Tip for the Coast. Stop using your crappy DJ service. I was at a wedding there this weekend and their house DJ was horrible. Music wasn't loud enough. They sounded muffled during the announcements like charlie browns teacher and he had no enthusiasm at all! I have DJ'd for over 7 years and that was one of the most pitiful DJ's I have ever seen. Also he couldn't keep people on the dance floor. Learn your crowd! mix up the music. Don't start playing all hip hop and rap so early in the night! The Coast needs to let couples pick their own DJs period! Get a reputable company. Madison area DJ's will travel to Milwaukee and there is a few that are rated in Modern Bride magazine and Best of Wisconsin.
I'd Never Use This Place For a Wedding. Coast mandates that you use DJs on the Mix for your DJ services because they own DJs on the Mix. We tried to contract with DJs o the Mix, but we didn't actually use them because they backed out on us a week before the wedding. We had a couple issues with the contract, mainly because the Zilli person we were dealing with was making all kinds of assurances (like we'll have back up equipment, we'll arrive on time, we'll set up before guests arrive, etc) but no where in the contract does it say that they will do that. We asked them to add this language to the contract, and they refused. If you read carefully, the contract says that they will be held liable for nothing, you will be held liable for everything and if they show up late, don't set up, don't have back up equipment, or don't show up at all, they owe you nothing, not even your money back. READ THIS CONTRACT CAREFULLY and insist that cautionary language be added OR DON'T GIVE THEM MONEY. Quite frankly, I wouldn't use them at all. When they refused to add the back-up language, the Zilli person just kept saying "we've had this problem, and we fixed it, even though that customer was crazy... we've had this problem, and we refused to fix it because it was crazy... we've had this problem..." --- she was trying to tell us how she fixed problems as they arose, but it really just came off as though they had problems all of the time.
Superb atmosphere. On a business trip to Milwaukee, I was referred downtown to Coast Restaurant with 5 of my collegues. Our view was outstanding. Service was extremely professional, and our server was very knowledgable and wine saavy. I highly recommend the scallops, and don't pass up on the popovers either! They were amazing. Quite a dinner, I plan on taking the drive up to Milwaukee more often to visit Coast with my family.
Not worth the money. We were a party of two dining at 6 on a Friday night. We were greeted and seated promptly. Our waitress was pleasant but did not know the menu or the wine list. She did not tell us any specials for the evening, and when asked could not recommend a wine. I ordered the field green salad to start and it was just mediocre. It did not have many of the toppings that were specified, the greens were wilted and it was doused in dressing. The restaurant was about 3/4 empty, yet service was still slow and our main dishes came out cooler in temperature than they probably should have. The $5 side of sauteed vegetables was small, over cooked and over seasoned in garlic. I would not have been so disappointed if the meal had been about 1/3 of the price. In addition when we left, we had to wait about 5 minutes for the host to get our coats from the coat check because he was on the phone with a cab company and "the phone would not reach into the coat room" This was my second trip to Coast and both times were disappointing; there are better options in Milwaukee.
Limited Selection. After dining at Coast only a few times it occurred to me that there really isn't that much to choose from. Although the quality is there, the prices are steep. Don't let the location fool you, although it is on the waterfront, there is no view. You cannot see the lake or even the "beach" that surrounds it from anywhere in the place. Parking isn't bad if it's a slow night, otherwise, you're forced to park on the other side of the block or down the street. The atmosphere is great, I enjoy the popovers, the scene is quiet and intimate, but the person/people you are with may not find anything to their liking because you won't find much at all. The servers are great, but the management lacks professionalism and creativity. If you are downtown, there are many restaurants I could suggest, Coast is not one of them.
Great Dining Experience. My wife, daughter (10 yrs old) and I are from the Chicago area and we go to Coast everytime we are in Milwaukee. The food and wine selections are wonderful. This place is as good as anything you would get in NYC or Chicago. Prices are on the higher side but worth it. If you are looking for a place to take your spouse, your date or a group of friends and have a dining experience that includes drinks, great food and conversation, this is your place!
WANT A GREAT DINING EXPERIENCE, GO TO COAST. I went and dined at Coast a couple weekends ago, and was it fabulous! I walked in and was greeted warmly. We were immediately sat, at a amazing table I might add, right along the window! Our server was awesome, she knew exactly the correct wine to pair with our food, and had extensive knowledge about the origins of some of the spices, wines, recipes etc. My steak was soOOooo tender, it just melted in my mouth. I highly recommend trying a few of the new cocktails! They came around with little martini sippers for us to try the new drinks that are coming out. To die for! Loved it! A must try!
Good food - bad mood. The first time I went into Coast was August 2004...it was my second day in Milwaukee and I was hungry and lost. I went inside and waited for 30 minutes to be served but all the wait staff steered away from me; most of the customers were 40+ and dressed semi-formally. Upset, I stormed out vowing to never go back until last month; my picky friend visited me and wanted to try it. We were a party of six; my chicken was not very good (I can do it better at home) but my friend's duck was amazing and the fruit dipped in hot chocolate fondue was good too. But the wait staff were stuffy little yuppies who acted like they owned the damn thing! There are more options in Milwaukee than this overly pretentious (& priced) place...no matter how good some of the dishes are...
Bad experiences = long/dispointing evening. We had a party of eight and we were told that without reservations, we would have to wait a half hour to 45 minutes. No problem if the place were not 3/4 empty on a Friday night at 8:30pm. The server was very pleasant when he spoke to us at the table, but away from the table, he was slow, inefficient and unattentive. I ordered the ginger encrusted ahi tuna (rare) for $28. It was tasteless, poorly prepared, a bit old and apparently overpriced. The other food was just mediocre. Later, we discovered there were two versions of the same menu with different prices. The ambience is nice and the cocktails -- although pricey -- are full strength. There are other tried and true establishments in Milwaukee that I'd rather return to -- despite having a $100 gift certificate to Coast.
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