Appleton Blog Logo by Jeff Lindsay
The Appleton Blog features one of America's
best communities: Appleton, Wisconsin.

Jeff Lindsay is an author of Conquering Innovation Fatigue. See for more info.
Also follow me on Twitter.


Appleton Resources

Other Suggested Links

Other Blogs from Fox Cities Folks

Sunday, December 24, 2006


Sirocco's: Possibly the Best Mediterranean Food in the Fox Valley [2010 UPDATE: They Are Gone!]

April 2010 Update: You can still read the review below and the comments about a variety of places, but early in 2010 Siroccos kicked the bucket. Their quaint spot on College Avenue is now occupied by Cena Restaurant, which looks like it has potential with a good menu.

Here's the original post about Sirocco's:

Sirocco's is a breath of fresh Mediterranean air in the Fox Valley. Mediterranean tapas are its specialty. Tapas are the light and elegant appetizers of Spain which come in dozens of varieties. Sirocco's has extended the quintessentially Spanish concept to bring in delicious themes from throughout the Mediterranean (Spain, Italy, Greece, Lebanon, and Morocco), served tapas style. But if you think you already know Mediterranean cuisine because you've had a lot of pasta and pizza, think again. Sirocco's is not about loading you up with starchy calories. They focus on elegant and even stunning dishes that are small but so memorable and delicious.

Sirocco's is in the quaint spot formerly occupied by Peggy's on College Avenue (125 E. College Avenue 882-3813). We went on a cold Thursday night, arriving at about 8 pm. We were seated fairly quickly, but the place was packed. Since they are relatively new, just opening a couple months ago, it's a good sign to see such good business on a normally slow night. The word is out. The atmosphere was vibrant and filled with energy - people were having a great time.

Each dish I tried was a surprise and a delight. Fabulous flavors, unusual ingredients, attention to detail and appearance. Even in something simple like a salad there were surprises, such as the use of small delicately flavored champagne grapes.

Sirocco's is on the somewhat expensive side for the Fox Cities. Tapas range from $8 to $12 each, but you need about two per person for a meal since they are small and light (perhaps three if you're really hungry). They also offer seven main courses to choose from, ranging from $16 to $28.

Here are a few sample items:

Trio of Croustades. This is a cold tapas plate with six small pieces of toasted Italian bread with interesting ingredients on top. There are two each of three varieties. One has goat cheese with asparagus wrapped in smoked salmon, Kalamata olives and pine nuts. Amazing! Another variety had a light sauce made from roasted peppers and some feta cheese. Another had a Gorgonzola olive spread with some delicious peppered tenderloin, caramelized pears, and spiced walnuts. Surprising and so good. I'd go back for this alone.

Goat cheese, sun-dried tomato, and tarragon pesto in a torta with fig jam and pine nuts, with garlic-herb pita toast. Another cold tapas.

Empanadas are one of the hot tapas plates. They can be filled with your choice of three stuffings: (1) chorizo sausage, green chile, and manchego cheese (a goat cheese from Spain), (2) artichoke, roasted pepper, Kalamata olive and feta cheese, or (3) caramelized apple, fennel and Brie cheese with a sweet pepper syrup. We tried the artichoke variety and were pleased.

Another hot tapas we tried was spiced lamb skewers served with pita bread, a salad with tomatoes, olives, and red onion, and fresh tzatziki sauce.

A hot tapas plate that I'd like to try sometime is the king crab cake and shrimp la pancha served with a mango and avocado salad with apricot-chile vinaigrette.

Main courses looked great, but we didn't try any. I almost ordered the Black Angus filet mignon stuffed with Gorgonzola cheese and served with portabello mushrooms, beans, onions, and mashed potatoes.

They also offer a vegetarian moussaka with layers of zucchini, eggplant, yellow squash and Yukon Goki potato and roasted red pepper served in a three-cheese chive bechamel sauce. Sounds great!

They get my award for bestMediterraneann food in the Fox Valley. Let me know if you disagree!
I just ate at Sirocco's with 5 family members. We were unbelievably disappointed. Several dishes had off-flavors, or, maybe worse, a lack of flavor. The pork tenderloin that I had was as salty as the Dead Sea. Infrequent highlights were the cheese plate, baba ghanouj, and the Moroccan chicken wrapped in phyllo. I think they need a massive overhaul of their menu in order to have any credibility as a fine dining establishment.
Ate at Sirocco's last week, Two words...WOW WOW!!! the food was fantastic and look almost as good as it tasted! We ordered several tapas and were impressed with them all. I would recomend this place to anyone. If you know what tapas is your'e going to love it. If you don't you have to try it!!!
The food here is AWESOME. The food is very impressive, and full of flavor (hummus, tapas-calamari, empanadas, eggplant). I dont know if the person who reviewed this first burned their tongue at McDonalds eating a BigMac, but everything I ate tasted unbelievable. Let your tongues heal, and then try coming to eat here. If you want caviar you might want to try flying to London.
Dear Disappointed-
Did you let anyone know that you were not happy with your meal? If you had, you would have realized that the owners will do whatever it takes for you to leave happy, whether it be a free drink, dessert, or the whole bill.
The Empress and I ate there last night.

Both of us were hoping for more Arabic. I had the stuffed pork tenderloin and the Empress the ham wrapped scallops and both were good. The dishes were a visual delight as well as smell & taste delights.

The bill was a fright. I would not steer people away from it but I doubt The Empress and myself will be headed back.
The Empress and I ate there last night.

Both of us were hoping for more Arabic. I had the stuffed pork tenderloin and the Empress the ham wrapped scallops and both were good. The dishes were a visual delight as well as smell & taste delights.

The bill was a fright. I would not steer people away from it but I doubt The Empress and myself will be headed back.
The Empress and I ate there last night.

Both of us were hoping for more Arabic. I had the stuffed pork tenderloin and the Empress the ham wrapped scallops and both were good. The dishes were a visual delight as well as smell & taste delights.

The bill was a fright. I would not steer people away from it but I doubt The Empress and myself will be headed back.
The Empress and I ate there last night.

Both of us were hoping for more Arabic. I had the stuffed pork tenderloin and the Empress the ham wrapped scallops and both were good. The dishes were a visual delight as well as smell & taste delights.

The bill was a fright. I would not steer people away from it but I doubt The Empress and myself will be headed back.
Apologies for the 3x post of my comment. Blogger is acting up.
In a restaurant like Sirocco's it's important to have a staff that's knowledgeable without being snobby and Sirocoo's found the best of both worlds. People who haven't eaten tapas shouldn't feel uneasy about going, the wait staff will explain what the concept is and reccomend dishes.

I'd go when you have no time constraints so that you can relax and enjoy the atmosphere and fabulous food. Sirocco's is such a great addition to the Fox Valley!
We (party of 12)! ate at Sirocco's last night! 2 of our party were from Madison and 2 from MN. We were so proud to have them so excited about the "awesome" meal. Talk about a party in your mouth! The flavors of everything we ordered, and we ordered a LOT, were fabulous. Can't wait for our next visit. Pricey, yea, but you get what you pay for. A relaxed evening of delicious food and wine.
We have been to Sirocco's twice now and both times we loved it! Wonderful flavors, decent wine list, and truly pleasant ambiance. If you want cheap or go for quantity, there are plenty of uninspired restaurants in the Fox Valley to fit that bill. If you want something delicious to savor with complex and exotic flavor, definitely visit Sirocco's. As usual, you get what you pay for. We will definitely be back again.
Expensive, miniscule portions, tasteless trash. 0/100 - and the 0 is only for the beer.

This has nothing to do with Spanish Tapas and very little to do with food. I suggest the Chef takes a trip out to the Mediterranean to find out what should be served (portion size and flavour) and at what price.

As a vegetarian coming from Europe - it disgusts me to say it - save you money an go to MacDonalds!!
To the anonymous before me - typical foreigner! You can only appreciate MacDonald's! I suggest you stay with fast food and save the seat at Sirocco's for someone with REAL taste! And cut down your portion size - it's better for you, in case you haven't heard!
First off let me say I don't normally write into blogs. But....after reading some of the crazy reviews in here, I feel it's
necessary for me to question some of the reviews in here. I have been to Sirrocco's on more then one occasion. My wife and I travel through Europe annually. I don't claim to be a food critic but I know good food from imitation food. Sirocco,s is the real deal the ingredient's they use are top notch and authentic. The flavors are blended perfectly and the food tastes fantastic. The service we received each and everytime we have been in has been outstanding. (did you know the owners greet you at the door and seat you themselves?) I have always been asked how my service was and if I had any complaints. We were seated late once(7 mins from given time) and received a complimentary dessert and apologized too, this was done without a complaint from us and VERY unnecessary! I find it hard to believe that anyone could complain about this restaurant's food or service. If you have dined there you know what i'm talking about! I have to wonder if the bad reviews are coming from their competition! All I can say is don't take my word for it or any of the other reviewers, go find out for yourselves!!!!!!
This is the only comment you need to read....I used to be a food critic for 15 years when I lived in and around the New England states. That's right, I was paid to eat and report on the quality of food, atmosphere, and service. That is how accurate my tounge is to the truth!! I have been to the "Mediterranean" area, Italy, Morrocco, Greece, Spain, Sicily, etc., and have been to more fine dining establishments than the vast majority of the world. Those of you who said that the food was incredible, were right on the money. Those of you who said it wasn't....either have no food diversity, or your taste buds have been fried from all of the crap food you've eaten. I would rate the food a 9 of 10, and for the price of the food, that is borderline impossible to find. As far as the atmosphere is concerned, just walk in the front door and you can guess the incredibly high rating I would give for that. They've made the best of the small space. There were a lot of negative comments that I read, and just laughed at, but the one that topped them all is the person that was mad at the "overly-priced, small portions" Cough Cough!! First off, these are tapas...small is the point!! But I will end it with this. My wife and I shared 3 incredible tapas, a cup of bisque soup, glass of wine, and a generous chocolate dessert. We were quite full, and our bill was $47.... and yes, that is with tax. If you can't handle that, not only should you stick to fast food, but stay out of beautiful, modern, fancy places all together; because guess what.....You don't get it!!
I'm from Europe also and I just LOVE the restaurant. Just go and see for yourself! :-)
I ate at Sirocco's last night and it was amazing. I had a sauteed mushroom tapa and my boyfriend had the three spreads platter and the Moorish kabobs. We also each ordered a dessert and this was enough food for the both of us. It is fabulous food, though you need to either like the taste of Mediterranean cuisine or be willing to give it a try to enjoy all the different flavors. Our meal cost $50, including a beer and a lemonade. We will definitely go back again and again. Delicious!
Traveling to the Fox Valley on business from out of state, I found this restaurant to be quaint, friendly, and refreshingly authentic in it's cuisine. Tapas in the US became the "fad" back in the early 90's, and it's not too often you find a place offering food like this in a smaller market. I am happy that this community is finally getting a bit more diverse in it's dining establishments!
Expensive?, not at all. For good food, I usually pay much more and I am still shell-shocked at how inexpensive the wine was! And a decent selection as well.
Delicious tapas and main course as well.....if I ever find myself in your area again, I'll be back!
I love Spanish Food, the tapa I prefer is jamon Iberico.
If you also like it you can go to the Spanishtaste
Every bad comment has a rebuttle... hilarious! Owners, family of owners, friends? haha
Hello, I am the Brother of Darnell Suprise, one of the owner's of Sirocco's. Growing up here in the Fox cities and now living in PA just an hour from NYC and Philadelphia I know quite well what a restaurant has to do to have a successful business. Word of mouth. I've never blogged before but I know that the truth is in the pudding, or the tapas as the case is here. I have eaten at his restaurant 3 times since it opened. Each time I came home, I loved seeing my brother and since he works 24/7 i went to get a bite there. Always loved it, and the food was always great. Seriously, the price is not cheap, but neither was the food, and certainly I noted that the staff was worth every penny too. Try paying the same in NYC and expecting the same quality of food and service, good luck.
I am proud of my brother, his wife and his fiend for having the guts to try and give a small town like Appleton a taste of the world and doing an excellent job as well.
I was never solicitated to write anything for his restaurant, and my brother would never stoop to the level that this previous person had no problem achieving. Talk is cheap, it take heart and a relentless gut to start from nothing and bring such a wonderful place to reality in my hometown. Thanks Little Brother, and keep up the fight. Everyone else, enjoy Sirocco's.
Has anyone eaten at Il'Angolo? Why is that not being argued for as best mediterranean? It is better than a lot of the comparable priced mediterranean restaurants in New York
We had tried several tapas restaurants in the past and thought Sirocco wasn't the worst, nor the best. However, it has a really friendly service and the price was quite reasonable.

We had several hot/cold tapas dishes and some we liked and some we don't. Isn't that normal at all restaurants?

We didn't like their Albondigas (Spanish Meatball) dish, it was too plain for us. But we really like their King Crab Cakes and lamb, very tasty and flavor. The salsa sauce on the crab cake was awesome.

We also ordered a dish of Paella to share. But it was not what I'd pictured. The seafood (shrimp and mussel) in it was excellent, flash and abundant. However, the rice was a bit dried. And I would prefer it is served in a hot iron plate, rather than in a ceramic dish, so it won't get cold too quickly.

The restaurant was quite, very pleasant to have a small group of friends to get together. We have been to the Tapas (on the other side of College, not sure if it is still open) before. Although we loved the food there but it was too noisy for us. They always had the music cranked so high, which makes it difficult to have a conversation with each other.

We are lucky to have so many choices to eat in Appleton!
Il'Angelo's? What a joke - unless you want to declare bankruptcy after your meal. I definitely prefer Sirocco's.
Amazing! You have to try it!
Nice atmosphere, food ok, but 110.00 for 2 people a little pricey for Appleton
I have to say I didn't have any tapas, but the entrees they have are fantastic. I had the Filet Mignon and my wife tried the Sea Scallops and they were absoulutly wonderful. Usually I get to finish my wifes leftovers when we are done, but not this time I still have the fork punctures in my hand from trying to gat another bite lol. seriously the food was great the service was great and the building and atmophere is relly cool. I would definately recommend eating there.
From a well traveled visitor, I must give Sirocco's Restaurant 5 stars. There was a nice "buzz" upon entering the lovely decorated restaurant. My husband and I were seated at a nice table and immediately were served pita slices with herbed olive oil. They have wonderful sangria, a nice wine list including Bellini's and make a great Green Apple Martini!! Our waitress was not only very knowledgeable about the menu but attentive and professional. We started off with a lightly battered calamari served with a delicious aoli sauce. It was tender, flavorful, and very lightly battered - probably the best I've ever had!! We also had the crab cakes - 3 small sauteed crab cakes full of lump crab meat served over fresh avocado and mango. Fabulous! My husband ordered Chicken Marsala and I ordered the Osso Bucco. Not being a big fan of Chicken Marsala, I was pleasantly surprised at this creative rendition. Served over ravioli, which in itself was excellent, the non battered chicken breast was served with a delicate sauce, caramelized onions, mushrooms, and bits of crisp pancetta. It was a delightfully fresh approach to this dish. My Osso Bucco was as good as any I've eaten in the finest Italian restaurants. It was cooked perfectly with a wonderful sauce served with homemade mashed potatoes. Although we were both quite full from the generous portions, we couldn't resist finding out if dessert from this jewel of a restaurant was as good as the rest of the meal. The waitress suggested the homemade Baklava (one of the owner's recipes). We ordered this and the pistachio gelato. The gelato was creamy and full of pistachio flavor. The baklava was incredible - crisp, full of nuts, honey and perhaps a hint of cinnamon. Absolute heaven!!!!!
Absolutly awesome experience! My wife and I have lived in Appleton for five years. This was our first time at Sirocco's. My wife ordered the Filet. It was fantastic. I ordered two Tapas. The shrimp and the crab cakes. The portions may be small to some, but the taste made up for the size. The total bill with drinks was around $60.00. Not too unreasonable. The staff was great. The environment elegant.
This place is AMAZING! It is now my favorite restaurant in the entire country!!! Seriously, you have to try it...Unbelievable!
Sure, if you want average bread etc it is OK, but if you want true flavor and atmosphere then you should try Il Agelo
Great food, great entrees, never made it to the tapas,But they look delicious. We kept stareing at the plates when the waitress walked by. I had the fish special which was kobia (not sure if I spelled that right) it was fantastic! My wife had the sea scallops and she loved them. The place was great, and we had a great time. I would definatly recommend to anyone!
I have eaten at Sirocco's many times and I always recommend it to people. I have never had anything there I didn't like. The Albodingas are delicious, I love the crab cakes and the shrimp de plancha. Their pita bread with herbs and oil is very good and I am addicted to their potato bravas with that amazing dipping sauce and the fried zuchini with tziki sauce. Their lobster bisque is to die for and the rest of their soups are just as amazing. MMMMMM. I give it a 9.5 out of 10 for sure. They also have great sangria and their bartender, Brian, is super friendly and makes the best mojitos of any place around! The staff and owners are always very friendly and accommodating. I work downtown at a salon and I always recommend Sirocco's to our patrons. Definately worth every penny!
Post a Comment

<< Home