Captain Bill's - Middleton

3.7
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984 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Captain Bill's waterfront restaurant features award winning seafood in a rustic, casual and fun waterfront atmosphere. Recently voted “Best Seafood Restaurant” in the Best of Madison poll, Captain Bill's diners rave about the clam chowder, crab cakes and coconut shrimp. Escape to our waterfront deck, enjoy an ice cold beverage, a mound of shrimp and oysters, crab, lobster or our Friday night fish fry. Happy hour in the bar, Monday thru Friday from 4:30pm - 6:00pm (Thursday all night long).
What 984 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.7based on recent ratings
3.9
food
3.6
service
3.7
ambience
3.6
value
Noise · Moderate
73% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 2

A little outdated. Food was ok but not what I was expecting based on feedback and photos on OpenTable. The scallops were gritty but the shrimp were really good.

B
1 review
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Made a reservation online for my brother’s 30th birthday celebration. Showed up at the reservation time to find a printed sign on the door stating they were closed that day. Clearly they don’t care to sync up their closures with Open Table. What a lame experience.

CH
Milwaukee
38 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Food was great and the view is awesome. I will definitely go back.

B
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 1

Cob webs on front door and first step in you see a plastic bucket of ice melt on August 27 was first sign on neglect and incompetence. That message was found in all phases.

BM
Orlando
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great time. The service was excellent, atmosphere great and the food was super.

AO
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

I went to captain bills with my husband for our anniversary. They were not very busy and we were able to get a table outside. They had acoustic music which was a pleasant surprise. The atmosphere was great. The food ended up being amazing and it was fairly priced. Unfortunately our service was really slow. The waiter seemed like he might have been the manager or owner. He wore many hats (waiter, bartender, lighting tiki torches) and was running around very busy. But that meant that we got little attention. He was very nice when he did stop by, but he completely forgot to bring out soup before the meal. I think he did the same to the table next to us as I heard him bring out shrimp at the end of the meal and say “better late than never”. We weren’t in a hurry luckily because the meal took almost 2 hours. He took drinks off of our bill to apologize and again he was very nice. But we didn’t understand why another waiter could have helped instead as no one else seemed as busy as he was. Everything else was great and the food was amazing! We will go back but hopefully they will be better staffed.

RH
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 3

The food was delicious!!! I think the service was short staffed. It took for ever for the waitress to take our order, then she had to go bar tend. Our food arrived over a half hour later. Service was very poor.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Not what is to be expected for the price. Lack of value, presentation and taste as well as service.

KB
Chicago
18 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 2

This was overall a very disappointing experience. After waiting ten minutes for someone to show up at the hostess stand, the bartender/waiter/host seated us outside on the deck. It was a lovely evening so it was nice to sit outside. You can tell this restaurant is old and tired. The seat cushions are completely worn out. The food was mediocre at best. i would never return

NO
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

We were very frustrated in making a reservation since we did not know of your new system. We telephoned several times since we wanted deck table. We left messages on your voice mail but received no call-backs. Bad public relations on your part.

CW
Milwaukee
4 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had the clam chowder and the steak and lobster and all was delicious. we had a beautiful view of the lake and the service was excellent! We will definitely visit again soon.

B
Milwaukee
7 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The food was very good and we enjoyed celebrating our anniversary here.

M
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 3

The restaurant was extremely understaffed and so the evening went very slowly. We had a wonderful server but he had so many tables that he was way overworked My chicken was over cooked so it was dry and hard to chew. They ran out of baked potatoes (should be able to keep lots of those on hand). This is the second time that I had a disappointing dinner here.

OT
Naples
3 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Pleasant eating outdoors. May get buggy after sunset though.
All of our food was good - walleye, salmon and steak. Wished I had chosen chowder rather than salad though.
Miss the flavored butters served with bread.
Cheesecake dessert was very good.

m
Milwaukee
92 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

I made reservations on Open Table for 6:30 on a Friday night. We arrived on time. 4 couples were ahead of us. At least 2 of them also had reservations. The parking lot was not full of cars. When our turn came to check in we were told, as were the other four, that there was a half hour wait. I asked why there was a wait?’ my husband mentioned we booked on Open Table. The answer was ".......they seated walk in customers first"....Really'! Shouldn’t it be the other way around? After looking in the bar and counting the number of people in the entrance waiting for tables we knew half an hour was an optimistic estimate. When I mentioned we had requested outside seating the hostess said the wait would be much longer. We canceled our reservations and left. No apologies from the hostess.

I emailed the manager to report the poor service and never received a reply. Obviously they do not care about customer satisfaction and the bad reviews are well deserved.
As Captain Bill’s specifically blew off their Open Table customer, they should not be an Open Table member.

J
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We had a reservation at 7:15, it took ten minutes of waitstaff walking by us to even acknowledge that we were there. Finally some heavy set man comes stumbling up, definitely intoxicated. He tells us he’ll find a table that suits our liking. After 5 minutes of watching him stumble by multiple times some other woman comes out and tells us someone will be right with us. We walked out, two of the three of us are in the service industry and were so disgusted with how things were handled there. Will not be going back, ever, and that’s what I’m telling people I serve as well.

RS
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server was as great as the food, patient and cheerful with all, including 3 kids on a Sunday evening. Everyone enjoyed their entree from the menu, especially the salmon, lobster and steak.

LW
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Overall, good. When we arrived there was no host/hostess at entrance. When the host did come he was a bit rude. Musicians playing outside on patio were great. Music wasn’t so loud you could still converse and hear without struggling to do either.

PW
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The waitress was new. She was very good. I asked for desert to go, as I was sitting outside and the bugs started biting. She gave me the wrong dessert. Will be back.

Thanks, Pam

JM
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We Love Restaurant Week and always look forward to going!

JQ
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

It’s definitely not a good sign when every employee you talk to complains about how understaffed they are. We arrived on time for our reservation and had to wait a half hour for a table. There were many empty tables, but we were told there weren’t enough servers to handle them.
Our waiter seemed to be running around a lot, and service was a bit slow. Food was ok, nothing spectacular. It’s worth noting that the chocolate lava cake I received looked like it had been pieced together with scraps and didn’t taste much better than it looked.
The waiter was not surprised by our dissatisfaction with the whole experience.

SB
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, service and presentation! We really enjoyed ourselves, sitting on the patio.

SM
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was delicious and the staff was excellent. Our lobster and steaks very cooked to perfection and the veggies were perfect. I would definitely go back again.

MA
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

The food was good, but the restaurant week menu had stated you'd get asparagus with the salmon and that key lime pie was a dessert option. When we were looking for both, they said the menu had changed a few days prior. We made our reservation over a week prior so there was no reason to look at it again. It was very disappointing and we may have chosen to go elsewhere had we known that. We weren't told about the asparagus until it wasn't on our plate. Our waitress even mentioned that a lot of people had asked about the dessert too.
It also seemed pretty disorganized and a bit chaotic. I've been enjoying restaurant week for several years, and this is one of the first times I've been disappointed.

BR
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Never even got a table even though we had a reservation. Waited 30 minutes with hostess only writing 2 arrived and no one returned and on top of this heard the owner state 3 separate times I own this place so I seat who I want to people who had come in and gone to the bar even though they arrived after us. Will never return and have recommended to my entire company and everyone I know not to give this restaurant business.

W
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

We were at Captain Bill's during restaurant week. Food was good, service was good, prices were
fine. It seemed like the wait staff was understaffed the day we were there. Management helped
assist wait staff which was the right thing to do. Most customers wanted to eat outside, we chose inside
as we had service quicker. A young lady was the hostess. She appeared overwhelmed. She did a great
job in spite of the aggressive behavior of some of the customers waiting to be seated. We will return,
it was a good evening. Our server was Emma, she was outstanding.

OT
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We sat outside and really enjoyed our date!

DK
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

Went there for Madison Restaurant week and could have used twice as many bartenders and wait staff. Coconut shrimp and clam Chaucer to die for, steak and lobster, average. Waited 15 minutes for my drink when first sat down. Our waitress tried her best but too many customer for her.

OT
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 1

I wasn’t very impressed. Service wasn’t very good. No hostess, waited in line with others to be seated for a while. Coconut shrimp was greasy. More croutons then Soup in my class chowder. Ambiance, Inside needs an update, cushions very faded and worn. Won’t be going back anytime soon. Seems to of gone downhill since I was last there. Too bad.

SK
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Coconut shrimp was delicious! Our tenderloin was a bit too rare. We ordered it medium well. But the steak was tasty regardless. Everything else was delicious!!!!

CB
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

We had dinner during restaurant week. We made reservations online. We indicated we had a birthday celebration. Dinner was awesome. They cooked the steak and lobster perfectly. We added an appetizer, which was good as well. All the food was awesome. No one mentioned anything about the birthday we were celebrating...........seems there is a disconnect between Opentable and Captain Bill's.

SH
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

While they say they are on the water, the restaurant was actually tucked in - barely by the water. The food was average, but unless it was restaurant week again or a special was being offered, I would say the price isn't worth the food. The waitstaff was very loud in conversing with the chefs and bus boys by our table too, it was very distracting and tacky.

CR
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 2

Needs a lot of paint, and a few boards outside ought to be replaced. Food was good, service was OK, prices are a bit steep for what you get.

l
Milwaukee
5 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food as always

CH
Milwaukee
38 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food - I love Oysters Rockefeller ! The view was great, service as well. I will definitely go back.

K
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

Disappointing meal. Food was ok but service was terrible: slow, inconsistent and no follow up. I’ve enjoyed meals here in other years so brought an international guest for a bit of local ambience. Was embarrassing to say the least.

OT
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 2

Had reservations, and wasn’t ready. Was told we could be fit in when they had a chance. Very short staffed, waited over 25 minutes at the front waiting area before someone even came to talk to us. Almost left. Been here before and it wasn’t this bad. First tome taking the wife and I feel like the whole occasion was big let down. Won’t be going back again.

OT
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 4

We made a reservation for my bday but staff never mentioned anything when we arrived about the occasion,no bar menu available at the moment,when we done with our drinks waitress never offered another one,we have to be calling her to had refills,she was nice but very distracted anyways I love the place and the food ,my house is around the corner and definitely we going back but I think these details can improve the service.Thanks!

DM
Milwaukee
12 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

I made a reservation for the patio for dinner for 3 people, but when we arrived we were told by the hostess that there would be a substantial wait for a table outside. We were then seated inside near the window where we saw many empty tables outside. Then our waitress seemed confused about the beer menu, and we waited until after our meals arrived to receive our simple drink order. The food was mediocre, but high priced. She never asked us if we wanted anything else, for example dessert. All in all, a disappointment.

DG
1 review
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place. We we definitely be back. The food and service were perfect, We sat out on the patio.

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