Red Circle Inn & Bistro

4.6
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688 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.
What 688 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.8
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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S
Suzi
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food, service & ambiance. We will continue to come back!

s
vipstevew
Milwaukee
6 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Service and ambiance were very good. Food was just ok. Nothing special and my beef Wellington was medium and the pastry wrap was burnt. Drinks were excellent.

k
kimk
Las Vegas
7 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

AS usual the service was fantastic. I had the Paella special and my wife the veal piccata both outstanding. Our server Vickie was a charm

KW
KacieW
Milwaukee
7 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Vicki was simply amazing. This was our second time dining with her in 4 years and she paid attention to detail and was so pleasant. I don't know about y'all but service is half the experience of a great meal. This place, these people do it right.

EO
EileenO
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very special place.
Comfort, food, staff—all great.
We keep this restaurant on top of our list of places to go.

DM
DanM
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This restaurant is phenomenal in every way. It's in a small town, but in no way plays second fiddle to any establishment in a major urban area.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

The dinner was very good. We got there 15 minutes early but were able to be seated right away. We knew what we were going to order before we walked in the front door have studied the menu for a week beforehand and previous experience dining there. The menu is great with unusual dishes but not “too crazy” ones - varied items which sometimes makes it difficult to choose.
The highlight of our experience was our wAitperson Mary Ann (I hoped I spelled her name correctly). She paced the meal perfectly, offered great suggestions, and was extremely personable. She made the night.
We’ll continue to talk this place up to all who will listen.
Thanks to everyone!

KS
KristaS
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful place for a special dinner. Causal dress is fine and yet it still has a elegant atmosphere.
Everything I ordered was delicious I had the crab cakes with greens a cream based sweet potato and turnip soup, a perfectly prepared Beef Wellington and the white chocolate raspberry cake. I rolled out of the restaurant a very happy guest.

J
Jackie
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Superb as always on all counts. Jeannie is the best & Norm continues to make Red Circle one of the best restaurants I know.

RD
RobertD
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was outstanding, service was great, staff could not have been nicer or more accommodating!!

JS
JasonS
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Very good food and the service was outstanding. A little to close when it came to seating. Wasn't as private as I would like, but I'm not a fan of eating in public. Overall it was an enjoyable experience .

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience3

It has been awhile since we’ve dined at the red circle inn. The updates are nice but we didn’t like the bench seating, tables too close to one another and the lighting was a little too bright.

The meal itself was excellent as always!

F
Fore57
Milwaukee
15 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful evening at the Red Circle Inn. Being a busy dining weekend, the service, cuisine and waitstaff were all A-Plus! We will definitely return!

KZ
vipKatrinaZ
Milwaukee
21 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service is always above & beyond! Food is always delicious. They had a special Valentines menu for the weekend so we got to try something new. Such a special place to go!

W
Wylie
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall2food3service3ambience2

I guess I had higher expectations. The food was under welming. Scallops were over cooked and salty. Veal, bearnaise and potatoes were good. Both dishes had charred and undercooked vegetables. Service was just ok. The featured wines were the biggest disappointment.

JL
JohnL
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Very nice place, to have a special dinner. Claims to be oldest restaurant in Wisconsin.

MH
vipMaryH
Milwaukee
23 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Bistro menu and bartenders are outstanding!! We always have an excellent meal and fun conversation with their staff.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Milwaukee
6 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

We we there for Valentines Day. It was our first time dining there. Due to the holiday it was overly busy. Service was very attentive, food was good, and service was quick. We received a small complementary bottle of champagne for the evening which was a nice touch.

RD
RobertD
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Great food and relaxing atmosphere. Service was a little slow, probably because it was Valentine’s Day

GR
GarrettR
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall3food4service5ambience1

We have been there before, but went for Valentines day. The tables were placed so close together that is was quite difficult to have a nice conversation. You could hardly get out of the seating between the tables.

Also, the desert that was offered was supposed to be a molten lava cake, but my wife's did not have any center to it. Disappointed.

MB
MuttBunkey
Milwaukee
27 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

If I'm not mistaken, the Red Circle Inn & Bistro is the oldest restaurant in the State of Wisconsin. If that is indeed the case, its longevity is a testament to the high ratings it has received since its inception. While it is right in our own backyard in Lake Country, my wife and I typically travel in to Milwaukee for its varied dining fare. Perhaps no longer. We hadn't been to Red Circle Inn in over 10 years, and then it was to attend wedding receptions. We decided to get an early reservation to Red Circle Inn on Valentines Day, 2020.

We were immediately greeted and seated by what we thought might have been the restaurant's owner. We were in a dining area on the main floor, across from the bar. There might have been room in that dining area for around 50 patrons. The room was somewhat quiet and music was piped in through loudspeakers. It would have been fine had there been no music, as I am not the type of person who goes to a restaurant to hear music. Quiet is fine by me, as that allows for listening to conversation with who I am there with. There was a fireplace in the main floor dining area, but it wasn't lit. And that was a shame, as it was rather cold out that day and the warmth and light from the fire would have made for more ambience.

We decided to start with appetizers and I ordered Sea Scallops Rumaki and Crab Cakes. The Rumaki consisted of 6 sea scallops, bacon wrapped, and fried, and the plate contained a variety of greens and sauce. Throw in 6 more scallops like that and you'd have a new entree ! The Rumaki were spectacular. Same for the Crab Cakes. I ordered the wedge salad with peppercorn ranch dressing. The wedge was cold, firm, and swimming in the ranch dressing, which I love. I ordered the filet mignon and my wife ordered duck. Both dishes were prepared immaculately and good to the last bite.

Our bill with tip for appetizers, entrees, 2 wines and a soda was $171. We got way beyond what we paid for. So, why travel to Milwaukee ?

JB
JaneB
Milwaukee
4 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

I have been to the Red Curcle frequently. My most recent visit was a birthday for a friend. Great service, nice ambiance and very good food. You can’t ask for much more. Smaller and more intimate dining room. Very nice.

JH
JimH
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Red Circle Inn & Bistro always provides a wonderful dining experience. We always received a warm welcome and we have never been disappointed with the service. The food is top notch.

t
tramguy
Milwaukee
16 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Food was excellent. Service was a bit slow. Took nearly 40 minutes to get our order placed.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was excellent!

MG
vipMartinG
Milwaukee
45 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a wonderful meal with another couple. Busy Saturday night, but waitstaff was on the ball. They made great recommendations. Entrees ordered for the four of us: one filet, a whitefish, one cedar plank salmon and one Osso Bucco. Everyone was delighted with their selection- not every restaurant can do meats and seafood so well. We split a white chocolate raspberry bread pudding for desert. Delicious! I would highly recommend!

MH
MikeH
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall4food2service4ambience4

Every thing was good but the Veal entree was over cooked. The house salad was very good.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great and professional service. Food was well presented and very delicious. We had the salmon and veal dinners and both were amazing.

MM
MikeM
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As usual we experienced excellent service, food and atmosphere.

BW
BridgetW
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were celebrating a birthday. We were in a private room without even asking. It was great as the kids could move about without bothering anyone. Great food - great service - great evening!

L
Lynne
Milwaukee
10 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My favorite restaurant! Beef Wellington and the Soufflés are excellent.

GC
Gr8Cook
Milwaukee
13 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Tuesday night & the bar was packed. Our food & Omar was amazing! Very attentive service.

WW
WendyW
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Best oysters! Overall food and service was very good. Parking not the best but works. We’ll be back to try the Bistro small plates.

SF
vipSteveF
Milwaukee
18 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience3

I would not recommend to a friend to visit this restaurant on a weekend night. The establishment had a large after the season Christmas Party going on that may have affected the overall experience. My 2-lamb chops (4-ribs) on the plate were an extremely small portion based on the $40.00 entree price. Masking the amount served by trimming the chop, but leaving two ribs in each chop, may seem to be a nice touch, but it didn't add anymore meat than two single ribbed chops (illusion). The chops were also very fatty leaving even less meat. The fish offerings were very limited, salmon or whitefish. My wife settled for the Tuna Poke salad that while good, had to much mayonnaise added to it, taking away from what should be a delightfully light and refreshing seafood offering. She added the Arugula & Jicama specialty salad which was very good. Our friend had the Osso buco that he thought was fabulous. To me this is still your grandmas restaurant. The cocktails and wine offerings were very good and priced reasonably. It wont be my first choice next time.

DO
DonOconomowoc
Milwaukee
4 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food as usual. Thank you for the birthday treat

TT
TedT
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always our favorite restaurant. You can't beat the atmosphere. Was there on a snowy night. Cozy. I had the duck and my wife had the scallops. Perfectly prepared. Our service was excellent. Everything was timely. Our server had wonderful recommendations for both the wine and the sides. I would definitely recommend Red Circle Inn for an anniversary or a birthday.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Milwaukee
6 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is one of my favorite restaurants! They have the best food around! It is cute inside. The wait staff is always friendly. I recommend this place to all. It is a gem!

PF
vipPatriciaF
Milwaukee
13 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love the RED CIRCLE and enjoy the relaxed Bistro dining experience. Friendly staff and skilled bar tending! We are NEVER disappointed!!

MO
MimiO
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food; nice atmosphere. Ate in the bar. Server was incredibly helpful and timely. All was well.

SV
ShannanV
Milwaukee
4 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall3food5service2ambience2

Food was delicious but the service isn’t great. The bartenders were rude and made for a frustrating start to our evening.