Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dinner at The Whistling Swan,
Fish Creek, Wis.

Mom and I always try to do one special meal when I visit. We don't really need an excuse, but her birthday is a convenient one. For a 47-year-old, she's still kind of camera-shy.
Friends have been raving about The Whistling Swan. It's in Fish Creek, across the street and down the block from The White Gull Inn. There is a cozy dining room inside with a bar, and a lovely airy side porch, where drapes create a sense of privacy between the window tables.

Each table features a charming little still life of beach rocks, shells, a sculpture.
We started by sharing the snow pea salad, with wasabi almonds, roasted wild mushrooms and soy-ginger vinaigrette. They kindly split the plate for us. This salad was very good. You can tell just by looking at it.
We also had a faintly herb-y bread which had a nice crusty crust and soft crumb but which lacked salt, as did the butter. I'm not a salt fiend, but I found myself adding a dash.

Mom ordered the grilled Angus flatiron steak, with caramelized sweet potatoes, a smoked corn and sunflower sprout salad, cilantro chimichurri and chipotle veal reduction.
I got the pan-seared sea scallops with a saffron risotto, arugula and jicama salad and chorizo-tomato coulis.
The scallops were perfectly done, crispy on the outside, and melt-in-your-mouth tender inside. I liked the balance of the salad with it. The rice didn't wow me, but it wasn't bad.

Mom's steak was also very nice, flavorful and tender, and I loved the taste of the smoked corn salad.

For dessert, we shared a vanilla crème brûlée with berry ice cream and "grandma's" molasses cookies. I should have asked whose grandma. A fine, fine dessert, happily washed down with good coffee.
I forgot to investigate the long-exposure setting on Mom's camera before the dessert arrived, so it's looking a little muddy. I practiced on the moon when we got home with better success.
A peaceful finish to a lovely evening. At The Whistling Swan our food was great and the service was friendly and attentive without being obtrusive. The space was so comfortable and pleasant, too, with good people-watching out the windows. At $85, our tab was on the pricey but not outrageous side, and felt like a good value.

For a special occasion or just because, this restaurant would be a good choice for dinner. You could even plan a weekend getaway; the inn's rooms shown on the website look nice.

The Whistling Swan
4192 Main St.
Fish Creek, WI 54212


  1. That's so cute how your mom is a little camera shy! I wish her a very happy belated birthday. :)

  2. I don't think camera shy goes away. Your food photography is always quite good but these shots are spectacular.

  3. Ari, thanks! You're early, in fact.

    Thanks, Alecto. Good-looking food and natural light are a good combo.

    db, they sure tasted perfect, too.