Red Circle Inn & Bistro

4.7
449 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
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.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, Steak, Bistro
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Monday - Friday: 4:30pm - 9:00pm, Saturday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm
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Phone number
(262) 367-4883
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Mike Carmona
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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 12 guests
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Private party contact
Norm Eckstaedt: (262) 367-4883
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Watertown Plank Road
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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.
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Entertainment
Tuesday evening Jazz Duo in the bar/lounge area as well as a lounge singer on Wednesday evenings.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 449 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.6
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Quiet
99% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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OT
Milwaukee
4 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Overall a good experience for a first visit. Initially not super-attentive to keeping our water glasses full, but picked it up after a couple refills. I had the filet mignon and it was expertly prepared and very flavorful. My wife had the chicken ratatouille and it was very good. We split the turtle cake for dessert and it was very disappointing. The cake was dry and tasted like it had been frozen and then thawed and served. The icing was hard and dry. Lastly, and this is more of a pet peeve of mine, the butter was chilled and crumbly. When serving warm bread, you should also serve soft butter - that aside, the bread was delicious. We will definitely return.

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RW
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an enjoyable birthday dinner at the Red Circle. The food, atmosphere, and service were all excellent. The portions were generous but not overwhelming, so just right. We will be there for more special occasions in the future.

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SA
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

This restaurant would have gotten a five star rating, but our table was located right next to the kitchen door and there was a constant in and out and every server had to walk by our table. We wanted something quiet and romantic but all that ruined it for us.

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M
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Old and dated decor. Dark, no ambiance and needs a facelift to bring a younger, more vibrant crowd in. Pricey!

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k
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great service, salmon and crab cakes were amazing.

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JR
Milwaukee
228 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Red Circle Inn equals fine dining in Waukesha county. They offer a very prime, tender, well-prepared filet, and is one of few places that offers that filet prepared ala Wellington. There is also a great osso bucco, duck, and veal picatta.

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PR
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, very knowledgeable server, delicious food, outstanding venue!

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CF
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had a very enjoyable dinner. Everyone was very friendly and professional. The food was outstanding. I would definitely recommend this for a nicer dinner.

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BO
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is so awesome! Treated like royalty. Our favorite place.

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DT
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Lovely place with historic charm. Three out of four dishes were spectacular. Service was exceptional. Desserts were also to die for!

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OT
Milwaukee
7 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We ate in the bar area as we love the jazz duo on Tuesday eves. The bar does get crowded and noisy at times. Food is great.

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TS
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My friend Sarah and I really had a wonderful time, and didn't realize this was the longest standing restaurant in Wisconsin! The food was out-of-this-world, our waitress was attentive, and the atmosphere was beautiful. We've dined now at dozens of places in the last year, in we both agreed this is in our Top 5 of all time!

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LL
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service was was outstanding as usual! Will be back!

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DJ
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The service was excellent, the baked Brie & Grand Mariner soufflé were outstanding. The duck was hard to pull apart & would have preferred an orange sauce but it tasted good. Beans were very good. Next time we would not have the house salad

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OT
Miami
13 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Never disappoints. Fish or meat. Full dinner or Bistro. Always satisfies.
Friendly friendly staff

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DG
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Only disappointment was the main entrée comes with soup or salad but we elected to have the wedge salad that costs $10 on the menu. We were not given any discount for not having the standard salad offered with the main entrée nor were we offered the included soup since we purchased the high priced wedge salad. Just makes you fee you did not receive full value.

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OT
Milwaukee
4 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

All was wonderful as always. One of our favorites whether in the Bistro or dining room.

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W
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Classic Wisconsin restaurant. - beautiful building, excellent menu choices. Halibut special was very well done, quite tasty. Attentive server.

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JW
Milwaukee
5 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service & amazing food!

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JS
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a birthday celebration dinner this time around. We have eaten at the Red Circle Inn several times already and somehow, each time seems to be better than the last one. Vicky was our waitress this time around and she is fun, attentive and knows when to provide it and when to leave you alone to enjoy your intimate dinner. Excellent in menu judgement and the evening couldn't have been better in food quality, presentation and service. We will be going back in October for our anniversary dinner. I think I will request Vicky to be our waitress again.

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DF
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent dining experience...entrees were well prepared and presented...Service was efficient but not intrusive...Dining area provided for group conversation...Memorable evening...We will be back..

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BL
Milwaukee
20 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was first class...food, service, ambiance. Highly recommend The Red Circle. Norm does a fantastic job!

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CR
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food! Great atmosphere! Our waitress Vicki was awesome! Very enjoyable experience! We definitely will be back soon!

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n
Milwaukee
25 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great experience. Great food and staff. Our favorite go to restaurant.

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RS
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Reservation was ready when arrived. Service was very prompt. Had appitizer.came right away. Drinks were good. Had a SPECIAL they offered, was very good . Was good portions. Will go back

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ST
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service were amazing! They also give you a free dessert for your special occasion and we got the turtle cake which was amazing!

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c
Milwaukee
4 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We took my parents to the Red Circle Inn for their 44th wedding anniversary. The food was delicious, the waitress we had was great and the atmosphere was festive. All in all a good night. Would go back again for another special occasion.

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HN
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Nice ambiance.

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E
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Red Circle Inn is one of my favorite places in Wisconsin! If you are looking for one of the top renown, fine dining, oldest restaurants in Wisconsin, this is the place to go! Great for special occasions, date nights and even having just an enjoyable night with friends or family. Say you want something a little more casual, head to the bar for their bistro menu and enjoy their amazing cocktails, wine and beer list. RCI strives to provide excellent customer service and I always feel like a top priority as a guest. Not only is the service top quality, but I have only ever eaten amazing dishes here....and trust me, I have tried many of the items on both the bistro and regular menus. This restaurant is unique in the fact that it is true fine dining where the food is meant to be coursed out and not rushed. Plan to sit back and enjoy your company, the atmosphere and the food! Making a reservation is recommended and the bar is first-come-first-serve, so calling ahead just to see what the evening is like never hurts!

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RM
Milwaukee
5 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was excellent, service prompt and friendly.
Mary Ann was wonderful and made dinner very relaxing.

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H
Milwaukee
6 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

restaurant since 1848/ fine dining/ whet first in the 1940's and although different food excellent

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SB
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on July 3, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 4

The food was great but the staff was overwhelmed. It took us over 2 and a half hours to eat. The food came out very slowly but it was excellent quality. Our bill wasn't accurate but I didn't want to wait any longer to talk about it.

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J
1 review
Dined on May 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Terrific environment, attentive and knowledgeable servers. Were familiar with and attentive to gluten free needs of the diners. the staff are fun people to be with.

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KA
Las Vegas
20 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always an excellent experience. Professional staff and excellent food. Nicely presented

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JK
1 review
Dined on May 16, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Service was somewhat slow but friendly. When dinner was served, we were asked to order a souffle' if we wanted for dessert, because of 20 minute prep time. We did. They were delivered to our table 50 minutes later and 20 minutes after entrée dishes were cleared. Food was good, but not outstanding. Meat of pork trio was dry. Beef Wellington and filet were outstanding.

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AD
Milwaukee
5 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food and service - Mother’s Day brunch - dinner. 5 course dinner for less than $70 for 2
Very efficient service as well.

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OT
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

We went for a Mother's Day brunch. It was fantastic!

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D
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great personal service, attentive staff. The lamb was outstanding.

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S
Milwaukee
52 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Service and presentation were impeccable. I had a mango and strawberry salad which was delicious. Wanting to save room for the 20 layer strawberry crepe dessert, I had the halibut appetizer special, which was delicious. My husband enjoyed the osso bucco, but said it was on the bland side. When my dessert arrived, it was beautifully presented, but not so delicious I felt the need to finish. Usually Red Circle is a step or two above this review. We hope to return to the amazing dinner we usually enjoy.

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b
New England
11 reviews
Dined on May 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We stopped in for small plates and were so pleased to find that they had exactly what we wanted in the "Bistro" bar side. Friendly and helpful owner, excellent service and delicious food. We cannot wait to return for lobster night!

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