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“What a pleasant surprise”

The Brick Restaurant & Spirits
Ranked #2 of 70 Restaurants in Rhinelander
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: The Brick is a wonderfully cozy restaurant with a menu that varies from pizza and sandwiches to a beautifully plated entree of pasta, fish or meat. It is located in a northern Wisconsin vacation community. The chef bought this bar and restaurant that was in need of some love and good food and has turned it into a highly sought after dining experience complete with the required Wisconsin Friday Fish Fry!
Reviewed February 26, 2014

In this unassuming building, in this off the beaten path location, we had the most wonderful food with a pleasant waitress and delightful surroundings.
The food was exquisite . Tuna done to perfection, salmon that was out of this world and sides that were both well presented and delicious.
We will return....and I hesitated to review because. Of how crowded it will be once everyone discovers it!!! But I can,t keep this hem to myself and we all love when restaurants succeed. This one already has!

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Thank outsteppin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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131 - 135 of 147 reviews

Reviewed September 4, 2013

Don't let the curbside appearance of a typical small town bar keep you from going inside to dine. A good friend who lives in Rhinelander suggested we go there this past weekend when we came up for his son's wedding. He said it isn't cheap, but the food is really good. He was right. My wife and I are do not pick a restaurant based on price, but mainly on food quality. I felt the prices were in line with what we would pay at home(Milwaukee area), and I even thought the drinks were underpriced. We both had the garlic/blue cheese stuffed filet, and it was wonderful. Both tasty and quite tender. Service was very attentive and cordial. Will definitely go back the next time we are in the Northwoods.

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Thank DENNIS S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2013

From the Google search: “The Brick of Lake Tomahawk ~ Fine Dining in a Casual Atmosphere”. The website claims: “…inventive dishes, attentive service, and stylish atmosphere.” While I can say that the plating of our appetizer was quite attractive and had the touch of class that I would have expected after having read those things, I have to say that both my wife and I were extremely disappointed in our experience at The Brick last Thursday night (8/29/13).

Our recent travel plans included a one night stay in Minocqua, Wisconsin (see my review of the Quality Inn) and meeting some friends there for dinner. I had originally planned to make reservations at a great place called the Rusty Putter, a restaurant at which we had dined several times a couple of years ago (it was part of a golf course just west of Minocqua on Route 70). Research showed that the golf course had closed, as had the restaurant. The good news (or so I thought) was that – again, from research – the chef had recently opened a new place called The Brick, not far away in Lake Tomahawk; it was billed as fine dining, and I expected at least as good an experience at that which we had at the now-defunct Rusty Putter. We decided to make the short journey to Lake Tomahawk.

The town was small and it was easy to find The Brick restaurant. Inside an old brick building (maybe where the idea was spawned for the name?) that looked very tired and dilapidated on the outside was a smallish “dining room” that contained perhaps eight tables. The look and feel of the dining room was that of a diner/café; the décor was essentially non-existent, and patrons appeared dressed in less-than-casual attire. In another adjacent room was a large oval-shaped bar with seats for about twenty or so patrons. We decided to enjoy a cocktail, look at the menu and then ponder the dinner idea; something though, just didn't feel quite right in terms of “fine dining”.

The first uh-oh moment came as we entered the bar: both female bartenders sported “uniforms” of shorter-then-short, cut-off jeans and T-shirts – outfits that were more reminiscent of a beach scene or sports bar than a fine dining establishment. When we were overheard to be pondering whether we would sit at one of the tall tables or at the bar, we were greeted with “those are dining tables.” After then taking a seat at the bar, it was not a courteous and expected “good evening” but a terse “Whatchahavin’?” and a disapproving eye that seemed to say: “I know you are from out-of-town and “I don’t care much for you.” We sipped our cocktails and perused a menu. The choices seemed interesting, albeit quite pricey when considering the surroundings. I watched as others at the bar ordered… mostly burgers and fries, and I began to question my decision to come here. When I later observed the same bartender chowing down some dinner at the far end of the bar, I knew that training was definitely not at the top of the list at The Brick.

We decided to stay and first try the bacon-wrapped scallops ($9.95), reasoning that if they were done well and were good, we would stay for dinner. They were not, and we didn't. But there is a much more important caveat to the review. As I stated in the first paragraph, the plating on our appetizer was quite impressive… The scallops however, were deep-fried; even the bacon was deep-fried! There was a peppery bite to the taste and there were but six smallish scallops on the plate. Flavor: mediocre.

Looking around, I noticed that we were the only people at the bar who were not given little wooden trays for our food. They were issued to everyone else who had food at the bar; the trays helped to alleviate the inconvenience of a large wooden rail at the edge of the bar that created an uncomfortable distance between a diner and his plate of food. Were we deprived of this added convenience (the bar tray) because we were “out-of-towners”?

When I asked for the check and laid down an American Express card, the card was immediately slapped back down on the bar top and I was bluntly told “we don’t take that card!”. At this point, we had absolutely no desire to stay for dinner, even if the food might have been outstanding, the point of which is arguable.

Overall, I would rate The Brick as follows: Food, a 2 out of 5; Service, a 1 out of 5, and ambiance, a 2 out of 5. It was definitely not fine dining and I must repeat that we were extremely disappointed, especially after our experience at the owner/chef’s former establishment. I suggest you steer clear of The Brick!

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1  Thank Richard R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Mostly very good entrees, although some were over cooked and came to the table dry. Reservations were not honored. It is a small "boutique" restaurant with a lot of upside potential.
Nonetheless, it has plenty of room for improvement.

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Thank Michael K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2013

I am a regular at the brick, and they have not had nachos there in over a year. Had you special requested them? the closest gaspump i am aware of is the gas station kitt corner across the highway. My daughter never complained about the chicken fingers (only available on the kids menu) not sure why your experience was so bad, I've never had anything but fantastic service there

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1  Thank lktomchick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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