Welcome to EatWisconsin, the blog formerly known as Undelicious. This blog will focus on the food, the people, the history, and restaurants in the State of Wisconsin. Though we will focus primarily on the State of Wisconsin, there will be occasional forays into other Cities.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Dennis Getto's Top 30

I have love-hate relationship with Dennis Getto. On one hand he is the go-to authority on dining in the state. His reviews can make or break a restaurant. On the other hand, he is fairly easy on most restaurants and I have found that some places he raves about are pretty average. Also, he drives me nuts with his petty jabs at restaurants that make “traditional” dishes and add their own touches. He seems to do this to let the readers know that he does have some culinary training. This review of Trocadero has 2 of them alone. In fact he actually titled the review “Dishes are misnamed or misleading, but brunch is a hit” Here is what he said “Another item in the misnomer category was a soup called pistou ($5.50). In French cooking, pistou is made with white beans and lots of fresh basil, olive oil and garlic. Trocadero's version was made with garbanzo beans and tasted only a little of basil. The soup wasn't bad, but it wasn't pistou.” Some of Gettos other offenses:

He ripped Yokoso for putting a bit of wasabi on the rice before placing the fish on top. This is fairly common at sushi restaurants yet Getto called it “annoying” and gave the restaurant 2 stars (it deserves better)

He ripped Bjonda for serving a raw quail egg with one of their dishes. Well if you didn’t want a fucking raw quail egg then why in the hell did you order a dish that had one with it? Its one thing to complain about food but another to complain about something that you saw on the menu and still ordered.

I can‘t remember what restaurant it was but he ripped a server for having the audacity to ask if he wanted freshly grated parmesan cheese on a seafood pasta dish. Getto claimed that Italians would never put cheese on fish. Last time I checked were not in Italy and some people like parmesan cheese on their seafood pasta dishes, I know I do. Oh yeah Dennis we also live in Wisconsin where we put cheese on everything. Just because you don’t want it doesn’t mean that nobody else should be offered that option. Another case like the quail egg where Getto could have just said “no thanks” when offered the cheese and left it at that. Instead he had to show off his so-called culinary knowledge and dedicate a paragraph to chastising the place for such a cardinal sin.

I could go on and on but I will get back to the top 30 list…..of the 30, I have visited eleven (11) of them. Below I provide a brief snippet of my opinion of these restaurants.

Cubanitas – The Cuban sandwich is great as are the empanadas but the main dishes are nothing spectacular. The pork tenderloin was kind of dry.

Au Bon Appetit – I haven’t been there in years but I remember the food being great…and cheap.
Polonez – I think it’s because I am not a fan of Polish food, but I hated this place. With the exception of some polish sausage, everything was bland. You would have a hard time getting me to go back there. The service however was outstanding and the huge selection of Polish beers kicks ass.

River Lane Inn – Great service, ok food. Scotty’s Crab House, Forty8 or Fishbones does fish way better than this place but they are all surprisingly absent from this list.

Lake Park Bistro – This is one of my favorite places in the City and it deserves any and all accolades it receives. One of the best overall dining experiences you will find in the City. Everything from salads to desert is incredible.

Barossa – It was good, but not great. I had some lamb chops. The side of peas and sweet potatoes was outstanding, the lamb was very average. If I can make something better than a restaurant it doesn’t deserve to be in the top 25. The Chicken EOS is great…but come on…how tough is it to cook chicken?

Roots – It deserves a spot on this list, but still isn’t as great as everyone makes it out to be. The meals are decent but not outstanding. My medium-rare steak arrived medium well. Maybe I am just holding a grudge. The best view in the City can be found here and the Roots cellar is a great place for cocktails.

Jakes – A Milwaukee institution. Some of the best prime rib you will find anywhere. Very deserving of this spot. With the trend toward hip and trendy clones of New York and Chicago eateries, it is great to know that Jake’s is still going strong.

Cempazuchi – Outstanding regional Mexican food. I haven’t been there in 2 years but I love this place.

Rey Sol – Kick ass mole but a lot of mediocre dishes. Not deserving of a spot on this list.

Osteria del Mondo – I have only been here once but I loved the food here. Great atmosphere and even better cuisine. The fried calamari were some of the best in town.

Restaurants that are missing in my opinion:

Japanica - Some of the best sushi in town, but nobody talks about it because it is not downtown (its in a strip mall in Greenfield) or owned by Omar Shaikh. However the newly opened Fujiyama in West Allis is also outstanding. If they keep up the good work, they will give Japanica a run for its money.

Speed Queen – Why should a restaurant be excluded just because you get your food through a drive-through window? The pork shoulder is one of the best meals available in the City.

Sol Fire – One of my favorites. The steak frites with the wine/barbeque sauce is to die for. The plantain encrusted marlin, jerk chicken, and Costa Rican Fish Tacos are also incredible. This place deserves a place atop any “Best of” list. It is shameful that they were snubbed.

Tess – Unpretentious, affordable and best of all, delicious. I thought they were on the list last year. I guess they got bumped. In an online chat today, Getto claims that he is worried about Tess’ ability to maintain the quality of service and food with their large patio in the summer. Ok so you snubbed a place not because their service and quality was bad but because you were worried that it may suffer??!??! Give me a break!

Forty8 – Maybe because it looks more like a bar that Getto ignored this place but the seafood here is outstanding. Everything is done to perfection. The crab stuffed avocado appetizer is unique and delicious. The pecan sea bass with hazelnut cream and the crab cakes are also great!

Fishbones – Maybe Dennis ignored this place because it is way out in Delafield. This place works magic with seafood and the long waits for tables on the weekend are well worth it.

Carini’s La Conca d'Oro – Some of the best Italian food in the City and Dennis ignores them. The signature dish, La Conca d'Oro, with spaghetti with shrimp, scallops, mussels, clams, and calamari is one of my favorite Italian dishes anywhere.


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