The Waterfront Pub and Grill, which sits directly across the street from Delavan Lake, is a pleasant surprise.
During a recent visit, our first surprise came when we saw a packed parking lot and realized it was a car dealership located adjacent to the restaurant. The Waterfront has its own parking, so we quickly found a spot and headed in.
The two-story establishment’s entrance opens into a bar that feels bright and airy due to its high ceiling and many windows. There were eight big screen TVs mounted high enough on the walls that every seat had a good view of the game. There also was a pool table, a pingpong table and arcade games, but the bar still felt spacious. There was even a motorcycle hanging from the ceiling, which added an interesting touch.
Waterfront also features a second-story deck with plenty of outdoor seating. During warmer months, one can imagine the exquisite view of the lake while sipping a cocktail or enjoying a fantastic meal (that sounds so good right now).
We opted for Waterfront’s private, quiet restaurant side. There were plenty of booths lining the walls, and it had no TVs to distract us. This made conversations easy to enjoy.
The décor was simple and clean with two-toned blues that gave the restaurant a nautical theme.
Waterfront’s drink menu has a good selection of tap beers, a decent wine list and a seasonal drink menu. I ordered a Dark and Stormy ($7), a dark rum, ginger beer and lime drink I always enjoy. A bit of apple cider also was added to the drink, but I couldn’t really taste it.
Helene had the festive red pomegranate Cosmopolitan ($7), which was a combination of vodka, pomegranate liqueur and orange and lime juices.
The entrance “specials” board listed a unique chicken Parmesan soup, and we were equally tempted by the prime rib burrito. Yes, we will just have to come back to get the full experience.
There are several intriguing items on Waterfront’s appetizer menu that called to us, but we all agreed a tandoori flatbread ($9.49) was the way to go.
We chose the margherita flatbread with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, pesto and roasted garlic. Presented on a bed of mixed greens and drizzled with balsamic vinegar, it was the boldness of the garlic that surprised and enchanted us the most. We gave the dish an A+.
I was craving a big salad, and Waterfront has a good selection. But it also has hand-cut steaks. I created the perfect H2Ofront BBQ salad meal ($7) by topping it with steak ($8.29). The salad portion was huge with greens, black beans, tomato, corn, scallions, cheese and tortilla strips. The steak was like the cherry on the top with large chunks of a perfectly cooked meat dipped in barbecue sauce. I was very happy, but I couldn’t even eat half.
Jennifer’s entree selection was the shrimp scampi fettuccine ($17.49), a fairly new addition to the menu. The shrimp—sautéed in a lemon, garlic and white wine sauce—were plump and meaty, and they were tossed in fettuccine with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese. It was delightful, and it was served with a soft, chewy, garlic breadstick that helped to soak up the rich sauce.
The Waterfront lists its hamburgers as being “hand-pattied” and “humongous,” so Helene ventured to try the veggie bean burger ($9.49) that came with a choice of homemade chips or fries.
The patty, which consisted of white beans, oats, pecans and sun-dried tomato pesto, overlapped its Kaiser roll and came with raw onion, lettuce and tomato on the side. On top of the burger were grilled onions and three dollops of goat cheese. The texture was great, but the patty was a little dry. Helene said it was one of the more flavorful veggie burgers she had ever tried, and the homemade (hand-cut) fries were large, flavorful without the grease and delicious.
The dessert choices of cheesecake, key lime pie or ice cream sounded good, but they weren’t house-made. We surprised ourselves by declining the temptation and left fully satisfied and happy.
The Four Dishes—Nikki Bolka, Helene Ramsdell, Jennifer Spangler and Beth Webb—review regional restaurants for The Gazette.