We decided on this for our surprise dinner in Milwaukee - I'll repeat MKEFoodie's description here, then add my own...
"Hubbard Park Lodge has a Friday Night Seafood Buffet/Fish Fry. The buffet is elegant and the food is very good. The atmosphere at Hubbard Park Lodge is extraordinary, it's a handsome WPA project from the depression era overlooking the Milwaukee River. They are only open on Friday night and Sunday's for brunch (otherwise for parties/weddings) so it doesn't always register as an option for folks. I've taken parents/in-laws to this place and it's a big hit and the food is very good."
We drove through a small residential area & found the parking lot. Entered the park through a festively decorated tunnel & then a beautiful short walk through a crystalline forest - it had snowed and was just magical. (well, at least for this SoCal girl...) You round a corner path & find the Lodge all lit up and decorated - just a beautiful sight. The main dining room has a huge Christmas tree in the center & roaring fire - the interior is a bit more modern than the log cabin exterior. My only beef would be that the chairs should be a bit more rustic or antiquey - the modern Swedish look didn't cut it! On Friday nights, you have your choice between a traditional fish fry (2 types & fried or broiled), your choice of potatoes & cole slaw for $14.95. OR... the buffet, which you still get a choice of fish entree (I had the broiled walleye with brown butter sauce - very good) and then the buffet - various salads, smoked trout, clam chowder, fresh fruit, potato pancakes, fried fish, fish roullades (I believe), a pasta bar with choice of scallops, shrimp or calamari & red or aldredo sauce & other goodies like artichoke hearts, LOADS of garlic, etc. to add it. Plus dessert, which we never made it to (surprise, surprise) for $23.95. The wine menu was a little weak, but we were happy with a Sterling Chard for $34 (not sure on that price - may have been less). Unfortunantly, or fortunately, as the case may be, a waiter did not show & one poor guy had to handle the whole room & I'm not sure he should quit his day job... The service was hilarious - drinks came out one by one, other tables were yelling at him, my husband had to go up to the bar 4 times to get them to speed up those all important brandies & scotches (we ladies were smart to get the bottle of wine & not have to depend on the waiter for refills...) Poor guy - I felt so sorry for him & the Host, Hostess & a woman who I believe was the Manager, just all stood by & watched him - didn't help out at all - he even slipped & fell in the middle of the room at one point he was rushing so much. The seafood in the pasta could have been cooked better, but other than that the food was very good, the comedy of errors service made it a hilarious bonding experience for la familia & we would return (maybe with hidden hip flasks in case that other waiter doesn't show up again!) Didn't make it to any other suggestions as my daughter got sick - still haven't checked out the Harlequin Bakery - boo hoo! And, if you get invited to the Blue Mound Country Club for Christmas dinner, GO!!! The service is excellent, food very good and it is so beautifully decorated - between that & the Hubbard Park Lodge, we were totally in the Holiday mood!
Looking forward to my next Milwaukee visit... I will make it to the Harlequin & the Public Food Market, Three Brothers, Tess & other great suggestions if it's the last thing I do! Think I need more than 2 days.