I wanted to do something special for Lo's birthday dinner, since (overall) I believe myself to be a fairly nice husband. I was running out of ideas, when the phone rang. It was Lo, calling to tell me that her parents decided that THEY would like to take her out for her birthday. I was saved!
After some conversation about where we might GO for dinner, Lo's exceedingly thoughtful parents drove down from their pad in Kewaskum, and we ventured out to Bayou, a quaint cajun/creole joint overlooking the Milwaukee River.
The evening started off with Fried Green Tomatoes (Lo's one wish) and Crab Cakes (Lo's mom's favorite). The crab cakes were fairly good. But, the green tomatoes were the hands-down winner, breaded thoroughly, fried to crisp perfection, and seasoned with just a HINT of cinnamon. They were served with a cajun remoulade that complemented perfectly.
For dinner, Lo ordered Jambalaya, and I had the Panko Crusted Ahi Tuna (one of the night's specials). Mom had the Grilled Salmon Cake & Shrimp and Dad had creole meatloaf stuffed with spinach and oysters (the other special for the evening). Everyone enjoyed their main courses, the only complaint being that the shrimp in Lo's jambalaya seemed just a hair too "shrimpy" for her taste -- indicating they may not have been as fresh as fresh could be. Considering Milwaukee's Midwestern locale along witht he fact that it was a Monday night, I am guessing the shrimp were leftover from the weekend.
The night ended with a FABULOUS array of well-executed desserts. And, if I chose one reason to return to Bayou in the future, this would be IT. Lo relished the Pecan Pie with homemade Sweet Potato ice cream, Mom had some booze flavored Creme Brulee, and Dad had the Key Lime pie. I had the Banana Bread Pudding with Vanilla Custard (also homemade) and a rum sauce. Our waitress told us that all items were made in-house -- and that fact became obvious as we sampled. Each dessert was exquisite -- a symphony of flavors and textures.
The atmosphere at Bayou is pleasant. A bit dark, perhaps, but definitely pleasant. The dining room has a view of the river -- and the patio seating makes me think this is a place we might wish to return to when the weather is a bit balmier. The modern decor is Jetsonesque, with some distinct signs of an Asian influence (think Japanese lanterns with modern architectural flair). Prices were on the higher side for entrees (and drinks from the bar were OFF the map). But, the wine list was reasonably priced, and our dessert experience more than made up for the bit of sticker shock at the end of the meal.
Overall, Bayou gets a thumb's up from this gator.