, and an American Syrah) and the highlight of the weekend: Saturday evening’s 6-course Italian-themed Red Wine Dinner (see menu below). Call 715-779-5111 or Book Online to Reserve Your Spot!

Friday Tasting and Appetizer Reception: California Pinot Noirs
Friday, January 31 from 7:00 – 9:00pm

This casual event is your chance to enjoy 6 different California Pinot Noirs and a buffet of gourmet appetizers and desserts prepared by Old Rittenhouse Inn’s Landmark Restaurant. This tasting is held at our Le Chateau property, located at 7 Rice Avenue in Bayfield. The event is included in the Red Wine Weekend Lodging Package, or available a’ la carte for $45/person plus tax and gratuity. Advance Reservations Required for this event. Call 715-779-5111 to Reserve Your Spot!

Friday Wines (6 California Pinot Noirs):
Pennywise, Parker Station, Saintsbury, Decoy, Siduri, “J”

Friday Appetizers:
-Marinated flank steak with bleu cheese sauce.
-Artisan cheese platter
-Cheese filled Gougeres
-Smoked Trout and caramelized shallot tarts
-Crab and artichoke dip with shaved prosciutto
-Chorizo egg rolls with creamy cilantro sauce
-Italian fig cookies

Bayfield WI Bed and Breakfast Wine Tasting
Sample some tasty wines with us!

Red Wine Seminar: French Reds and “Ringers”
Saturday, February 1 from 1:30 – 3:30pm

On Saturday afternoon, host Dennis Kohl takes guests on a tour of delicious French Reds. The journey includes stops in several of France’s famed growing regions, as well as a few “Ringers:” a white wine, a Spanish red, and an American Syrah. This event is included in the Red Wine Weekend Lodging Package, or available a’ la carte for $45/person plus tax and gratuity.Call 715-779-5111 to Reserve Your Spot!

Saturday Afternoon Seminar Wines:
– Pinon Vouvray “Prepare your Palate”
– Manoir Du Carra Julienas
– St. Cosme Basket Press Vin du France
– Fadan Ventoux
-Chapoutier Belleruche C-D Rhone
– Mas Carlot Les Infants Terrible, Languedoc
– Tres Ojos Garnacha Calatayud, Spain
-Qupe Syra

Wine Weekend in Bayfield WI
From the vine to the glass, we love wine weekend!

Italian Red Wine Dinner
Saturday, February 1 from 6:30 – 8:30pm

Without a doubt, the highlight of the weekend is the Italian Red Wine Dinner served at Old Rittenhouse Inn’s Landmark Restaurant on Saturday evening. Each of the 6 courses is accompanied by an Italian wine selected by host, Dennis Kohl, to compliment the amazing Italian menu created by chef Matt Chingo. The meal includes an appetizer, soup, salad, sorbet, a choice of entree, and dessert, plus all the wines. This event is included in the Red Wine Weekend Lodging Package, or available a’ la carte for $75/person plus tax and gratuity.Call 715-779-5111 to Reserve Your Spot!

Bayfield WI Bed and Breakfast Wine Menus
Enjoy our tasty menu paired with great wines.

Dinner Menu: Italian Red Wine Dinner – February 1, 2014, 6:30 pm

– Appetizer: Bruschetta shrimp-stuffed baby portabella mushrooms served with Jeio rose Prosecco
– Soup: Minestrone served with Ca’ Pugate Valpolicello
– Salad: Caprese Salad served with Altesino Rosso
– Sorbet: Chocolate Noir sorbet
– Entrée Choice 1: Veal piccata with mascarpone whipped yukons  served with Fongoli Montelfalco Rosso
– Entrée Choice 2: Lake Trout Piemontese style with orzo pilaf  Served with Pellisero Barbaresco
– Dessert: Zabaglione (a light custard made with Marsala wine) served with Banfi Rosa Regale

$75 + tax and gratuity. Call 715-779-5111 to Reserve Your Spot!

Wedding Season is Underway in Bayfield

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Wisconsin Lake WeddingsThis is surely one of our most favorite times of year… Wedding Season in Bayfield, Wisconsin! Bayfield is fast becoming known as a Wisconsin Wedding Destination, and for good reason: the beauty of Bayfield and Lake Superior offer numerous locations for your ceremony and reception. The Rittenhouse inn and our historic properties are ideal Bayfield wedding venues offering both indoor and outdoor options.

Our on-site Wedding Planner and Events Director, Wendy Phillips, works closely with couples to help bring their dream wedding to life. Wendy can arrange for a wide array of wedding services including Officiants, Menu Planning, Wine and Bar Service, Professional Event Staffing, Florists, Musicians, Wedding Cakes and Tortes, Hairdressers and Make-Up Artists, Massage and Spa Treatments, Tent Canopy Rental, Banquet Rental Items, Limosine Services or Horse-drawn Carriage, and even Babysitting!

Wisconsin Lake Wedding ReceptionsBayfield wedding receptions at the Rittenhouse Inn or Chateau Boutin are as unique as the couples who are married here. Our on-site wedding planner and helpful staff guide you thorough the planning process to create an event that reflects your individual taste and style. If you can dream it, we’ll do our best to make it a reality. And when it comes to fine dining and catering, no-one in the area can top Rittenhouse Inn’s Landmark Restaurant.

A Bayfield wedding reception at Le Chateau Boutin offers a wealth of options. Butlered appetizers and cocktails on the veranda… or a tapas buffet set-up in the home’s original dining room make a lovely start to your event.

Wisconsin Lake Outdoor WeddingsOur Signature Five-Course Gourmet Dinner is an ever-popular choice for wedding receptions. This meal, for which the Inn is most noted, allows guests to select a soup, salad, tart fruit sorbet, entrée with side dishes, and dessert.

Other options for your Rittenhouse reception may include a Two-Course Petite Dinner offering your choice of soup or salad, and an entrée; a Three-Course Victorian Luncheon consisting of a salad, choice of entrées, and dessert; or even an up-scale Champagne Brunch served with festive mimosas!

Wisconsin Lake Outdoor WeddingsFor wedding parties larger than 35 people, a tent canopy is suggested for set-up on the croquet lawn where everyone can take in the panoramic view of Lake Superior. Whether you choose a sit-down or banquet-style meal, we offer a large selection of unique menu items for your reception. Our on-site wedding planner will help you customize a meal that fits your dreams, and your budget.

Over the past 35 years, Innkeeper (and non-denominational minister) Jerry Phillips has married literally hundreds of happy couples. We are always grateful to see these couples return, sometimes many years later, to celebrate their special day.

First Impressions of Bayfield: 1969

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Rittenhouse Inn Bayfield WII’ll never forget Mary and my first sight of Bayfield. It was a sunny, warm day in June, 1969, when Mary and I drove in from the south and were mesmerized by the lake. Sparkling like a million diamonds, we were spellbound. The town was quiet, not the tourist haven it has become. There were vacant buildings and many “For Sale” signs. We drove the streets, exclaiming about historic house after house, the steep hills giving everyone a view. We stopped at the Community Lunch for a bite, visited Jim and George’s Antique Shop, the Pot Shop of Bob Eckels, the Kerr Gallery.

Rittenhouse Inn Interior, Bayfield WIThe Boutin Mansion, now called the Chateau, was for sale by Mose Theno, the nuns still living there, and we knocked on the door. A Nun was very cordial and showed us around the first floor, which was very dark…. both from the darkly stained wood as well as the layers of curtains over the windows. We were back outside almost before my eyes had adjusted to the lack of light, and I can’t say that my focus was on the visual as much as the emotional rendering of that visit.

At the time, we were engulfed in the process of renovating a Victorian home near Madison that had been beaten up during 30 years as a nursing home. The Chateau in Bayfield was a much grander home, on a magnificent site, with few of the signs of disrespect we were dealing with. Try as we might, the envy was palpable.