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Sunday, October 22, 2006


The Four Seasons Restaurant in Neenah: Great Place for Home-Cooked Food

The Four Seasons Restaurant in Neenah (1104 South Commercial Street, Neenah - see map) is a refreshingly good family-style restaurant with a good selection of Italian food, sandwiches, deserts, steak, and fish. We went there on a Friday night, which usually means fish specials in Wisconsin. We weren't disappointed. My wife tried their pan-fried trout and was pleased. I tried a ravioli dish that had some of the best cheese-stuffed ravioli noodles I've had. The noodles were large and plump, delightfully al dente, and baked with a rich red sauce and melted mozzarella on top in a large baking dish. My son had a Reuben sandwich and gave it high marks as well.

The food consistently had a fine home-cooked flavor and texture. The waitress explained that most of the food is made on site, so real home cooking is often involved. The clam chowder, for example, was about as good as it gets. A couple other places in town serve chowder that has been noticeably thickened with gums (xanthan gum, guar gum, cellulose gum, etc.), but this had the texture and flavor of freshly made real chowder without fake thickeners. And yes, it is made on site.

We were surprised at how much food came with the meal. My $7.95 ravioli include a cup of chowder, French bread, the ravioli, and - surprise - a dessert. My wife and I both chose the tapioca pudding. It was also made on site, according to the waitress, and was remarkably good. I was half-expecting the fake gum-laced slimy good that oozes out of cans from distant food factories and often gets served at buffets or school lunches. Instead, it was real home-cooked tapioca with egg and other natural ingredients, with a light, fluffy texture. Such a simple little thing, but it made a real impression on me.

Service was excellent and friendly. We didn't have to wait in line - often a problem on Friday nights, but we were there a bit late (almost 8 p.m.).

A couple of negatives: my wife's mashed potatoes and gravy had a chicken gravy that was way too salty. And my son's pickle with his sandwich didn't have much flavor. But apart from that, the place gets my enthusiastic endorsement as a good place for family dining, lunch or dinner.
(920) 969-9805
Pickle had no taste. Ummmmmmm OK.
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