PUT YOUR A FITNESS Best Foot FORWARD Makeover ... Smile when you meet others in any situation. What...
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Hiking Alone, Conquering Fears
PUT YOUR Best Foot FORWARD
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36 APRIL/MAY 2018 www.
APRIL/MAY 2 018 37
Located in d owntown La
Crosse in a re novated
candy factory, Th e Charmant Hot
el is quickly beco ming a go-to
destination for lo cals and out-of-t
owners alike sinc e opening less
than three years a go.
The luxury boutiq ue hotel features 6
7 rooms, a restaur ant, parlor,
lobby bar and lou nge, rooftop terra
ce and sweets bar. The variety of
dining options is a highlight of The C
harmant, and crea ting a dining
experience unlike any other in La C
rosse is the goal of staff.
“A personalized ex perience” is how
Charmant food a nd beverage
director Michel G abbud describes
how dining shou ld be at The
Charmant. Comm unication is key, h
e says. Charmant staff want to
know diners’ name s, dietary restriction
s, preferences and w hether they’re
celebrating a specia l occasion before th
ey even enter the b uilding.
The Charmant tea m also aims to ke
ep a laid-back, un pretentious
atmosphere. “There might be a
bit of a perception that (The Charma
nt) is fancy
and only for spec ial occasions,” say
s executive chef K evin Micheli.
THE CHARME D LIFE
A balance of e legance and ea
se makes for d istinctive dinin
g at The Charm ant.
BY JESSIE FOSS
Photos courtes y of The Charm
“This is a destinat ion for a variety o
f occasions, includ ing grabbing a
burger and listenin g to bands on the
Providing multipl e dining and drink
options in one loc ation allows
for several atmosp heres. The parlor
operates as a coff ee bar during
the day and a win e and spirits bar d
uring the night. Th e lobby bar
and lounge offers regional craft and
domestic beers, w ines, spirits and
cocktails. It also f eatures a modified
menu from the r estaurant. The
sweets bar has Ind ulgence Chocolati
ers specialty choco lates available
24 hours a day.
The Charmant’s c ocktail menu allo
ws for each barten der to have
the opportunity to showcase his or h
er creativity and sk ills. Cocktails
change with each season, and with
the change, barte nders have the
opportunity to cre ate their own cock
tails. The favorites make it to the
menu for patrons to enjoy. Each c
ocktail includes Th e Charmant’s
homemade syrups and juices.
Allowing for emp loyee input is som
ething else Miche li says sets
The Charmant ap art from other esta
blishments. He sa ys many of the
employees have b een at The Charm
ant from the begi nning and are
always looking to “put their own sta
mp on it.”
French inspired , locally source
The restaurant se rves breakfast, lu
nch and dinner a nd features
rustic French-insp ired dishes that ar
e made from as m any fresh and
local ingredients a s possible. Local s
uppliers include a rea Amish and
organic farmers. M icheli says he loves
being able to show case the wide
variety of local foo ds, which keeps ex
panding every yea r.
“You can taste an d feel the differen
ce,” says Gabbud of the food.
He applauds Mic heli’s efforts to br
ing in fresh ingred ients. “It’s part
of what makes thi s place so special.
Everything is mad e from scratch.
No shortcuts are t aken.”
Micheli, who has been at The Char
mant since it open ed, says he
played around wit h food and the me
nu quite a bit in th e beginning.
While the menu still changes—it n
ow includes an ex panded pasta
selection—some offerings have b
ecome standards . A favorite
appetizer is goat c heese and honey;
the honey is supp lied by a local
Amish man. The F rench onion soup
has also become a menu staple,
as well as the ribey e.
The roasted chick en with Lyonnais
e potatoes is Mic heli’s food
recommendation. He says the meal
doesn’t have man y frills, and its
simplicity is what makes it such a g
ood dish. Gabbud recommends
diners try the wo od-fired pizzas, w
hich are served o n the rooftop
terrace during wa rmer months. Th
e terrace is set to open for the
2018 season on A pril 16 at 3 p.m.
The Charmant’s d rink and dining op
tions vary by wher e patrons
choose to drink an d dine. A complet
e listing of hours o f operations
and menus can be found at www.the
Top left: The Charmant
lounge offers cocktails
and a modified menu. Top
right: The parlo r operates
as a coffee b ar by day
and a wine and spirits
bar by night. B ottom left:
The sweets bar offers
24 hours a d ay. Bottom
right: The Fren ch 75 and
Wisco Old Fash ioned, two
signature drink s from The
Charmant, are shared in
recipes on the n ext page.
| FOOD |
Wood-fired piz zas and good c
onversation lig ht up the night
on the The Cha rmant Hotel ro
www.crwmagazine.com APRIL/MAY 2018 41
| HOW-TO |
Golden Rules • Treat people like you want to
be treated • Seek to turn every negative
into a positive • Look at yourself—you can
change what you don’t like • Smiles are free and can
transform someone’s day • Kindness is never forgotten • Ask yourself, "What can I do
to get the best outcome for all?"
• Yelling solves nothing
You can help make the world be a better place—just one small step at a time. Small changes—like the ones given here—can make a big difference in your life and the lives of others, and they’re not that hard to do. Try out these small actions as you go through your day, and soon they will become routine. You never know when one of them will have a profound effect, so give them a try!
Have you ever experienced road rage? If someone frustrates you with slow driving, cuts you off or drives irresponsibly, what is your response? Instead of getting angry, consider: That driver may be confused, lost, in an emergency or simply having a difficult time driving. Stay calm and gracious, and you might avoid an accident instead of being in one.
Smile when you meet others in any situation. What do you do when someone s