139 E Kilbourn Ave, Milwaukee, WI | Directions 5320243.041771 -87.912401
Lunch 11:30am-20pm (Mon-Fri)
Dinner 5:30pm-10pm (Mon-Sat)
Neighborhoods: Juneau Town
Impressive – I went to Kil@wat for the second time last week, the first was lunch I will say that there were some bumps, however I do not feel that was a typical day for the restaurant. The atmosphere in the restaurant is warm and inviting, "earthy" if you will. Reflects some the best modern style that Milwaukee has to offer. My girlfriend and I were sat in a booth over a nice lighted view of all on water street. Any menu of course can be a little confusing at first, our waiter for the night was very patient and broke it down nicely for my girlfriend, even taking the to recommend pairings with courses and wine from the menu to what we would like.The waiter was kind enough to assure us the quality of the scallops as my girlfriend felt iffy about having them med rare, yet that quickly dissipated when I saw the look on her face and she refused to let me have any, so the red wine sauce on them "looked" good. The flat bread was surprisingly well composed for a simpler dish.The second course, the red pepper soup, was very comforting, sweet yet this nice heat in the back of your throat.The beat salad was an eye opener , I don't like beats, but those were roasted and with the vinaigrette and goat cheese, it was light and entirely devour-able.After our waiter asked us if he could pair a glass selection with what we were eating, and since we like pinot noir, he recommend one of the 3 choices they had according to our entrees, but also gave us a half bottle choice (side note: I have had half bottle selections before at restaurants and they are always disappointing.Being that kil@wat could definitely double for a wine bar.) On to the 3rd course, the polenta cake isn't really my forte, albeit it was pretty good,nicely done for any vegetarian. Where I was impressed though, the sea bass, I have had the sea bass at Umamimoto, wth bamboo rice, it is light, earthy, fresh, ethereal. So it made my eyes roll into the back of my head, and the kil@wat sea bass was better. It had more pizazz and way with flavor, up, down, then this slight zip from the pickled ginger on top. Now the short ribs came at me from left field and I'd say my girlfriend was being generous, but she was full.They were good, better than I would think a meat/potatoes dish could be.The waiter was so knoledgable to point out how it all was preped, and everything that was used in the sauce of the ribs, it all melts in your mouth. Almost, mind you, enough to pull me away from my bass. Overall, now with the wine it was a really nice flavor experience.Definitely, coming back with larger group and getting dessert, not very many restaurants have a pastry chef, and from what I was able to see go to other tables made me jealous. I highly recommend to let the waiter pick out what flavors you like. Food is 11/10. Service, you feel like you know them right away, attentive and thoughtful.The check was $145.For what we got surprised we weren't charged more, that same level does not go far at Sanfords,Carnivore,Capital Grille,Umamimoto.
Great View, Unique Lighting, Overpriced – My girlfriend and I like to try new places around milwaukee. We had heard that Kil@wat was a great place, so we thought we'd give it a shot. We were greeted at the hotel doors by valet parking, which can be validated by the restaurant host. After searching for the entrance for a few minutes (which was painfully annoying), we finally made our way up the stairs to the Kil@wat host stand. Although the staff was friendly, they came across as impersonal. The layout and lighting are desireable and the tables along the wall have a beautiful view of downtown. Once you sit down, the experience changes. The table is wider than expected, making you feel as if you are too far from the person you are with. The menu is a little limited on selection, but the wine choices go on for awhile. I had the new york strip, medium, and my girlfriend had the ahi tuna. First, the steak was burnt on the outside, as if it were cooked by direct flame, once I got past the charred exterior, the meat was nothing more than average. The choices that they give you on the classics menu allow you to mix up your entree with a sauce and a side (which is extra). We've tried ahi tuna at other places (Houlihan's and Water Buffalo, amazing) and, again, nothing more than average. The cheese fondue appetizer was good, but if that's what you're looking for, I would suggest the fondue at Rock Bottom Cafe. The value we expected from the meal was not met and felt that we would have had a much better time in a more relaxed atmosphere where we could afford to take another couple out for less than you'd pay at Kil@wat. 2 appetizers, 2 drinks and 2 entrees later, we were at $110. For that kind of money, I would suggest Sanford, which is just around the corner on Jackson St. If you want to go just to get a taste of something different, then it will be fun to try Kil@wat, you'll enjoy the atmosphere, but you won't be impressed by the food or the distance between you and your partner.
Great menu and excellent service – Kil@wat is one of the finest Milwaukee restaurants. The menu is very eclectic and enjoyable. You can choose one of the chef's combinations, or create one of your own by selecting a meat and a sauce. It's a great place to try something different, and you're bound to enjoy the unusual items, flavors, and combinations. The staff is always extremely friendly, very professional, and efficient. There is valet parking. The downtown location makes it an ideal place to dine before a show, although one can make eating here the nightly entertainment by itself.
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