Restaurant Features: Bar, On-Site Parking, Patio Dining
Atmosphere: The Sample Room is not a very large restaurant, but has both tables, padded booths and a bar in the space. The neutral colors, wooden furniture and floors give it a comfy-casual feel.
The Sample Room also has this cute but small patio attached to the building.
Menu: All plates are appetizer sized “for nibbling”.
Cheese plates include Chef’s Selection with Grapes, Warm Camembert with Carmelized Onions, Buffalo Mozzarella with Avocado and Roasted Red Pepper, Wisconsin Bleu with Red Onion, Cheddar with Chipotle Mustard, and Baked Goat Cheese with Oven Roasted Tomatoes in Basil Oil.
Meat plates include Turkey Chorizo Sausage with Chipotle Mustard, Baked Ham, Pork Ribs with Bourbon Barbeque Sauce, Steamed Bratwurst, Corned Beef with Cabbage, and Herb Roasted Beef with Carmalized Shallots.
Seafood Plates include Pan-Fried Walleye Strips, Seared Salmon with fennel, Sauteed Shrimp, Seared Scallops with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto, Seared Rare Tuna with Miso Glaze and Radishes, and Smoked Prairie Trout with Creamy Chive Sauce and Pickles.
Vegetable Plates include Warm Marinated Olives, Fire-Roasted Artichoke Gratin, Roasted Summer Vegetables, Roasted Asparagus, Sauteed Green Beans and Mushrooms, Roasted Fresh Veggie Torte, and Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic.
Soups and Salads offered are Mixed Greens, Caesar (with Chicken or Tuna), Grilled Chicken breast and Sliced Pear with Candied Walnuts and Bleu Cheese, Seared Scallops over Spinach, Warm Roasted Vegetables over Spinach. Soup of the Day also available.
Sandwiches include Deluxe Cheeseburger, Reuben, BLT, Grilled Ham and Camembert Cheese, Grilled Chicken, Warm Meatloaf, Chopped Roast beef, Steamed Bratwurst, Fried Walleye, and Roasted Portabello Mushroom.
Dinner Entrees include Spaetzle Primavera, Roast Duck Hash, Three Meatloaf (beef, pork, and veal), Steamed Sausage Platter, Ribs, Sauteed Garlic Shrimp, and Seared Salmon.
Desserts include Summer Berry Crisp, Cannoli, Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake, Creme Brulee, Cheese Plate, and Chocolate Decadence.
Price guide: Cheese plates $4-7 Meat Plates $4-7 Seafood Plates $7-9 Vegetable Plates $4-7 Sandwiches $9-11 Entrees $15-19 Desserts $6-7
What we ordered:To start with we tried the complimentary Bread Basket that had crusty French bread, Rye Bread, and Flatbread.
My companion had been told by a friend to try the Goat Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes, so we did! I thought it was pretty good, but the taste and texture was distinctly goat cheese. The mild roasted tomatoes that accompanied the plate helped to curb the strong taste of the goat cheese. I ate mine with some of the bread and liked it better.
We also tried the Artichoke Gratin, served with Flatbread. The marinated artichokes were served whole in a boat of Gratin, which was a flavorful creamy cheesy mix. Delicious on both flatbread and crusty white bread. I thought this was a unique alternate to the the cheesy artichoke dips that are served at other restaurants.
When I saw that they served real corned beef, I ordered the Reuben Sandwich. It was great! The corned beef was hot and flavorful, sliced straight from the brisket and piled onto the fresh rye bread. There was a decent amount of sauerkraut which seemed to have been mixed with the 1000 Island dressing. Additional dressing was served on the side and had nice flavor, but the consistency seemed runny rather than thick like I prefer. It was a nice change to have a Reuben on rye rather than pumpernickel, and the bread was still somewhat soft (I prefer it slightly toasted or grilled). The kettle chips that were served with the sandwich were seasoned and very crispy.
My companion ordered the Three-Meat Loaf which was made with beef, pork and veal, a blend of peppers and caramelized onions, and then topped with Bourbon barbeque sauce. It was served with seasoned mashed potatoes and roasted summer vegetables.
Service: Our server was friendly and attentive and helped us with suggestions. We ordered our appetizers before we ordered our main dishes and had just started eating the artichoke and goat cheese plates when our sandwich and entree came out. It was only slightly disappointing to have to rush through the appetizer so that we could start on our meals before they got cold. We did not complain about this at all, however the server felt very bad that that had happened to us and she ended up taking 25% off our total bill. Can’t complain too much after that!
Overall Impression: I thought The Sample Room had an interesting variety of sample plates and entrees, and the prices seemed reasonable for both smaller plates and the full entrees.