Our party of 5 went to the Boerner Botanical Gardens for the Bartolotta Fish Fry last night. It was our first time there for a fish fry.
We had 7PM reservations and were greeted by the friendly staff and after a moment we were led to our table. The place was about 3/4 full. The Jim Liban Blues Band was playing in the "bar" room - we were next door but could still hear the music which didn't overpower conversation.
We all opted for a Sprecher Beer, priced $4.50-$5.00 per bottle, and while a good selection of Sprecher flavors were on the menu, they ran out of the variety we were drinking after our first round, and the next one we asked for was also out - so we skipped a second round. Not good for the bar.
The Fish: Beer Battered Haddock is $14.95, Cod is $16.95, Perch is $17.95, Baked Whitefish is $16.95, Shrimp is $17.95, Pan-Roasted Chicken is $16.95 and a combo platter of Perch, Haddock and 3 Shrimp is $18.95.
All the dinners come with choice of fries or potato pancakes and an "All You Can Eat" soup and salad bar. Optional sides (potato options) are available for $2-$4. A children's (3-10) menu is also available with chicken fingers, fish sticks, grilled cheese or pizza all about $7 each.
The soup and salad bar was a big disappointment. It contained 3 bowls of potato salad (???), some rolls, small slices of rye bread, tiny bowls of lettuce and even smaller containers of toppings which was quite sparse with onion, peas, carrots, croutons and tomatoes. 4 salad dressings and a steamer of tomato soup wrapped up the contents of the salad bar. This salad bar by itself (w/o entree) is billed at an astounding $9.95.
The next let down was the fish fry. Haddock and cod arrived with 3 small flat pieces - similar to a fast food patty. The haddock had a strong fishy taste which wasn't good. The perch was even worse - the plate contained a small handfull of tiny strips of fish, which wouldn't have been worth half the price. The best bet seemed to be the baked whitefish, with 2 larger cuts of fish.
The potato pancake was very thin yet tasty, the potato puree was a quite small portion but good. (For some reason the menu constantly misspelled potato as "potatoe" - hello Dan Quayle.)
Overall, the music is nice, the surroundings upscale, service friendly, but ultimately its really not worth the price, unless you're a banker with some government bailout bucks in your pocket and even then you'll wish you would have gone somewhere else.
Bartolotta Fish Fry at the Boerner Botanical Gardens is located at 9400 Boerner Drive Hales Corners. Reservations recommended (414) 525-5601.
-Remy, Restaurant Critic for GreendaleLife.com
Last edited by Remy on Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.