A short-lived first place

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So two weeks ago, we proudly announced a new winner of the coveted Friday Night Fish Fry Fanatics award for best fish fry... and that winner was: Schaumburg's Supper Club. Unfortunately, their first-place title was short-lived, as we stumbled across what is quite easily the best fish fry we've ever had.

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The new "winner" of our award for the best fish fry is: The Owl's Nest in Poynette, WI. It's located just east of 51, about 4-5 miles north of highway 60. Trust me when I say it's well worth the drive - from the minute we arrived and took a smell of the air outside of this little bar, we knew we were in for a treat.

We put in our names for a table and were told that the wait would be about an hour. No problem - the night was young, the weather was wonderful, and the bar area was crowded, entertaining, and relatively smoke-free. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the bar was this "lazy Susan" for the various alcohols, as it featured a large, carved wooden owl.

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After almost an hour's wait (to the minute), our table became available, and we were promptly seated in the dining area of the Owl's Nest. We were immediately impressed with the true supper club nature of this place - it featured plenty of wood paneling, wallpaper, true Wisconsin "kitsch" and wall adornments that appeared to be straight out of the 70s. How can you not love these chandeliers and the "hi-fonic" speaker system?

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Our waitress promptly stopped by to take our drink orders and to take our orders. We went with the usuals - a whiskey old fashioned sour, breaded mushrooms, onion rings, and fish. The fish was served family-style, as were the complimentary sides that included baked beans, coleslaw, rye bread, and tartar sauce.

Up first was the old fashioned - it wasn't muddled, wasn't made with Squirt, and featured an orange (a big no-no). We had that promptly corrected - oranges should never be included in a whiskey old fashioned sour... overall, the old fashioned left a little to be desired; it wasn't terrible, but it wasn't spectacular.

Next came the mushrooms, which were spectacular. They were obviously homemade; fresh button mushrooms dipped in a flaky batter, fried to perfection, and served with a huge side of delicious ranch. It would've been easy to eat a couple-two-tree-hundred of these wonderful mushrooms:

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Before we knew it, the onion rings arrived and as hard as this may to believe, they were even better than the mushrooms. The rings weren't so much rings as they were super thinly sliced rings and strings of sweet onions that were lightly battered and perfectly fried. They had a slightly salty flavor, and literally dissolved in your mouth. Wow - so good.

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Our waitress kept the party rolling by bringing out the fish - we ordered both the baked cod and the deep fried cod. They both shared an identical foundation - the cod was fresh, flaky, moist, flavorful and absolutely perfect. Both were served absolutely piping hot; so hot that we burned our mouths with the first bites.

Here's the baked cod - not sure why they include butter... it's absolutely not necessary.

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And here's the deep-fried cod (that's one plate of the family-style fish!):

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The deep-fried cod is available in two varieties: beer battered or breaded. We went with the beer-battered, and it was unreal. The Owl's Nest definitely knows how to prepare a killer batter. Kudos to the fine folks that work there!

We finished the meal with an ice cream dessert; it featured some type of French alcohol that was mixed-in with it (the name escapes me). Hand blended, and extremely generous with the portions, it was the perfect way to cap-off the wonderful meal.

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Combine the outstanding food with some of the best service we've ever experienced, and The Owl's Nest easily takes the first-place prize for best fish fry to date. Do yourself a favor and make the short drive up to Poynette to check out this place. You won't be disappointed!

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