Tempest Oyster Bar

4.7
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674 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 674 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
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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RM
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

it was a great night........Drinks were wonderful........Food was wonderful....

thanks

OT
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

I would not recommend this place overall, because despite the food being good, the customer service is very indifferent. It started with the host who could barely be bothered to make eye contact with us while he went about his tasks before seating us (we had a reservation). The waitstaff was fine, but since they are unwilling to do any little thing for birthdays, even when explicitly asked, I would recommend stating that somewhere since it's quite unusual for a nicer restaurant. It was hard for me to believe this was run by the same people as Tornado, it was much better when it was Magnus back in the day.

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

The service was excellent. Food was also very good. There were a couple large tables in the dining room when we were there. It became Very loud and it was difficult to have a conversation with each other because of this.

ME
Milwaukee
4 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great dinner here to celebrate my birthday. Our server was amazing; she completely made the meal! We started with oysters before moving on to salads and mains. My husband had a surf n turf special that he thoroughly enjoyed, and I loved the mussels. Ended the evening with pie and coffee. Was originally concerned to be sat in the back room, but it filled up fast and didn’t detract from the experience.

OT
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Best bluegill fish fry I’ve ever had. Tried oysters for the first time and they were fabulous. Definitely coming back for more! Our server was wonderful and very helpful in ordering!

B
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Food was excellent best I have had sense I have lived in New England. Bar service excellent! Waiter forgot about us when we went in for reservations (20 min said) we went back to bar where the service was much better. Noise was very loud but it was a Friday night expected we will be going back but will eat at the bar.

SM
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Eric was an incredibly dedicated and thorough server. The food is generally outstanding here, but an excellent server can make it that much better!

OT
Milwaukee
17 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Tempest is our favorite restaurant in Madison. Each time we visit we are very pleased with every detail. The crudités offer a nice tasty start along with the crispy edged bread from Madison Sourdough. We started with the Shrimp cocktail, which is fresh and the shrimp are a good size. The white mildly spicy sauce below the red cocktail sauce is a great surprise. We ordered the whole fried snapper and the double cut pork chop. I asked if I could substitute the kale under my fish for the root vegetables and it was no problem. The pomegranate sauce on the snapper added a nice bright bite. My husband loves the double cut pork chop. It’s always a dilemma what to order because we love both the duck,pork chop and seafood dishes. The side of potatoes Dauphin are creamy with a crispy top. They are to die for! Tonight the desserts were skipped but on a usual night, they are a perfect ending to our meal. The wait staff was attentive and right on point. Eric at the front door was friendly yet professional.

HV
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Always a treat. Love the staff. Conch fritters must never leave the menu.

AJ
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Cocktails were good, appetizer (Fruits Del Mar) was heavily breaded but still good, main courses were great. Tables are practically on top of each other which makes it a bit crowded and loud, but ambiance and decor overall is good. No one at front desk to check us in for about ten minutes, but when seated, waitress was good.

ML
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Didn’t acknowledge request for a nice table nor offer one. Did not acknowledge 80th birthday which was our reason for celebrating and asking for a nice table.

SW
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

😍 Tempest has easily become a mandatory stop every time we are in Madison, from now on. Even if only for cocktails and great company!

OT
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

It was a wonderful place that I much enjoyed. It reminded me of somewhere we have in Los Angeles. Wonderful service, loved the decore and the food was really good. Lots of choices and all was great. I can't wait to go back next year when I'm back for business.

N
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had the oysters and mussels to start and they were outstanding! His steak and my tuna was done perfectly. I highly recommend it.

OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere, service and food!

J
Atlanta
15 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best restaurants in Madison. Superlative seafood and shellfish. Their shrimp and grits is better than what I use to have in Atlanta! Great mixology and wonderful wine list.

AC
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was delicious. Presentation was outstanding. Service was excellent.

CD
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food and drinks and even better service. One of the best Manhattans I have ever had. Celebrated a birthday and birthday girl loved it!

k
Milwaukee
18 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food and service!

PM
Milwaukee
8 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 5

We have been here a couple times, the food is wonderful and the happy hour is one of our favorite places to indulge in. We decided to come here for our 2 year anniversary on Wednesday August 7th, we sat outside because it was beautiful outside. We love this restaurant but the service always a coin flip. We have great servers, to okay servers, and now last night a very poor server. She not only forgot about us, we had to ask another server for drinks, go up to the bar for crackers they forgot to give us for our appetizer, and ask for a new napkin twice because the first one was dirty and then our server once again forgot. The food is great here but the service really needs some work. We spend a hefty amount dinner and wish we would have dined at Sardine.

A
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service as always and truly wonderful food. Easily the best mussel broth in town. I would foolishly drink from the bowl if I could.

OT
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Darcy was our waitress. And I can’t say enough amazing things about our experience. Thank you

KH
1 review
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waitress was outstanding. But I can’t think of her name. But I’m sure you can find that out. We will be back for sure. Food and atmosphere both were great too!

MA
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

Food was excellent.
Service was terrible, our waiter got upset that we wern’t drinking and we never saw him again.

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and great drinks. Loved the surf and turf. Oysters oysters oysters!

C
Milwaukee
4 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Came for restaurant week and everything was superb. We had the She Crab soup, oysters casino, whole fried snapper with pomegranate syrup and kale, creme caramel and key lime pie. Everything was delicious and prepared perfectly. Service is always terrific. This is my favorite Madison restaurant by far.

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

Superior service, great good perfect evening. Oysters were wonderful. Solid tap beer list as well as can / bottle. The mussel appetizer was wonderful as was flank steak and lobster.

OT
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 1

It was extremely loud in there and the bussing station was open to the dining area with a constant slamming of plates dishes and silverware, Forget about having a conversation and being able to hear your dining partner. The food was expedited quickly and efficiently however my fish was overcooked and I ordered the snapper, it was dry and the entire dish had no flavor, none. Our waitress was too busy tending to other guests and did not check in to see how our food was, she never asked, not even at the end of the meal. The host/greeter would’ve done well for himself by at least trying to fake a smile. The chocolate walnut caramel torte was crude and lacked the refinement expected. Chopping the walnuts would’ve made a difference. The oysters Rockefeller were good as was the she crab soup and Keylime pie. Overall it wasn’t what I had hoped it to be.

CC
Milwaukee
8 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We actually did not have a high top table, but a regular table in the bar area, which was fine for a late reservation during restaurant week. We both enjoyed our meal. The bar area was a bit more noisy than I would prefer, but what I would expect during busy restaurant week.

OT
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Every bite was amazing. Many choices for a restaurant week menu.

JL
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a really nice dining experience, service was quick and friendly and the atmosphere is really lovely. Always love coming here.

FG
Dallas
2 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had never had oysters before coming here. I had the Oysters Casino and it was absolutely delicious, leaving me wanting to come back for more next time! The presentation of the food was right on as well. I went with a friend for Restaurant Week. The server was professional, friendly, and had a great personality, answering our questions on the menu items and recommending items upon request. The dessert was just perfection and all the food was fresh. I'd come here again!

AJ
Naples
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Restaurant week -
She crab soup sweeter than preferred. Oyster Casino were tasty, plump & crispy

Swordfish was good.
Whole Snapper was excellent

Too full for dessert -choc walnut tart still tasty the next day for breakfast

AM
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Big portions, really great appetizers , fresh sea food for Madison WI

JD
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was incredible! Eric, our waiter was awesome as well. We will be back!

OT
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

No complaints. Restaurant week at Tempest was a a lot of fun.

MH
Birmingham
5 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food (hangar steak & cioppino) was excellent. Interesting place/decor with very good service. Will go back

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Was there for Restaurant Week, frog legs oysters and fried red snapper were incredible.

DH
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Our waiter, Eric, was fantastic, in assisting us in choosing drink and food choices. Environment was calm and somewhat soothing. Inventive food choices.

S
Milwaukee
14 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I decided to go out for dinner not realizing that it is restaurant week. The menu was limited but we were extremely pleased with our choices. Drinks were excellent, food excellent and dessert excellent as well.

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