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In a word: Could be Del-Icious or Del-Eterious.

The specs: #0168
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews by Rick, DL Madison Restaurant Reviews, Madison Fish Fry; official web site (beware the piano); Del-Bar on Urbanspoon

Latest Del-Bar news and reviews

JM ate the clam chowder, flatiron steak, and peanut butter pie.
Nichole ate the spinach salad and ahi steak.
The bill was $68, or $34/person, plus tip.
JM gave Del-Bar a B+; Nichole gave Del-Bar a D+ (see our grading rubric).

Del-Bar sign

Del-Bar sits right on the Strip in the Wisconsin Dells (800 Dells Parkway South). It could be a pretty nice respite from the Dells kitsch that crowds it on all sides. But we made a special trip to eat there, and our expectations were quite high based on other reviews.

Del-Bar front door

And in fact, Nichole's first bite of seared ahi tuna steak was heaven - rare and sweet inside, pepper-crusted outside. With each successive bite, however, the spell wore off until a glob of lukewarm raw fish was all that was left. If the portion had been smaller, maybe it would have kept its charm to the end.

The side dishes with the tuna were a cucumber-dill-rice vinegar salad like we make at home, only more rubbery, and a molded patty of crunchy white rice mixed with parsley (and the straw that broke the camel's back, as it were).

JM was much happier than Nichole with the overall experience. His first course, clam chowder, was the best he'd ever had.  The clam was springy and fresh -- the whole soup was filled with a rich and woody flavor that just played out quite well. His steak was also very good, with props for being juicy and tender while still actually cooked to medium.

His hash browns and peanut butter pie (which traveled home well) had to wait for another meal, as the Del-Bar follows the current obsession for filling you up with a backhoe of food.  His opinion was that the Del-Bar was trying really hard... but not always succeeding.

Del-Bar steak (gone)

Before we left, Nichole visited Ladie's Lounge. Who's Ladie? We may never know.

This seems like a good time to say that the service was extraordinarily friendly and attentive - truly the high point of the meal. But when you add up the cost of the meal (high), the cost of the drive (climbing) and the cost of time spent to get there (equal to a movie), we cannot recommend this if you're not in the Dells already (or from Illinois or both). If you are, stick with the steak. Mmm, steak.


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I've been to the Del Bar only once and must say it has some delicious food, but I have had better. I think that for that for Wisconsin Dells the restaurant is one of the best, but a little too pricey.

As for your site, it has been an integral research tool for me whenever I get my intricate food cravings. Thanks for the opulent guide to Madison food.

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