Fish Type: Bluegill Price: $15.00
Overall, I would barely recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Good|
Potato Score: Good
Tartar Score: Good
Bread Score: Poor
Miscellaneous Score: Excellent
Comment: When it comes to Gates & Brovi I feel a little bit like George Costanza and his obsession with pesto. George wants to like pesto. He has to like pesto. But every time he gets pesto he just canít seem to like it even though he presumes everyone else does. I want to like Gates & Brovi, and in fact I do like a lot of things about Gates & Brovi, but I really want to love Gates & Brovi and just donít.
What I do like about Gates & Brovi: the bartenders and the drinks they make are great, the place is exceptionally kid friendly, and they have lots of options for vegetarians. That checks a lot of boxes on my list, but unfortunately the boxes that donít get checked are the most important boxes of all.
G&B has cod and bluegill on Friday nights and Iíve sampled both of them over the last year or so. The bluegill goes for $15.00 and is well done, but could be better. 4.5 ounces of fish makes up the portion with fillets varying in size from super tiny, to massively meaty. Itís clearly some high quality fish with an alluring musk, but the crunchy breading lacks the seasoning to really offset it. On our first visit the seasoning was there and we absolutely loved it, but each subsequent visit the spice quotient has been dialed back and the resultant fish has been less and less appealing.
Lots and lots of shoestring-style fries ride along with the fish and are good, but thatís about all I can really say about them. The house tartar can barely even be labeled as such, as it is very thin and doesnít have much zip. It is kind of like ranch dressing and kind of like sour cream, which makes is kind of not like tartar.
No bread comes with the $15.00 fish which is a bummer plain and simple. A healthy feeling slaw sort of makes up for it with a uniquely sweet and crispy flavor, but it can really only do so much.
Gates & Brovi is so close to greatness itís almost maddening that they donít quite get there. They have so much going for them that we want and expect them to be better than they actually are. Itís a unique establishment that has a modern menu and a great vibe, but still welcomes the whole family. There simply arenít many place like it and we could see it becoming a go-to if only their food delivered a little more. Overall, we barely recommend this Fish Fry, but canít completely write it off even after several so-so visits. It is our pesto.
3502 Monroe Street
Madison, WI 53711