Ever since Serb Hall has shown the business acumen of a doorknob, I have been chronicling my family's search for a new place for Friday night fish fries.
In my most recent post, lamenting the shortcomings of Meyer's Restaurant, Dad29, the curmudgeon of the right wing, left a comment recommending the Venice Club in Brookfield.
Last night, we decided that since we were staying in town this weekend to try Dad's recommendation, over a couple of other places we had thought of trying.
We arrived about 6:30 pm and noted that the parking lot wasn't too full, usually not a good sign. This became even more alarming when we noticed that besides the restaurant, they had at least two banquet halls in use. (On a side note, one hall was for a wedding rehearsal and the other was for a funeral reception. I hope they didn't get them mixed up.)
We went in and found that there was a wonderful ambiance to the place. It was set up in a cozy fashion, but without being crowded. It was much more pleasant to be in than the cafeteria like approach of Serb Hall.
After a short wait, we were seated and the waitress came almost immediately to get our orders for drinks. She also brought us a bowl with fresh Italian bread, crackers and breadsticks. (I still cannot remember the last time I saw a restaurant have breadsticks. That brought on a pleasant feeling of nostalgia, for my folks and grandparents all thought that a good selection of breadsticks was a sign of a "classy" restaurant.) We were also served small bowls of a cole slaw, which wasn't spectacular, but wasn't bad either.
Going on Dad's comment that there were no seconds, and not wanting to leave hungry like we did the last time we went to Serb Hall, we ordered the fish fry and an antipasti of eggplant sticks. When our waitress came out with the sticks, it was a huge platter heaped full of them. There was enough there to make a meal by itself. The eggplant was fresh and the marinara sauce was flavorful, but could have used a little extra garlic.
The fish came and their were four pieces of fish, but the pieces were nice and thick. They were done to a tee, and not dried out or hard like some fish fries are prone to doing. My dad had ordered the french fries, and found them to be pretty much run of the mill. My wife and I had the potato pancakes which were more like hashbrown patties than the pancakes I'm used to, but they were still quite good.
My wife, who hadn't eaten much of the eggplant, was still unable to finish her fish due to the amount, and had to take a couple pieces home. (The dog approved of the fish too.) My dad and I had a hard time finishing our fish and we were all as full as we would care to be. As we were leaving, we were thanked by at least five different staff members, which told me that the management here knew how to run a business to the smallest detail.
Overall, we were more than satisfied with the place. The food was good, the service was excellent, and it had a nice homey feel to the place. My only complaint was that we were not told it was all you could eat until we were done, when it is really all you can eat. Although, to be honest, even if we had skipped the antipasti, I don't know if I could have eaten much more than what we were first served. But we now know that for the next time, and trust me, there will be plenty more next times.
My thanks, and thanks of my wife and dad, go out to Dad29, who really does know best, when it comes to fish fries. Now if we can only do something about his political stances...