Fish Type: Lake Perch Price: $17.00
Overall, I would highly recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Good|
Potato Score: Good
Tartar Score: Excellent
Bread Score: Good
Miscellaneous Score: Excellent
Comment: For a city the size of Madison there really aren't a lot of supper clubs around. In fact there are really only about five in Madison proper and a couple of those are more like fancy steakhouses than supper clubs. If you want the true supper club vibe you basically have Toby's and the Esquire to choose from, and beyond that you need to get out to the surrounding communities. The Maple Tree in McFarland, Springers in Stoughton, and the Hilltop in Cross Plains are prime examples that prove this point.
The Hilltop is one of the closest true Supper Clubs to Madison, but still far enough out that it's a rural destination. We ventured out on a snowy January night which made for an interesting drive, but also kept the crowds at bay. Even though we weren't early by supper club standards, stools were available all around the bar and we sat directly in front of one of the Hilltop's infamously decadent cream cheese balls. We snacked a bit while waiting for the rest of our party to arrive and when she did we were immediately escorted to one of the many open tables in the dining room.
The 'top has cod and perch available on Fridays and both come in the same plush beer batter. Since beer battering lake perch is a no-no in my book I planned to get cod, but after having beer battered cod for lunch I couldn't bring myself to do it. I begrudgingly pulled the trigger on the $17 lake perch, but it turned out my fears were misguided. Sure, the six fillets were dominated by the pillowy batter so you couldn't really taste the fish, but it had an excellent all-around flavor regardless.
Some extremely crispy battered fries shared the plate and offered a nice contrast to the tender fish. A huge cup of creamy slaw was zippy and inviting, and the thick and creamy supper club standard tartar was a real tonsil tickler.
Before any of the aforementioned items hit the table a basket of ciabatta rolls with cinnamon butter are set out for all to share. These house-baked breads are nothing less than outstanding and the cinnamon butter really makes them something special.
Once a dying art, supper clubs are experiencing a renaissance of sorts. People are longing for something real and these family-owned spots offer just that sort of experience. The Hilltop is no exception, it's the real deal. Overall, we highly recommend this Fish Fry and think you should climb that hill in your way.
4173 Co Hwy P
Cross Plains, WI 53528