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“great waterside spot- best clam chowder i've ever had” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Captain Bill's Waterfront Restaurants

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Captain Bill's Waterfront Restaurants
2701 Century Harbor Road, Middleton, WI
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Ranked #37 of 84 Restaurants in Middleton
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Lake Street, Allen Blvd
Description: Captain Bill's waterfront restaurant features award winning seafood in a rustic, casual and fun waterfront atmosphere. Recently voted “Best Seafood Restaurant” in the Best of Madison poll, Captain Bill's diners rave about the clam chowder, crab cakes and coconut shrimp. Escape to our waterfront deck, enjoy an ice cold beverage, a mound of shrimp and oysters, crab, lobster or our Friday night fish fry. Happy hour Monday thru Friday from four to six.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“great waterside spot- best clam chowder i've ever had”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2012 via mobile

great view, great drinks, best clam chowder in US as per Food Channel and I concur. Oysters on the half shell. Nice outdoor deck. Cozy fire in cold weather.

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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56 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    14
    13
    17
    6
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Madison, Wisconsin
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Seafood Restaurant With No Fresh Seafood”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2012

I have eaten at this restaurant many, many times over the last 12 years. As of last night, I am officially done eating here. I always thought the place was average to mediocre...but I WANTED to like this place, I really did. It's a local restaurant and I like to give my business to the locals, but I will never go back to Captain Bill's again. When I ate there time before last, I asked if the salmon was fresh. My server said, "No. We live in Wisconsin, it's impossible to have fresh seafood." WHAT? That was news to me, and she was a bit snotty about it, too. Last night, I ordered the sea scallops. There were supposed to be seared. They came out with a greasy coating of flour or cornstarch that coated my mouth in a very unpleasant way. Also, the scallops were still ice cold on the inside. (I like my scallops warmed through, at least.) The baked potato that came with my meal was way over cooked and had that really gross taste to it. I really think that it was cooked, put in the fridge and microwaved. The vegetables were practically unrecognizable and ridiculously greasy. Overall, it was a horrible meal that I spent $30 on. I didn't even bother complaining because I was just so done with this place. Bottom line: Captain Bill's needs a desperate overhaul of the menu, chef and decor.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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Illinois
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Expected better food and service”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2012

My husband and I ate at Captain Bill's on February 10th. We were seated right away and the atmosphere of the restaurant seemed very nice. He ordered the lobster pot pie. I had the crab cakes. Lobster pot pie was good- with large chunks of lobster and puffed pastry baked on top- however the sauce and other filling was rather bland. The crab cakes were filled with crab, however had quite a punch of spice-red pepper perhaps? I like spicy food, but these were at the top of my spice limit. Asked the waiter what dessert options were available- he had no clue. Came back and offered us chocolate bread pudding, but had no dessert menu or dessert tray to show us. We skipped dessert. Prices were decent and the menu is available on their website. Overall, the restaurant was OK, I was expecting better food.

Visited February 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Middleton, Wisconsin
1 review
“Very disappointing!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2012

We have been dining at Captain Bills for over 20 years, so it pains us to say we are in no hurry to return and would be unlikely to ever recommend it to others for dinner. The house salad, rosemarry ciabatta and clam chowder were great as usual.... but the rest of the meal and service were NOT.

After a long wait (even though it wasn't remotely busy... now we know why!) our waiter finally brought us a WARM bottle of the chardonnay we ordered and poured two glasses. When we commented that it wasn't chilled, he left with the bottle to fetch an ice bucket. When we went for a second glass of (hopefully!) chilled wine, we were surprised to see there was little more than a glass left. We have had enough wine over the years to know how far a bottle goes, so it sure seemed that our waiter helped himself to some when he left with our bottle. Very uncool. We also thought it was unprofessional to see him and other staff sitting (drinking? a glass of our wine?) at a booth near us while we dined.

The meat in the beef stroganoff tasted like the scraps we give to the dogs and the catfish was fishy and undercooked. The green beans tasted like they were cooked last night and reheated. Not good.

From now on, we'd only go for some chowder...

  • Visited February 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Excellent dinner, warm and cozy atmosphere”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2012

We decided to join the Restaurant Week crowd at Captain Bill's last night. We were greeted by a friendly employee, promptly seated in an area with a lovely firepit. Perfect for a cold winter night. We all ordered the Shrimp duet with 3 coconut shrimp and a 6 ounce lobster tail. It was prepared perfectly! We also had either clam chowder soup or a warm spinach salad and key lime pie for dessert. We ordered a bottle of wine which was also a special for the evening. It came promptly. Even with a packed house, the service was very efficient. We headed to the bar briefly and were again greeted by a friendly bartender. Very fun night.

  • Visited January 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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