Von Jakob has it all.
Established in 1996, the business sprouted when owners Paul and Rhoda Jacobs decided to plant grapes outside their countryside home. Almost two decades later, their grape-growing efforts have expanded into a thriving business with more than 20 varieties of wine, a brewing company, two South-ern Illinois winery locations, a bed and breakfast, and now the upscale Kristofer’s at Von Jakob restaurant.
The couple, along with their children, continue to operate the wineries today.
“Those extra years make us unique, in that we’ve had a lot of experience in what people want,” Paul Jacobs told The Southern.
Kristofer’s at Von Jakob serves lunches every day of the week and dinners on Friday and Saturday nights. Diners can choose from an array of four-course meals ranging from $14 to about $20 that feature a soup, salad, entrée and dessert. All entrees, including the 10-ounce filet mignon or freshly prepared vegetarian dish, are served with roasted red potatoes and a choice of green beans, or mixed or seasonal vegetables.
Other menu highlights include oven-roasted New Zealand lamb, a 16-ounce Kansas City strip steak and pan-seared salmon. Soups are prepared fresh daily, and salads can be ordered with the vineyard’s signature Red Oak Port Vinaigrette dressing.
The crew of talented chefs and cooks take their time when preparing your meal, and urge you to sit back and relax with a glass of wine or craft beer. Available appetizers range from shrimp cocktail — a quarter-pound of shrimp served with horseradish cocktail sauce and a lemon wedge in a martini glass — to the popular toasted ravioli with homemade Sicilian-style tomato sauce.
Whether you are looking for an intimate dinner for two or a place for a large group to gather and dine, Kristofer’s is the place. The restaurant also offers wine and beer pairings to complement your meal.
And while you’re enjoying your time at Von Jakob, don’t forget to take in the scenery. Or the fun events. Or the music.
There is something for everyone at either winery location. Recent events include the popular seafood boil featuring lobster, shrimp, white fish, mussels, sausage, red potatoes and corn on the cob. The Blues, Brews and BBQ Festival is another annual event that draws visitors from across the region into Von Jakob.
Diners are urged to make reservations for Friday and Saturday night dinners at Kristofer’s by calling 893-4600 or visiting www.vonjakobvineyard.com/restaurant. Groups of 10 or more are kindly asked to select their entrees ahead of time.