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  • Red Circle Inn & Bistro

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Red Circle Inn & Bistro
  • Address:
    N44W33013 Watertown Plank Road
    Nashotah, WI 53058
    Neighborhood:
    Nashotah
  • Cuisine:
    Contemporary American
    Price: $31 to $50

Red Circle Inn & Bistro Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://redcircleinn.com
  • Phone: (262) 367-4883
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Tuesday - Friday: 4:30pm - 9:00pm, Saturday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American, Steak
  • Executive Chef: Jim Brown
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Facilities: Large receptions and banquets for 240 seated guests or 350 for culinary station events. Various private dining rooms available as follows: Garden Room w/bar up to 240 guests w/dance floor 175. Patio Room w/bar and grand fireplace up to 120 guests w/dance floor 100. Green Room up to 28 guests Red Circle Inn Room up to 14 guests
  • Private Party Contact: Norm Eckstaedt (262) 367-4883
  • Entertainment: Tuesday evening Jazz Duo in the bar/lounge area as well as a lounge singer on Wednesday evenings. Contact us for other performers featured during the week.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Watertown Plank Road
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Generous private parking lots adjacent to the building as well as immediately across the street. Additional on street parking in-front of restaurant.
A word from Red Circle Inn & Bistro
Nestled in the heart of "Lake Country" just 30 minutes west of downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin's Oldest Restaurant continues its 163 year storied tradition of fine cuisine and hospitality. Be it a fresh fillet of fish or seafood, an in-house center-cut butchered steak, prime veal or creative Bistro "Small Plates" at our bar, your table and our fine cuisine is waiting. Spirits, assorted brews, wine by the bottle and over 25 by the glass from sparklers to big reds with insured freshness due to our special wine system, await your selection. Be it an intimate table of two, a private dinner for 10 or a grand event for 250, please join us at our critically acclaimed Inn.Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
Diner Reviews
  • "I had the halibut, my wife had the rack of lamb. The halibut was tasty but the sauce was bland the lamb was burned black on the outside, the meat was medium overall, it was uninspiring for a top restaurant. The lamb should not have been brought to the table."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "Consistently a great dining experience; excellent food, atmosphere, and service; highly recommended."
    Dined on 8/12/2014
  • "Had a small group in from out of town on Monday night and had a wonderful meal. The Osso Bucco special was outstanding as was the walleye and soufflé for dessert. Notable wine list too. The service was attentive and very friendly. Highly recommended!"
    Dined on 7/28/2014
  • "My wife and I had dinner at the Circle on 26 July 2014. We made our reservation on OpenTable. All was in order as we arrived. The waiter and wait staff was very attentive. My fish (walleye) and my wife's scallops were excellent. Dessert was one of the Circle's famous souffles. Two people, two glasses of wine, two of the evening's specials, one dessert (which we split) and tip, and our bill was about $110. Top notch! The one drawback is that all of the two-person tables are in a row, placed very closely together. A private conversation is difficult to have. My family has been going to the Circle since the 1940s. Owners have changed over the years, but the quality remains! I highly recommend!"
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "The restaurant is a great place to unwind and enjoy incredible food. The staff is excellent. The dinners were fantastic! Only reason the food did not get 5 stars was one of the desserts was not prepared properly. But they took it off the bill with no hesitation. Will be back for sure."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "I can't say enough about this place. Everything was perfect from the moment we walked in the door until we ate our last bite of dessert. The food was just awesome, and the service was impeccable. Every employee we encountered was polite, friendly, kind and just plain nice. My husband and I dine out quiet often and have exposure to many restaurants in the metro Milwaukee area. This is hands down my favorite place to go!"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "Historic but nicely appointed. Primarily American faire with a pseudo French influence, such as salad d'maision, soufflé, pate, etc., resulting in excelling in neither. However, was passable. Staff was friendly, perky, and attentive."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "The Red Circle Inn is a treasure with outstanding food and a unique, historic atmosphere. I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone. On a scale of 1 to 10, my husband said he would give it an 11. We loved learning about the history of this restaurant as the oldest restaurant in Wisconsin. Our meals were great. We'll definitely be back!"
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "It may be the oldest restaurant in Wisconsin but it has been updated and is lovely. Our bartender prepared a terrific brandy old-fashioned sweet and our party of six was seated promptly when the rest of group arrived. Our waitress was attentive and patient. Good selection of fish, including a number of specials. A lovely evening with family."
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "Only open at night except for special occasion sit-down and order brunch with choice of 6 to 8 items in each of 3 courses. Food was excellent, but my 1st choice of medium-rare prime rib came out medium-well. In all fairness, our reservation was the latest time available, 1 PM. I had asked if they still had medium-rare, and was told yes, but perhaps by the time we'd had our wine and first course, it was no longer true. They readily replaced it with my second choice, grilled salmon, which was wonderful. We were seated close to the kitchen door, which interfered with the ambience. Lovely restored building, remodeled while preserving many of the original features and feel. Oldest continuously operating restaurant in Wisconsin."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "It has been over 2 years since my wife passed away. I went there with a friend and she was very impressed, as was I after all of this time. Hope to be there more frequently."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "My husband and I had a night out away from the kids. We had been to the Red Circle Inn about 2 months before for a wedding. We had loved the food at the dinner that we would come back. The food and the service was exceptional if not more then our first visit. We enjoyed the flavor of the maple in the Old Fashions as we had mouth watering scallops. My husband had a filet while I had St. Peter fish. We ate everything including the sides that are usually left behind! We left with full stomachs and smiles on our faces. We'll be back!"
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "Tried and true but with wonderful updates in recent years. The veal here is the best!"
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "All 4 of us ordered different dinner entrees and we all raved on the quality, presentation and the entire dining experience. We were not rushed, enjoyed the evening, including the wine/cocktails available as well. Highly Recommend!"
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Truly enjoyed our excellent food and dinner company. My husband was still talking about his excellent fish dish the following day. Service was very good. Very good wine selection. Updated interior very comfortable yet modern. Highly recommend making it my regular local place or a destination night out restaurant."
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "We are long time fans of the Red Circle. Norm and his staff provide an outstanding dining experience. The renovated bar area is warm and friendly, small plate menu adds many options for those who do not wish to have a large meal...they serve a great drink and are always friendly and attentive. It remains our number One favorite restaurant for a casual meal or special occasion. If you have not been there recently , do yourself a favor and stop by....."
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "I have eaten here several times and have never been disappointed."
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "Ambience, service, friendlessness and food were all top notch. This restaurant will definetly remain on our favorite list"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "This was our first visit to the Red Circle Inn, and we would go back in a heartbeat. The wine they were featuring that evening was from a winery that my husband and I had visited in Sonoma. It brought back wonderful memories of a previous trip. Our food was delicious! Everything from the soup to the soufflé was expertly prepared. My only complaint would be the seating. We did feel very close to our fellow diners, and the people next to us had to move their table so that I could get out to use the restroom."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Owners Martha & Norm treat every customer like family. Chef Jim is a fantastic talent. The food is always perfectly prepared and well presented, We come here often. The bar is fun and the bar food receives the same attention as the dining room."
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "The Red Circle Inn gets better every time we go. The menu is interesting and is always changing. Service is wonderful and the food is fantastic. We save the dinning room for special occasiond but really like the Bistro for the mid-week pick me up."
    Dined on 3/3/2014
  • "As always the food was great and the service was exceptional."
    Dined on 2/27/2014
  • "We've never been disappointed. The specials are fabulous but the main menu is reliable excellent! Great place for a date or a big group. Fancy ambiance with a casual feel."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "We dined with six, very pleasant able to talk over a wonderful dinner. Only disappointment was four of us ordered the rack of lamb and they only had three left. It was excellent."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "Great experience all around. The gift of a split of Champagne for Valantines was a very nice touch. It was a very busy night but everything was handled great expertise."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Went back to the Red Circle for an anniversary dinner. Were married there in 1992. The restaurant is a iconic place to visit as it is the oldest restaurant in Wisconsin. The food and service was stellar as usual. The Bar was a good time for after dinner. The dinning room must of just been remodeled recently. Were there in 2013, and it still had quaint tables for a nice dinning experience. We were sat in like a booth setting, and had another 2 couples sat on each side of us. Not really a good intimate setting. We did strike up a conversation with one of the couples, and they were very friendly. We both were looking for more of a quite setting to reminisce."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "This was our first visit. We enjoyed ourselves but didn't care for the seating, small tables close together in a row up to a bench seat. This was not what we had in mind for a valentine's day dinner. The food was good but my husband was luke warm about his steak. I enjoyed my filet. The service was outstanding! We will definitely try again but maybe not on a holiday."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Having been to the Red Circle more than a few times, it never ceases to impress me that each time is better than the previous. The welcome by Norm is warm and genuine which sets the mood for the pleasure of dining. This time we were there for our youngster's 12th birthday. She was treated like a Princess. Our server was attentive and yet unobtrusive while we were in conversation. Among us we enjoyed a creamy Lobster Bisque, Crab Cakes done very nicely without filler and with a nice dipping sauce, and a Cajun Grouper that was cooked just right. The birthday girl was treated to a complimentary Chocolate Souffle. Wednesday night singer, Dan, engaged us with his talents and song after our perfect meal. We'll be back. What a pure delight."
    Dined on 2/5/2014
  • "Red Circle Inn provided an outstanding meal for myself, boyfriend and friends. The lobster dinner was a huge hit. Thank you for a special evening..."
    Dined on 2/4/2014
  • "There wasn't even one vegetarian option and the chef was unwilling to make one with vegetables available."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Plan to spend some money here! My husband ordered steak and it was very rare and tough. I ordered chicken and it was ok, but nothing to write home about. I have heard such good things about this restaurant, but I'm not sure I'm convinced enough to go back."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "We love the Red Circle when we want something special or anytime we want the luxury of an easy, yummy dining experience.The food is delicious, the staff friendly and attentive and the atmosphere is cozy and classy. Going out to eat can be a roll of the dice, but never at the Red Circle. It isn't an accident that it is Wisconsin's oldest restaurant - they just keep surpassing expectations!"
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "Our Anniversary dinner was absolutely fantastic. Cozy, romantic and unbelievable entrees. The scallops and veal were amazing with great presentation. Definitely will return for a "date night"."
    Dined on 1/13/2014
  • "Very charming with solid food Modern interior with a rustic exterior Generally an older clientele Will go back to try the bistro menu"
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "We were very suprised by how close the tables were packed in and that my wife was seated on a wall bench very close to two other diners. In fact she was sitting closer to them than me. It was so loud that we could barely hear each other talk, There was little room between tables. The waitress seemed to be in a rush to get us on our way. At least once she tried to remove my plate before I was done with a course. That is not the type of service I expect from an upscale restaurant. All in all it was a poor experience except for the food which was very good. Our prior experiences at your restaurant have been very good so we were surprised by this experience. We won't be back."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "Great food Great service Great ambiance What else does one need to say"
    Dined on 12/14/2013
  • "I have been here several times and the food has always been very good, but chef James Brown and his team outdid themselves this weekend. I don't think I have ordered prime rib at the Red Circle before, but i will again! It was simply perfect."
    Dined on 12/7/2013
  • "None finer in Lake Country. Great ambiance in an historic building, the best entrees and even better service. Norm is a restauranteur of extraordinary proportions!"
    Dined on 11/22/2013
  • "FOOD AND SERVICE WAS VERY GOOD. TABLES ARE VERY CLOSE TOGETHER SO YOU KIND OF FEEL LIKE YOU ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF YOUR NEIGHBORS' CONVERSATION."
    Dined on 11/1/2013
  • "I'd say 95% of the food was very good...shrimp and crab cake appetizers, bread, house salad, halibut, and blackened grouper. Didn't care for the mashed potatoes. Could have been the seasoning, but they tasted like they were instant. Would have preferred a standard baked. Passed on the dessert soufflé, but appeared others were enjoying theirs. Two drawbacks to our dining experience; sitting at the banquette seating it was somewhat difficult to enjoy our meal and conversation due to the close proximity to other diners, and a another BIG issue was the constant squeaking of the kitchen door. Huge annoyance."
    Dined on 10/19/2013