Tempest Oyster Bar

4.6
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752 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood
The freshest seafood prepared simply, highlighting the flavor, texture and variety of all the good things that come from our rivers, lakes and oceans.
What 752 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
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MB
Milwaukee
6 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Enjoyed an evening the the Tempest with two other people, total of three not two. The host handled the seating number with no problems. The food was excellent. The raw oysters were fresh and briny. The Oysters Rockefeller were also very good, with an excellent bread crumb topping. Entrees were the Yellow fin Tuna, Shrimp Scallops and Grits and the Bucatini. All three of us enjoyed our individual choices. The waiter was excellent and answered all questions. A very pleasant evening.

RP
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was incredible. Server Nichole was personable, friendly, helpful. It was my son's birthday and he was given a delicious free dessert, a la candle. Sous chef, Gabriel, came out from the kitchen and greeted us personally. All together great experience.

CM
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Food was excellent! The only ding I would give this place is that I thought it was quite noisy. I had a hard time hearing my wife talk from across the table. But overall, it was good.

MT
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and great service. Will be going back for sure!

OT
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

We had reservations for Valentine’s day for over two weeks and were only offered a community high table. The staff was incredibly rude and we actually left before our name was called. Reservation was at 7:15 and our table wasn’t ready until 8. Truly ridiculous. I was excited to go here and now probably will never return, a definite let down.

HS
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Delicious food. It took us a while to get seated even though we had a reservation, but it was Valentine’s Day and Friday night, so it was understandable. Once we were seated, the service was really prompt and the food was fabulous.

D
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Valentine’s Day!!! Come for the oysters stay for the steak!!!

OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful Valentine’s Day dinner.

OT
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and Eric was an exceptional server!

OT
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Undoubtably the best meal I’ve had in years.

LE
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Love the energy, music and food! Just a fun place for any occasion.

OT
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Server and host were fantastic! Food was wonderful!

K
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Amazing meal. Parents in town visiting and are still talking about it a week later.

T
Milwaukee
13 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always outstanding. And a great value for a wonderful Wisconsin fish fry too. Blue gills!!!

DA
4 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was excellent! Service friendly & helpful.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always love Tempest! Everyone is always so lovely and goes above and beyond!

k
Houston
9 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nicole was the best waitress I’ve ever had !! She made the birthday dinner so special :) The food was amazing and the drinks by Scott were the best. Tempest never disappoints, but Nicole and Scott made our night the beat ever !!

JB
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We absolutely love Tempest. Tornado Room used to be our #1 place, but it has become too busy and unpredictable. (Good for them, not for us)
Tempest has filled that gap in our lives. We go to Tempest for all of our special occasions, this time was for my husbands birthday. It was delicious, our waiter was very kind and attentive. We do recommend Tempest to all of our friends.

LG
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Tempest Oyster Bar is always our go to. My husband loves steaks while I love seafood so it is a win-win fo rus. Absolutely amazing service and food.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Tempest is a bit tucked away but completely opens up once you walk in. You’re greeted with a huge salvaged boat and friendly smiles. The decor, people, service, and food were all superb and we will definitely be back

JS
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Unique atmosphere, a hidden gem in central Madison. The menu’s full of interesting and delicious options. We love dining here and recommend it often.

JM
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Treated like we were the only customers. Superb bartenders & waitstaff and delicious food/drink! We’re impressed!!

OT
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The happy hour is a great deal! Also its great to see that there are some nonalcoholic cocktails that are on the menu. They all looked pretty good! The food was amazing, especially the appetizers of she crab soup and smoked whitefish. The carrot cake that I had was a favorite. Not overpowering with the cream cheese, and thank you for not putting raisins in it.

TF
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience3

We had a sumptuous meal during Restaurant Week. The place was packed but service was brisk. Foods from appetizers to desserts were tasty and filling. We’ll definitely return to try out the regular menu.

M
Milwaukee
7 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience2

We attended another Madison Restaurant Week at Tempest. For the most part we had a great experience, but there was one issue that detracted from an otherwise perfect experience. We had reservations for 6:15 and arrived a couple minutes early. We were informed that our table wasn't quite ready because the current guests were lingering longer than they had hoped. We went to the bar to wait, being assured that it wouldn't be too long. Time passed. The bartenders were great and quite entertaining. We chatted with another bar patron. After 30 minutes, we were offered a table in the bar, but it was quite loud/noisy in there, and the table was very small. Finally, I went to check again after almost an hour of waiting. The guests were still lingering, but it looked promising, they said. I wondered why there was only one table for 2 available. About 5 minutes later a table opened up and we were able to take our seats. From there, everything was excellent. Service was outstanding, the food was SO GOOD, and things were served efficiently and hot. My husband had the trout with tarragon butter which he raved about, and I had the swordfish with fingerling potatoes, green beans, and artichoke pieces. The fish roe on top was fresh and crunchy! Desserts were very good as well.

We have never had a bad meal at Tempest. And we have always had a wonderful experience in the past. I understand that the staff has little control over the people they serve. But we were disappointed about the experience because we had intentionally made a reservation. Obviously they had overbooked or had given walk ins preference over people with reservations. This was our singular complaint. Would we return? Absolutely. Every restaurant has a glitch from time to time.

LJ
1 review
Dined on January 21, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience2

The food was excellent. Our server Eric was exceptional.

DB
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic meal, top quality food and beverages, along with friendly and attentive service on a busy night. Very impressed!

k
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food! Nice people! I would recommend this restaurant to everyone.

DD
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place is our all time favorite.We love the atmosphere and food.

JK
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great happy hour specials, knowledgeable staff, and amazing shrimp & grits

b
Milwaukee
4 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was great, the service was great. I always love coming here.

OT
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Date night. We can always count the seafood being delicious. The porterhouse was was the size of a continent and we did it up. Also, we were happy we did not get the slow waiter we have had in the past (twice in a row). Key lime pie was outstanding.

l
San Antonio
5 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Celebrating my son’s birthday we enjoyed the atmosphere and waitress was great food was delicious it is a great place we will definitely be back

CM
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall2food5service2ambience4

Seated promptly and given water, bread and veggie starters. Waited for ~10 min and a waiter(ess) never came get our drink or food order. Had to go up to hostess desk to get someone to take out order. After that the service was adequate.

OT
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food3service3ambience5

Timing was very off and felt very rushed

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience3

Food was very good. I had the Halibut special and my wife had the Tuna. Service was just so-so with the waitress not remembering the specials and being a little slow between visits to the table. The restaurant just has a bit of a strange vibe for some reason with the lighting and the decor.

M
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went on a Friday night and it took a few minutes to get seated but not a bad wait. The seafood and service were both great.

m
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service was AMAZING. Was our first time eating here and we will definitely be back. Noise level was high because it was New Years but it didn’t bother us at all. Very reasonable pricing for fine dining.

LJ
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food5service2ambience3

The wait staff took 20 minutes to greet us after being seated. SLOW the rest f the night too. Asked if we wanted a drink refill and then did not bring it until reminded.

Noisy!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Went here for New Year’s eve 2019. Oysters were delicious, cocktails were also really good. The entrees left a little to be desired though — the bucatini was a little hard to eat (didn’t come with a spoon?) and the salmon, while cooked perfectly, was slathered in this creme fraiche sauce that really overpowered everything. Overall had a nice time, definitely would like to come back for happy hour oysters and drinks, but maybe not for dining.