Fish Type: Cod Price: $10.50
Overall, I would not recommend this Fish Fry.
|Fish Score: Fair|
Potato Score: Good
Tartar Score: Fair
Bread Score: Excellent
Miscellaneous Score: Fair
Comment: It was one of the first truly nice (Fri)days of the year, and I knew I needed two things: a Fish Fry, and a body of water to eat it by. Since I didn't have the time to jaunt all the way up to Lake Wisconsin I did some local recognizance and decided that it was time to give Breakwater another shot. After looking at their menu I noticed the had changed their Fish Fry preparation (no more salt and vinegar chip crusts) and their price (only $10.50 for a 3-piece lunch) so it seemed the stars were aligning. I scooped up the little man and we were in Monona faster than you can say "I'll take River West Stein Beer."
The multi-tiered back patio at Breakwater overlooks the Yahara and had a decent number of full tables this Friday. It took a moment for the waitress to notice where the hostess sat us and bring us some menus and even longer for her to retrieve the aforementioned Stein Beer from the bar. Things weren't off to the best of starts, but she was very pleasant despite appearing slightly overwhelmed by amount of work in front of her. The fish came is a reasonable time frame, although it came sans-silverware. Since I like to eat my fish with my fingers that wasn't a huge deal, although I didn't get at the coleslaw for a good 5 minutes while we waited for her to retrieve the knife and fork. As far as the fish goes, the pieces were super small - practically bite size if you've got a big mouth like me. The meat was nice and flaky and Alaska Amber made for a very tasty beer batter, but it's really tough to gage since there wasn't a ton of it. The fish:batter ratio was spot on, but in all honesty you would need at least three more pieces of this size to make a decent portion. I know $10.50 is pretty cheap, but those three teeny wieners essentially added up on nice sized piece.
Some fat Julienne-cut freezer fries sat shotgun and came in a much more standard portion. While there wasn't anything special about them, they did their job, and weren't gone within a minute. Like the fish, a soupy tartar also missed the mark despite having a nice flavor. It was more of a salad dressing consistency which had it slip sliding off the surface before you could even get it from the dish to your mouth.
Somehow bread has become faux pas in 2018 but the places that are keeping with the tradition seem to be going all the way with real rye, and Breakwater is no exception. It was a great addition to the meal, but unfortunately the same can't be said for the uninspired slaw that I waited 5 minutes to get a mouthful of.
Breakwater has a pretty idyllic location in reality although getting to the actual restaurant can be a little awkward. First timers are met with a confusing entryway of stairs or elevator, both of which eventually lead to the second floor eatery. Once you're there however, everything comes together and is highlighted by the water front setting. Unfortunately, the Fish Fry (while revamped) still has a little way to go. The portion was just too small, and the service too scatter-shot to say this is one you've got to try. Overall, we don't recommend this Fish Fry but love the waterfront location and hope they can capitalize on it with some more tweaks.
6308 Metropolitan Lane
Monona, WI 53713