We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Small plates, good food, interesting variety, good service”
Review of Balzac

Ranked #102 of 1,520 Restaurants in Milwaukee
Price range: $9 - $25
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Neighborhood: Lower East Side
Rockford, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
157 reviews
90 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Small plates, good food, interesting variety, good service”
Reviewed November 25, 2012

We were exploring a cool neighborhood in Milwaukee on Bradley Street when we started giggling and pointing to the name of a restaurant that reminded us of a part of the male anatomy. We initially decided to eat here for laughs, but we ended up really liking it.
Balzac offers a nice atmosphere inside and out ( 2 outdoor patio areas.) The menu offers a wide variety of unique items I haven't seen elsewhere along with some twists on common classics. Both times we ate there we ordered several small plates between the two of us. We really liked the brulee (eat this last...it's kind of like a dessert) and the mac and cheese. The brisket jambalaya was okay. This last time we ate at the bar so that we could watch the Bears game on tv. The bartender was our server and she was really cool about taking care of us and making suggestions on what to eat and drink. It's not exactly cheap, but it's an out-of-the-ordinary dining experience. Check out the whole neighborhood. There are lots of interesting shops, bars, coffeehouses and even a really cool retro Italian deli/market called Glorioso's.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Redbirds1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

101 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Excellent laid back, good food, good service restaurant”
Reviewed November 5, 2012

Ate here with the wife a week ago. No reservations accepted for groups of less than 4 but lady on the phone assured us we'd be ok around 7pm. She was right, no wait at all at that time though by 8pm it had filled up tremendously. Took a cab so can't comment on the parking but it's the near east-side so you know it''s not great!

Our service was great. Waitress was cheerful and not pushy at all. We were able to order 3 small plates, eat those and then order 2 more after we were done with no problems at all. The food was very, very good. Crab cakes were exceptional. Goat cheese brulee was an eye-opener and I'd highly recommend it. If I could criticize one thing, it would be that the duck nachos need more duck! Creme brulee for dessert was good. Wine choice was ok, nothing special. They were out of one dish we wanted which has been mentioned as something of an issue for this place. Not sure if that's really true or not but does point in that direction. Atmosphere was very nice. Good mix of folk just there for the bar and folk there to eat. Very relaxed and makes it a good choice for most occasions. What makes this place really stand out and get the good review was the value for money. We had 5 small plates, a dessert and a bottle of wine with a good tip thrown in all for less than I've paid at some very average places. Would definitely eat here again and recommend without reservation (pun intended!)

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Simon P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wisconsin, US
Level 6 Contributor
188 reviews
120 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
“It's "ok".”
Reviewed September 23, 2012 via mobile

Went with a group of friends last night, on a night, and the place wasn't too busy. Most of us in our group had been there before, so we thought we would give it another try. The beer list is good, a lot of choices, but not too many, so is the wine list. There were seven of us this night, and we each tried something different. I had the Margarita pizza, it was good, but I have had better, the vegetable dish was tasty with a good dipping sauce, one of us had the tuna, which was very small & just so so. the prices are okay, but portions are a tad small for the prices ($10 for the flat bread pizza?) And I was discouraged by the fact they weigh out the glass of wine? A skilled bartender wouldn't need to weigh a glass. We also waited to get another drink (keep in mind it wasn't packed in there) and to get our bill. we sat at the bar too, which there were two or three bartenders, don't know why we had to wait. I would recommend for date nights, but with everything in Milwaukee, there are way better restaurants than this.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Love2Ctheworld1117
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Racine, Wisconsin
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“My Favorite Bar and Restaurant Combo in Milwaukee”
Reviewed September 6, 2012

I've been coming here many many times for the Guiness and on occasion snack on foods. The atmosphere and decor is great, It's warm and relaxing. Come here as a couple, with friends or for business. It's great for all occasions. There is a back seating area that is quiet and faces the back parking lot. Prices are decent. Only here can I get a $4 Guiness and get a great meal after dinner til midnight. Desserts are all great and not so sweet as you may think. I love the grilled fish. Even just snacking on the fries are excellent. Staff is wonderful, sometimes slow if it's a busy night. Sometimes live music is played and great! Love coming here over and over. I wish they had a punch/point card for me.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Mera Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Can you stop running out of food please?”
Reviewed August 25, 2012

It seems as though every time I dined here they were always out of what I wanted to order. Very annoying because I really enjoy the menu!

Visited August 2012
Thank Loulew21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Balzac also viewed


Been to Balzac? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing