We visited The Fitzgerald in 2018 and much has changed at the Eagle River Inn where it is located. The dining room is the same but the menu seems smaller. They still have the whiskey bar but the 12 rooms have now become 6 and they are (you guessed it) twice as big and have air conditioning. The waves of Lake Superior are still right off the dining room or any room at the inn, so the scenery is excellent. The dining room is wood-filled with lots of light from the windows. The crowd is casual and they did have specials for the night. Service was excellent, friendly and helpful. They still specialize in barbecue and you can see evidence of adding-on to the kitchen in front of the building, so not sure what will be added. Portions are generous and combined with the beautiful scenery, this is a lovely place to spend a meal and then retreat to your room to sleep with the sound of the waves. It’s out of the way but go if you get the chance, especially if you’re a whiskey lover.
Rib tips were a special that evening and seemed to fit the bill as they were out of the smoked spare ribs on the menu. One order was plenty to split. They were tasty and had a great sauce in the middle of the plate to dip them into. I liked that, so you could taste the meat without the sauce too. You had to use your hands so they were messy but worth the effort. The pork was well smoked and tender.
Pickled Veggies included green beans, carrots, garlic, jalapeños and cauliflower, and our server thought they’d go well with the rib tips. She was right. Their tart and crisp taste was just the accent to go with the sweet barbecue. It was a good assortment of things.
Garlic Udon Noodles were tossed with smoked brisket and topped with scallions, cabbage and peanuts. There was an option to have mushrooms instead of or in addition to the brisket. They don’t make the noodles in-house but their texture was really fun, almost spongy. If I got it again I’d have both the brisket and mushrooms as I think they’d work well together but we were afraid you might not get much brisket if you got 2 additions. As it was there was almost too much brisket and it did add a bit of grease. Nevertheless, this was a really tasty dish.
Nashville Hot Chicken was half a chicken that’s breaded, fried, dunked in spicy oil and finished with their own fiery dry seasoning. The pieces were nicely spicy and crispy. As expected, the white meat was drier than the dark, which was a clear favorite at the table. It came with green beans and garlic mashed potatoes. The potatoes were very good but the beans were almost underdone for my tastes. Still has a good bean flavor though.
4 Layer chocolate cake was our choice for dessert. It came covered with chocolate ganache and filled with layers of almond milk. They do make this in-house and it was yummy good. Very moist and plenty for 2, it was a winner and a fine finish to a lovely meal.