St. Paul Fish Company Oyster Bar at Milwaukee Public Market


Today I am going to do a quick review of the St. Paul Fish Company’s new oyster bar at the Milwaukee Public Market.  Watch for some more postings in the days and weeks to come.  I will review two chain Italian restaurants as well as Cafe Zarletti in South Milwaukee, and Il Mito Enoteca in Wauwatosa. 

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to stop by the Milwaukee Public Market for lunch.  Doing this is never a winning proposition because there are simply too many choices.  Starting at the west end of the market there are the awesome falafel sandwiches and vegetarian salads from Aladdin Middle Eastern Foods, or the fresh fruit from Fields Best or El Rey. Then there are the Panini sandwiches and various Italian specialties at Ceriello’s, soups from the Soup & Stock Market, or sushi from Sushi A-Go-Go.  After wandering around aimlessly  like a kid who was given the choice of any one single toy at Toy’s ‘R’ Us, I decided to try the new-ish Oyster Bar & Grill at the St. Paul Fish Company

After settling in at the bar I perused the menu and decided to try a half dozen oysters and a grilled tuna steak sandwich.  They tend to have 5-6 different varieties of oysters ranging in price from $1.00 to $2.50 per oyster.  I had them give me a couple of each including malpeque, blue points, gold bands and some others whose names I forgot.  That’s not important, what is important is freshness and these were very fresh.  Every single oyster tasted awesome.   They offer some accouterments like lemon, hot sauce, or cocktail sauce for the oysters.  But I am a purist and I love oysters unadulterated.

I also got to try the gumbo, which was pretty good.  The roux was cooked to a light chocolate hue, which added a nice depth of flavor.  There was shrimp and some sausage in there which gave it a slight kick.  Though I have had better at other places in town, it was quite good and I wouldn’t hesitate to order it again. 

The tuna sandwich is cooked to order.  I ordered mine rare and they executed it perfectly.  The lightly seasoned grilled exterior gave way to a nice red center.  The tuna was extra fresh and had no hint of the fishy taste that you sometimes get with rare tuna at some places in town.  The tuna was topped with a nice lemon caper sauce that really was what made the sandwich so good.  Lettuce, tomatoes and onions topped things off.

So next time you spend you Saturday strolling through the Third Ward, make a stop at the Oyster Bar and enjoy some of the freshest Seafood in town.  They are definitive proof that more eating establishments in the Market are a good thing, not a bad thing as previous Public Market management believed.

EatWisconsin Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rating Guide: 0=Absolutely terrible, avoid at all costs, 1=Bad, 2=Mediocre/Average, 3= Admirable, 4=Excellent, 5=Sublime

3 thoughts on “St. Paul Fish Company Oyster Bar at Milwaukee Public Market

  1. We stopped there last weekend and tried a half dozen Fishers Island oysters. They were fresh and delicious, shucked right in front of us, but perhaps not quite as neatly as possible. We were also charged $2 each even though the chalkboard listed them for $1.50. Still, it’s great to be able to sit down, slurp a few mollusks with some ale, and get on with your life without interference from maître d’s. I do wish they offered the Crystal brand among their hot sauce selections.

  2. wow…I just came back from there and had 2 of each and then 2 again of the Fishers Island. Incredible!. I moved up here from Florida and the only time I had oyesters this fresh was when I would go to the gulf and buy them by the quarter bushel. On top of that, the blackened tilapia po’boy was much better than the typical blackened mahi sandwich that I would have in florida. I live in the 3rd ward so I’m at the market all the time, but usually eat middle eastern. I am now going to make this a saturday ritual…as Mark said, to be able to just sit there and enjoy a beer (Weiss for me!) and casually order some more of whatever you want without the pretention is without measure. I’d give it a 4.5 myself. (Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station NYC is my 5.0) Way to go MKE Public Market!

  3. Marginal at best. I was so disappointed when my oysters showed up dirty. They need to learn to rinse off the outer shells. Gross.

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