We were on a long weekend in Milwaukee, and chose Palms based on reviews and the items on the menu. We did not have a reservation; however we were welcome to wait in the bar. This component was fine, as the somewhat attentive bartenders made great drinks...however they did seem to lack in the ability to multi task as things got busier. Getting our bar tab moved to the restaurant proved to be quite a challenge, however we didn't let this damper our opinion.
The soup of the day sounded good on a rainy Saturday, a beef based soup. It was mildly spicy with no vegetables or starch...we both agreed it might have benefitted from some barley or Israeli couscous. But it was delicious, just more like an entree soup.
The special of the evening was Arctic Char, which happens to be the partner's favorite seafood. In spite of an orange/fennel preparation (neither of us cares for fennel), we both honestly ranked this among the best seafood dishes we have tasted (mine was a small bite). I opted for the rack of lamb, which came with a forest mushroom and onion ragout, and a reduced cabernet glaze. I don't care for almond or mint, so asked that the pesto be "on the side." As it happened, it wasn't included at all, though I would have like to try it. It wasn't necessary though...I'm not sure how this dish could have been any better unless it came with explicit instructions on how to make at home. I was incredibly impressed.
Our server was incredibly nice, and extremely helpful. It did not appear the dining room was prepared for a busy dinner service. This was not helped by a table of folks who apparently had finished eating, but appeared to be drinking coffee they had brought in with them originally. The restaurant has little control over such occurrences.
Though somewhat uneven in terms of service, I still have to give an excellent rating based on the food. If you know how to professional and kindly guide service staff, you should have no problem here, though know that the food is definitely at a price. We felt it was an exceptional value, though we both acknowledged if one is not a foodie, some of the price points vs. serving sizes may be deal breakers.
We definitely plan to visit again, and with all the choices in the area, this says something.
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