The Waterfront’s fresh, hand-breaded fish tops reader Kewaunee County fish fry survey
KEWAUNEE – Fish fry fans have noticed the change Waterfront Bar & Grill made in how it does fish, and they let the Star-News know about it.
With Lent — the prime time for Friday fish in Wisconsin — just around the corner, we asked readers of the Star-News to name their favorite place for fish fry in Kewaunee County ahead of Ash Wednesday on March 2. The Waterfront was clearly the top vote-getter.
In replies to our survey, several readers cited the restaurant's fresh, lightly hand-breaded fish, indicating the changes made at the start of the year are paying off.
Waterfront owner Alli Pansier said they stopped offering fish fry on their menu seven days a week at the start of the year, instead concentrating on Friday fish only. She added that all fish and seafood is breaded by hand under the direction of head chef Al Fortemps. And no, they're not going to reveal what the breading ingredients are.
Also, the change gave the Waterfront the chance to use fresher fish, most coming from local suppliers.
"We're going after a fresher process," Pansier said. "Everything is hand-breaded and made to order … Nothing is done ahead of time. Everything's so fresh."
The Waterfront rolled out the change this past New Year's Eve, which turned out to be a Friday, and Pansier said, "It got just a fantastic response from the public."
Pansier said the seafood selection also might play a role in the restaurant's popularity. The Friday fry offers deep-fried cod, perch, walleye or shrimp, a Fisherman's Platter with some of everything and, for those seeking a gluten-free seafood option, grilled shrimp skewers, sautéed shrimp or baked cod.
Side items also matter, and along with the almost-required rye bread and coleslaw, the choice of potato at the Waterfront includes not just French fries (shoestring or curly) but also baby red potatoes and a potato salad mentioned by three readers as their favorite side at the restaurant.
Pansier noted another reason people might like the Waterfront fish fry — Old-Fashioned cocktails are $3 on Fridays.
"What's more Wisconsin than an Old-Fashioned and a fish fry on a Friday?" she said with a laugh.
She described the dining experience as one where anyone can be comfortable, and some readers noted the friendly staff and huge portions.
"We're just a casual family place, and we also have business professionals bring clients for lunch," Pansier said. "We have customers from all walks of life."
The Waterfront is at 215 N. Main St. next to the Lake Michigan harbor in Kewaunee. Along with dining in, the Waterfront offers carryout and has a curbside pickup option for those unable to come in to the restaurant. For more information, call 920-388-0505 or visit the "Waterfront Bar & Grill" Facebook page.
Other Kewaunee County fish fries nominated by our readers:
- Moe's Corner, N7298 County P, Algoma, with one reader commenting, "Their pan-fried walleye is the best I’ve ever had"; 920-487-2204 or "Moe's Corner" Facebook page.
- The New Tippy Canoe Bar & Grill, which has bluegill along with perch, haddock and shrimp at N3261 County S, Casco; 920-837-2727 or facebook.com/thenewtippycanoebar.
- Moxie's Supper Club, 607 Church St., Casco, with bluegill or frog legs joining perch, walleye, cod and whitefish on the Friday fry menu and broasted, baked or hash brown patty among the potato choices; 920-837-7552 or facebook.com/moxies607.
- Village Kitchen, 101 Old Orchard Ave., Casco; 920-837-7333 or villagekitchencasco.com.
- Millie's Pub & Grub, which opened in November at 518 Fourth St., Algoma; 920-487-8192 or "Millie's Pub & Grub" Facebook page.
- Jeff's Sports Bar and Grill, N6010 County D, Kewaunee, about which reader John Kinnard wrote, "Maybe it’s the creaky floors, or it could be the nostalgic music. I say it’s delicate delivery of Northeast Wisconsin's finest dish, the fried perch"; 920-388-0705 or "Jeff's Sports Bar and Grill" Facebook page.
- JW's Place, N5685 County E, Casco; 920-837-2211 or "JW's Place" Facebook page.
- Homestead Kitchen & Tap, a farm-to-table place opened last summer by Ebert Enterprises at N7551 County D, Algoma; 920-487-0105 or homesteadkitchenandtap.com.
- Footbridge Bar & Grill, N3850 County C, Kewaunee; 920-388-0490 or footbridgebar.com.
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-741-7952, 920-562-8900 or [email protected].
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This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: The Waterfront's fresh, hand-breaded fish tops reader Kewaunee County fish fry survey