Coachman's has potential as a supper club

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By Joan Neeno, Special to The Gazette
Thursday, June 26, 2014

EDGERTON—As a frequent commuter between Janesville and Madison, I've always been a bit curious about Coachman's Golf Resort.

So on a recent Friday, my husband, Richard, and I stopped on our way home for dinner.

In many ways, it was exactly what I expected: dark wooden beams, heavy doors, gold-colored glass and ceiling tiles that were the norm in the 1970s. My parents and their friends might have dined at Coachman's—and if not there, then someplace just like it.

The restaurant and bar don't appear to have changed much over the years. The place feels dated and a bit worn, but I saw a good crowd at the bar and in the dining room.

We were seated in the far corner of the dining room, which felt a little like Siberia compared to where most of the other tables were located. Our server was very pleasant, taking our drink orders promptly.

The Brandy Old-Fashioneds were $3.50, which is downright cheap, but they tasted pretty thin. The olives we asked for arrived about five minutes after the drinks.

We were informed that the menu had changed in the last two weeks. Indeed, it was surprisingly heavy on pasta dishes. They all sounded good.

We ordered a couple of appetizers so we could try more of the menu. We also ordered our entrees, which might have confused the server. She delivered the soup and salads to our table before the appetizers, which arrived lukewarm after we had finished our soup and salads.

The problem was more with the server than the kitchen.

The calamari ($10) were lightly fried and served with olives and a sweet chili sauce. The combination of rich, salty olives with the bright sauce and savory seafood was quite good. The scallop appetizer ($13), on the other hand, needed work. The scallops were nicely seasoned and cooked but were served on a “Parmesan cream” that tasted more like bland mashed potatoes.

Richard ordered the lobster and shrimp macaroni and cheese ($23), which came out of the broiler piping hot and browned. It had a significant piece of lobster tail on it. The cheddar flavor was pronounced and very nice. The seafood was nicely cooked, although the quantity of shrimp was fairly skimpy.

I ordered the fish fry ($13), which featured two pieces of cod that were moist and flavorful. I liked the breading, which was decently seasoned, but I wasn't as crazy about the rest of my plate. The “special potatoes” were basically a cheesy hash-brown casserole with too much crumb topping. It wasn't warm and reminded me of cafeteria food. I felt the same way about the flavorless green beans.

Overall, it was a fairly average dining experience. The food has potential. With more polished service and a spruced up dining space, Coachman's could be supper club swank again. For now, it has a ways to go.

Last updated: 7:58 am Thursday, June 26, 2014

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