Dubuque is definitely rich with history. Old cobblestone streets wind through the downtown area past local landmarks and buildings. Those streets lead to the grand and historic Hotel Julien Dubuque. Hotel Julien is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. Events to celebrate this milestone have dotted the calendar throughout the year, with more yet to come.

Hotel Julien Dubuque is not only a destination for travelers and tourists, it is also a dining destination. Caroline’s Restaurant is located inside Hotel Julien and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Caroline’s is proud to announce that their new head chef is Jason Culbertson. Chef Jason’s resume is impressive and he takes pride in the creation of each item. One of his signature items is a white bean chicken chili. The creamy, slightly spicy, and thick chili is said to be the perfect cure-all for anything that ails you. Maybe it is their secret spices that blend together to make you feel better, or the fact that it is made with love. Whatever the secret is to this wonderful chili, it is definitely a menu item you will not want to miss.

Another signature menu item at Caroline’s is the artichoke fritters made from artichoke hearts mixed with herb cheeses, coated with seasoned breadcrumbs, and served with a spicy aioli sauce. The aioli sauce gives the perfect finishing flavor and a little zip to the golden brown and crispy fritters.

The dinner menu has a wonderful collection of appetizers, salads, steaks, seafood, pasta, pork, and poultry entrees. The menu also features proteins that are not always seen on most menus. One such dish on the dinner menu is the roasted duck breast. An apple, cranberry, and walnut salad enhanced the flavor of this perfectly cooked duck which was served with a honey balsamic glaze. Every entrée item on the menu is served with Chef Jason’s daily vegetable selection, house salad, or soup and your choice of their delicious mashed red potatoes, Parmesan roasted baby Yukon potatoes, or herb jasmine rice. The duck was wonderful with the herb jasmine rice.

A never-ending basket of soft and moist house-made milk bread and infused olive oils are served with dinner. There are two different infused olive oils available. One is roasted tomato and herb infused and the other is providence herbs and rosemary infused. Both are served with fresh cracked black pepper.

One menu item that Caroline’s is known for is their Chicken Cordon Bleu Florentine. The chicken is hand stuffed with ham, Swiss cheese, and spinach, then breaded lightly and cooked to perfection. The golden brown chicken breast is then served with a mushroom cream sauce. I would suggest Caroline’s famous mashed red potatoes to accompany this entrée.

Dinner isn’t complete without dessert. Caroline’s features dessert selections for all tastes. From decadent chocolate selections to light and delightful strawberry shortcake, there is definitely a dish that will take care of that sweet craving after dinner. My personal favorite, and another Caroline’s specialty, is the bread pudding. The homemade bread pudding is made with Bailey’s Irish Cream and a bourbon rum sauce. This old time favorite dessert is perfect to enjoy for the holidays. On December 8, Caroline’s will celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas at Hotel Julien Dubuque. Stop in on this day and enjoy a complimentary dessert at either lunch or dinner.

Another opportunity to enjoy dinner at Caroline’s during the holidays is on Christmas Eve with Caroline’s Old Time Christmas Dinner. Forget the cooking and cleaning and truly enjoy time with your family. While enjoying dinner at Caroline’s for the holidays, be sure to visit the Hotel Julien lobby to take a family picture in front of their fragrant, real tree festively adorned and decorated. The official tree lighting ceremony will be on December 2 at 7:15 p.m., but arrive early to enjoy cookies, cider, and carolers. The evening is complete with a visit from Santa.

Another event that can be enjoyed at Hotel Julien Dubuque is Breakfast with Santa on December 6 in the Harbor Gallery. Kids eat free with a new toy donation for Toys for Tots and adults are just $15. Breakfast with Santa is a great opportunity for children young and old to tell Santa what they would like and have their picture taken with the jolly man himself. The morning will also include cookie decorating, crafts, Christmas stories, and music.

For a complete listing of events at Hotel Julien Dubuque and Caroline’s during the holiday season, visit their website at www.hoteljuliendubuque.com.

Caroline’s has a private dining room and a semi-private dining room that can be reserved for larger groups during the holidays or any time of year. The private dining space is perfect for a family gathering, special event, or holiday parties. It can be reserved for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Paula Mangeno, manager for Caroline’s, would be happy to talk with you and reserve a table or space that suits your party size.

Caroline’s not only features amazing menus in their entrée selections, they also have an extensive selection of wines, spirits, and hand crafted cocktails to enjoy. Brian Neis is the beverage manager at Hotel Julien and is more than happy to suggest wine selections to accompany your meal or to celebrate a special moment. The front page of the wine menu quoting John Gay states it best, “From wine what sudden friendship springs!” Along with an extensive selection of wines, Caroline’s also offers craft beer selections.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus are available online, where orders may be placed and available for carry-out or room service during regular business hours.

While Hotel Julien Dubuque is part of so many traditions and memories, so is Caroline’s Restaurant. Celebrate your life’s events and make more of them with the food and flavors of Caroline’s Restaurant. And when you go, tell them that Heather sent you!

Fast Facts
Caroline’s Restaurant at Hotel Julien Dubuque
200 Main St.
Dubuque, IA
(563) 556-4200

Breakfast Hours
Monday–Friday: 6:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Saturday: 7:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Sunday: 7:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Lunch Hours
Monday–Saturday: 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Dinner Hours
Sunday–Thursday: 4:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 4:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m.

Heather Hutchinson-Schuster
Heather Hutchinson-Schuster’s love for writing and food comes from many days spent cooking and dining with friends and neighbors. She invites you to share in some of her favorite restaurant experiences each and every month in her column. If you have a personal favorite restaurant that you would like to share with her, please email suggestions to Feature@juliensjournal.com.


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