Fins, a family-friendly hangout, is perched above the Rock River and offers eyeball-soothing sights and easy access to Lake Koshkonong. The open kitchen churns out an array of eclectic menu items and the full bar offers a wide selection of drinks. Start softly with a salad such as the caprese ($4.95), or cut into homemade crab cakes ($6.95). Fins has mastered the art of the classic pressed sandwich—grab a hot buffalo-chicken panini ($7.95) or an Italian-beef panini ($7.95). However, nine out of ten devout dentists agree that Fins’ specialty is the pizza (9" for $9.95, 12" for $11.95). Hack a triangle out of Pat's MSP (mushroom, sausage, and pepperoni), the BLT, Michael's BBQ Chicken, or finally give in to acronym-o-phobia and go for the "drag it thru the garden", a pie packed with peppers, tomatoes, onions, black olives, and mushrooms, doused with spinach and artichoke sauce, and smothered in a special cheese blend.
Located on the Rock River, Dockside Bar & Grill pairs its view of the water with a full bar and a broad menu of salads, wraps, burgers, and pizzas. Their Volcano burger comes topped with buffalo sauce and pepper jack cheese, and white Wisconsin cheddar cheese curds and chicken wings round out any order. Live entertainment regularly swings by the restaurant; see their event calendar for details.
With a menu brimming with healthy options and local ingredients, the Waterfront Pub & Eatery serves up toothsome comfort fare and frosty beers on tap. Unleash the salvos on hunger with a spinach-artichoke fondue bubbling with hot parmesan and goat cheese, wine, herbs, and lemon, and served with a toasted baguette fork ($8.79), or a Waterfront caprese featuring a savory mélange of sliced tomato, mozzarella, and basil pesto ($8.99). Waterfront's burgers ($6.99–$8.99) steal the show from lesser meat slabs, with a choice of cheese and side groupies such as tots, skin-on fries, slaw, or a crunchy entourage of house-fried chips. Heartier entrees fill capacious insides with baked wisconsin mac ‘n’ cheese ($10.99) and cedar plank Atlantic salmon ($17.99) or cover the entire banquet table of a Lilliputian family reunion.
Pizza making at Papa Murphy's stops just short of the ovens. After watching the cooks layer thin crusts or stuffed pies with toppings from the selection of four sauces and 20 meats and vegetables—including bacon, artichoke hearts, and sun-dried tomatoes—customers take the pizzas home and follow the simple instructions for either baking or grilling them to a crispy golden-brown. Now boasting more than 1,200 locations across 37 states, Papa Murphy's cooks begin every morning by hand making new batches of dough and grating fresh cheese with Bruce Willis's coarse cheeks.
Sizzling burgers and steaming tangles of pasta leap from kitchen to plate in Ground Round's family-friendly dining room or sports-centric lounge. Families pile into cushy booths on one side of the restaurant to peruse the ample menu of generously-portioned burgers, gluten-free offerings, and desserts as decadent as a king playing badminton with truffles. Adults can congregate in the adjoining lounge crowned with a full-service bar, and personal TV screens at each booth provide instant access to big games and TV shows.
Papa John's has carefully curated a menu stocked with robust topping options to adorn blank pizza canvases. Unify bubbly discs under a blanketing of freshly cut roma tomatoes, or spice up bites with jalepeño peppers. The pizzeria imports its black olives from Spain's Herrara grove, where they peak in plumpness and accomplish astounding feats of international diplomacy before populating Papa John's pizzas. Meaty options such as grilled all-white-meat chicken, filler-free spicy italian sausage, and hickory-smoked bacon add layers of heartiness to slices, and reinforcing mozzarella with parmesan, romano, or a blend of asiago, provolone, and fontina improves the genetic robustness of cheese.
The Metropolitan's chic, lounge-like interior gleams with polished wood and rich-colored furnishings, with exposed brick walls showcasing a variety of eye-dazzling art pieces. Adventurous appetizers cushion culinary landings, ranging from bacon-wrapped water chestnuts served with honey dipping sauce ($9), to spicy chicken egg rolls packed with jalapeño and mozzarella ($9). The Metropolitan's high ceilings accommodate the towering flavors of entrees, which include steak frites, a succulent cut of beef napping fitfully in a bed of potatoes and fresh greens ($24), and the shrimp and scallops, shyly cloaked in a veil of white wine sauce with asparagus and lemon ($26). The Metropolitan opens its lush interior to the public for lunch and dinner on weekdays but limits epicurean visits to dinner hours on Saturdays to encourage people to catch up on cartoons and lazy clocks to count faster.