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Admiralty Room

In a word: Worth a trip if you're in the mood for fine dining, just be prepared: the food may not to live up to the atmosphere.

The specs: #0002
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at WiSJ, May 2003 and again, June 2005; at Yelp; Madison Originals profile; Edgewater web site; Admirality Room on Urbanspoon

Latest Admiralty Room news and reviews

JM ate the Chicken Alexander and a lemonade, and worked the January 1981 Atlantic Monthly cryptic crossword.
Nichole ate the bookbinder soup and salmon with asparagus and potato croquettes.
The amusee bouche was a smoked salmon roll.
The bill was $70, or $35/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole both gave the Admiralty Room an A- (see our grading rubric).

We were seated just in time to enjoy a yellow sunset over the lake, accompanied by the perky music of what JM called "Reggie Wilson's Organ Treats."

The service was excellent, even intimidating to two shabby youngsters like us. The maitre d'hotel has his own business card, for example, and after greeting us asked for a room or phone number where he could reach us should something be left behind. We didn't grasp the question at first, and Nichole said something about not being a guest of the hotel before the maitre d' explained the question.

The waiter was nice. When the entrees arrived, he whipped the covers off of them with just the right kind of panache, and the parsley garnish was front and center on them both.

The food was good, but not stellar. The bookbinder soup, which Nichole (as a brand-new librarian, and the library school building visible just across the water) felt compelled to try, was bland until she added a dash of the sherry from the little accompanying cruet. Her salmon was tasty, but the mixed green salad was flat and wilty, and the raspberry vinaigrette a scary shade of Pepto pink. The veggies with JM's Chicken Alexander were "a bit much." We'd intended to order the Bananas Foster until we learned they were $24. Maybe next time.

We forgot to find out what brand of soda they served, but according to Nichole's friend Ginger, who used to be a cocktail waitress there, they serve Pepsi. Ginger also told us about the strict hierarchy of wait staff, the tiny skirts the waitresses had to wear, and the time she almost set fire to the bar by accidentally throwing a lit cigarette butt into the trash. So that was fun.

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Definitely try the bananas foster next time! I went there when my scholarship benefactors took me there (we had a private banquet room and everything) and I had the flaming peaches dessert, which was absolutely fantastic. Caramel and pecans and brandied peaches, all set to fire in a fantastic presentation. Food for the eyes as well as delightful dessert for the stomach. :-)

I would highly recommend the Beef Wellington; it's awesome. Skip dessert and go for the Irish Coffee. Not only does it taste wonderful, it's made tableside. It's quite a fun production to watch. We ate there for our 25th wedding anniversary; it took us back to our reception which we had at the Edgewater. Tell them about any special occasions -- we got the Irish Coffees for free because we were celebrating our anniversary. I'd also recommend getting to the Edgewater early during warm weather and enjoy a cocktail at the Pier Bar and Cafe.

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