We ate here this past Wed. night. It is located at the Diamond Jo Casino down by the river in Dubuque. We had reservations and were glad we made them. The place filled up after we arrived. We pulled up to the front of the casino and used valet parking. The entrance to the restaurant is to the left as you enter the casino. There is also parking on the south side of the casino and a huge garage on the north side. From the moment we entered the restaurant we were treated very well. The bar is on the left as you walk in and the room opens ahead of you. The host was pleasant and seated us immediately. There is a large fire enclosed in glass in the center of the room, hence the name. The room was lit with low light to make it intimate, yet you could easily read the menu and see everyone dining.
Our waitress, sorry I forget her name, was very friendly and professional. The menu was full of good choices. We started with wine and a manhattan. I ordered a French wine, Les Baux de Provence. The somnelier poured mine and gave a description of it. I was tickled because that doesn't happen in Dubuque. The portions were not generous and a little pricey but it was worth it.
We started with a flatbread pizza and avocado spring rolls. I liked both. Two in our party of four didn't care for the spring rolls. It came with a ginger sauce that I thought was delicious but the others didn't care for it. We also receive a basket with two kinds of breads. Mine had walnuts and raisins, very good. They brought whipped butter and another flavored butter, again I forget, but it was tasty.
The entrees, unless stated, don't come with a vegetable or potatoe. One of us had the veal marsala special that came with risotto. Two of us had the herbed chicken with asparagus. I forget the seasonings but it was excellent, moist and tender. Another chose the pasta with bacon wrapped shrimp. She loved it. It was a lot of food. Two of us ordered the dirty garlic mashed potatoes. It was a very generous portion. I had the au gratin potatoes which were very good. One of us also had a salad which she enjoyed. Two of us ordered a second glass of wine and once again the somnelier poured mine. Tee Hee.
Throughout the dinner our waitress was attentive but unobtrusive. Because we ate so much we only had room for one dessert between two of us. We ordered the molten chocolate cake with vanilla bean ice cream and berries. Only one berry, a strawberry, appeared, but the cake was warm and delicious.
The entrees ran from $18 - $45 (a bison steak, I think). Our meal was about $185 for the 4 of us, fairly uncharacteristic of Dubuque, but well worth it if you want an excellent meal served in an upscale restaurant. Having said that, many people were dressed up but others were in jeans. All were welcome. I hope this place survives because we will definitely be back.
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