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Review of Swig

Ranked #116 of 1,676 Restaurants in Milwaukee
Price range: US$20 - US$30
Cuisines: Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighbourhood: Historic Third Ward
Cross street: Buffalo
Description: Swig’s earthy tones offer a warm and cozy environment that makes for the perfect place to spend your evening and experience a unique, big-city atmosphere. In 2005 Swig became Milwaukee’s first and only small plate dining restaurant, and our menu now includes lunch, entrees, salads, sandwiches, fireside dining, and a large outdoor patio. It’s meant to be a fun, shared experience where guests can choose from a variety of flavors and sample several menu items each visit. We also proudly feature more than 20 infused liquors, an eclectic array of wines and champagnes as well as award-winning desserts. Stop in on Saturday or Sunday morning to treat yourself to a mimosa, a scone, and something special from our unique brunch menu. We’d love to serve you soon.
Reviewed April 18, 2018

For the record, I have reviewed "Swig" before, in November 2014. My visit on Sat. April 14, 2018, was the second time I've been back since my first review 3 1/2 years ago.

Standard Disclaimer: I am an overweight, older male who likes to eat. If given the choice between quality and quantity of food, I will pick quantity every time. Especially if the choices involve meat and potatoes. If you happen to be Vegan, vegetarian, or an anti-glutite, feel free to stop reading this review now. Sorry.....I don't write for your dietary preference. Nothing personal. I just like to eat what you don't like. I do not mention that I opt to write in Trip Advisor so that I can be treated like anyone else in an establishment. I do not seek, nor would I accept, anything of value in return for writing a review, much less a positive one. My review is a matter of personal opinion, based on the quality and quantity of food at the time of visit, service, ambience, and value. My review does not necessarily represent Trip Advisor or its subsidiaries.

My wife and I have been attending plays put on at the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre for a number of years now and we tend to go to dinner before each of the 5 play season. Since the weather was cold, windy, and rainy/snowy on April 14, we chose "Swig" because it was about a block from the theatre building. I had made a reservation several days prior to April 14 and did so online.

We were promptly greeted when we arrived and were seated 10 minutes before our reservation time. The restaurant looked much the same as it did 3 1/2 years ago. The restaurant front was dark with an elevated area near the front windows and a fireplace. The main dining area was better lit, with the 1930's style bare bulbs with a glowing filament. Sound was loud in the dining area as the floor is wooden and there were no wall hangings or fabric to absorb the sound. I believe "Dana" was our server and she greeted us and took our drink order., and I ordered the crab cake appetizer. The crab cakes were maybe 3 bites of food each, served with remouade and julienne veggies. The crab cake I ate was good. I believe the last time I reviewed "Swig", I may have suggested that they increase the size of the crab cakes and make that a new Entree item.

My wife opted to order a "power plate", the Portabello, with broccolini, arugula, cilantro, cabbage, sesame seeds, carrot, radish, soba noodles, sesame oil, coconut, and curry sauce. My wife elected to add shrimp to her meal, at a cost of $6.00 extra. I found her dish to be rather unusual, as some of it was warm and the rest was cold. She seemed to enjoy it. I ordered the "Cacio e Pepe", consisting of spaghetti, parmesan, sage, butter, and cracked pepper. Decided to add shrimp to my order as well. I was a bit crestfallen when my food arrived, as it looked like a small serving to me. However, with the butter used, the dish was quite rich and I did just fine with the smaller amount of food. The shrimp my wife and I had added to our entrees was on the low end of "medium" in size. Tasty, but small. Dana was quietly efficient and did her work with a minimum of intrusion. I think I found it annoying back in 2014 and it was more evident on the evening of April 14, but I find the constant smart phone use by patrons just obnoxious. We sat behind a table of 4 girls who looked to be in their mid-20's, who were non-communicative.....they were on their smart phones. Who knows if they were texting each other or communicating by mental telepathy. Their eyes were glued to their screens and they just couldn't look away or put the damn phones down. (As an irrelevant aside, using a phone of any kind is a privilege and not a right.....and I just don't understand why many places like restaurants, theaters, etc. offer Wi-Fi in the first place. I'd be happier if they just had signal jammers to prevent any and all cell phone use.)

In any event, the cost of our dinner, which included 2 glasses of wine, 1 beer, crab cakes appetizer, and 2 entrees came to around $87 excluding tip. Not a bad night out.

Date of visit: April 2018
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Thank Stu T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6 - 10 of 178 reviews

Reviewed April 2, 2018

The dining options in the historic Third Ward of the MKE are plentiful. So, making a choice is never easy. If you pick Swig, you will not be disappointed.

Starting with the excellent service from start to finish. It was a most enjoyable pre-event evening. A cool setting and ambiance in a building that is actually leaning slightly to the right. Yes, go outside and looks. Cool floor, wall, ceiling, just a great vibe.

We started with a few delicious craft cocktails. The monty and the rye of the tiger. Well mixed and blended and simple sipping. Refreshing.

A bottle of wine accompanied the small plates we shared. The snap peas, goat cheese stack and the mushroom pierogis. The snap peas were the surprise star and not a typical side. Delicious with the ginger soy. The goat cheese stack and pierogis were on special and both really good. Just a nice combination of small plate flavors that complemented the overall “snack.”

So many more options will bring me back for more. And their local sustainability and farm to table offerings are an added bonus.

Date of visit: March 2018
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Thank allenr589
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 19, 2018

This was our first visit to Swig, but it won't be the last. Great Vibe, Great Staff, Great Drinks, Great Food! Our group especially liked the braised short ribs and the smoked salmon tower off the same plate.

Date of visit: February 2018
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Thank Bill S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 13, 2018 via mobile

We went over to Swig after being in the convention hall all day. Our server was friendly. We ordered a variety of small plates and shared 8 different options. We enjoyed all of our delicious bites. One word of caution it took two hours start to finish, but we were talking so didn’t notice too much.

Date of visit: February 2018
Thank michelleboquist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 30, 2017

Stopped here for a quick late lunch before dropping off our son and son-in-law at the airport. Atmosphere is fine- sort of a generic "hip" feel that you expect to see in the 3rd Ward, and you would be led to believe that the food would be good.- ...but you would be mistaken for the most part. Our server, Cody, was very pleasant, the Tomato Basil Soup that was very good, but that's where the positives ended. Also ordered: Mushroom Pierogies, Chicken Wantons, Chicken Sliders, and the Scallop Salad. All somewhat flavorless / underwhelming. Also ordered the Muscles- that appeared to be steamed hours ago, and were swimming in a fluid that can best be described as bile-colored fluid that tasted as though it had been retrieved from the sewer. You only have one chance to make a first good impression. Won't be returning.

Date of visit: October 2017
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1  Thank Peter L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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