Fish Fry Review: Klassik Tavern, Verona, WI

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It's been a while since I've done a proper fish fry review, so when a few friends extended an invitation to venture over to the Klassik Tavern in Verona, I jumped at the chance. I had been eating cleanly for a while and felt that a fish fry was warranted and justified (or at least that's what I told myself). :-)

The Klassik was previously known as "The Cozee Inn," and is located directly below the Verona water tower, across the street from Michael's Frozen Custard (a deadly combination for someone like me). Upon arriving, we noticed the packed parking lot and the mixed brick/white siding exterior - a good sign that we were venturing into more of a supper club than a tavern.

After a quick check-in at the hostess station we were invited to wait in the bar; our table would be ready in 15-20 minutes - not bad for a busy Friday night. We wandered into the bar, which featured low ceilings, classic vinyl covered, "bucket" bar stools, and a few flat screen televisions.

Tap offerings were slim; I spied taps from Capital, New Glarus, and Great Lakes. We found a 4-top high table near one of the Klassik's large bay windows and waited for the hostess to call our name. As mentioned, the place was busy, fairly loud, but comfy - I really liked the vibe of the place, as it was "homey" and welcoming. I believe an owner or manager came over and chatted with us for a bit, and was extremely nice. That's a theme that would carry throughout the experience - everyone we encountered was exceptionally friendly and helpful.

After 10-15 minutes of waiting, we were promptly seated at a table in one of the small, L-shaped dining room's corners. Two servers appeared with water glasses and a dinner roll. The dinner roll was obviously "from the bag," but wasn't too bad. The non-frozen-butter-pats were a welcomed touch.

k_roll.jpg

A cheery waitress appeared within seconds of our rolls and water arriving, and informed us of the fish specials, which included cod (fried or baked), lake perch, and walleye. We pondered our choices, and settled on two orders of lake perch and one order of fried cod. I inquired about the old fashioneds, and was warned that the Klassik did not muddle, nor did it use Squirt, so I passed. After some light small talk, our waitress scurried off to the kitchen, our fish orders in hand.

I had also ordered a side salad, which arrived almost immediately after our waitress left the table. The place was fast, if nothing else!

The side salad was rather plain - a simple wedge of iceberg lettuce, a few leaves of spinach, a lone tomato chunk, and a lone (and rather thin) slice of cucumber. I'm not sure if it was worth an extra $1.95, but I've had worse salads, that's for sure.

k_salad.jpg

I had no sooner finished the salad when our fish plates arrived. Chris and Sheila (friends from work) had selected the lake perch. Their plates featured a few filets of lightly breaded perch, with nary a sign of grease.

k_perch.jpg

Sheila went with the baked potato (as shown above), while Chris opted for the hashbrowns, which featured a really nice char/sear, and had hints of onion scattered throughout. I'm told the hashbrowns were great, and so was the coleslaw, which we all agreed appeared to be homemade.

The perch received good remarks; it wasn't out-of-this-world great, but was a solid effort. The breading was light, slightly crisp, and featured a slight hint of salt and pepper.

My cod plate hosted 4 "chunks" of battered cod and a small pile of matchstick french fries:

k_cod.jpg

The batter was on the heavy side, which I don't mind. I do mind grease, however, and when I cut into my cod, I was shocked to find puddles of grease readily emerging from between the batter and the cod.

Adding insult to injury, the thick, inflexible batter didn't cling to the cod; it easily separated from the fish, thanks in part to the flaky nature of the cod. This allowed grease to pool between the cod and the batter.

The cod itself was good. The flavor of the batter was decent - just slightly salty, although after a few bites, I couldn't help but draw comparisons to the flavor of something like a Vande Kemps boxed-fish-batter.

All things considered, the puddles of grease, heavy batter (with separation), and smallish portions made for a less than stellar experience. The generously salted fries were served slightly cool; they had been sitting in a bin for a bit, no doubt.

Our waitress was absent throughout most of the meal, but we didn't really need anything, so I'm wondering if she realized we were doing OK and left us to our conversations. She was always helpful, friendly, and engaging, which we really enjoyed.

After finishing our meals, we were asked about dessert and strongly considered a slice of cheesecake, but opted to pass. Checks arrived; my bill was $17 for the fish, side salad, and a Great Lakes beer. A bit steep, given the experience.

Klassik Supper Club = MEH

Food = 2.5 stars (pedestrian)
Service = 3.5 stars (a bit absent, but helpful and nice)
Value = 2.5 stars (a bit pricey)
MISC = 3.25 stars (comfy feel, great staff)

Summary: The place is comfortable, the staff is friendly, and I could see myself swinging by every so often for dinner. The cod and perch looked great, but ultimately failed to deliver "winning" results - they were both ordinary at best. The coolish fries and the greasy (yet piping hot) cod were downfalls, especially for the price. Not a bad choice for a fish fry, but it wouldn't be my "go to" place when looking to impress.

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This page contains a single entry by Steve published on October 30, 2011 10:29 AM.

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