Swig offers a turkey and brie hoagie sandwich plus size as one option for the second course.
Swig offers a turkey and brie hoagie sandwich plus size as one option for the second course.
Swig's first course is a choice of poached salmon or black bean cakes.
Swig's first course is a choice of poached salmon or black bean cakes.
Dessert doesn't get better than a mix of chocolate cake and cheesecake.
Dessert doesn't get better than a mix of chocolate cake and cheesecake.

Downtown Dining Week: Swig

Milwaukee's "Downtown Dining Week" kicked off yesterday with lunch and dinner specials at 40 restaurants in the Downtown area.

For the next week, restaurants cut diners a deal ($10 lunch or $20 dinner) to prompt a culinary exploration of the downtown dining scene. Here at OnMilwaukee.com, we'll be checking out a new spot each lunch and giving your our take on it the following day.

Yesterday was the first time I participated in a "Downtown Dining Week" meal and to be honest, I'd heard mixed reviews. I'd heard portions were small, service was slow and overall quality suffered.

But from substantial portions to on par service, each negative rumor I'd heard about "Downtown Dining Week" was dispelled with one lunch at Swig.

Hoping to avoid a wait, we headed to the Third Ward restaurant for an early lunch at 11:30 a.m. We were pleasantly surprised to find plenty of open tables and incredibly timely service.

Swig's lunch menu offered two options for each course. For the first course, we chose between a poached salmon salad on spinach, tomato and cucumber or black bean cakes with salsa, scallions and sour cream.

Dining with fellow OnMilwaukee.com worker, Julie Lawrence, we ordered one of each. The salmon salad was light and refreshing, perfectly poached and generously portioned. Likewise, the four black bean cakes remained crispy on the outside yet packed with dense, full flavor.

The second course offered a choice of turkey and brie or a crab cake sandwich with mango salsa. Again, we ordered one of each and were overly satisfied with what came to the table. Served on a full hoagie, the turkey and brie sandwich was a filling take on a classic French staple. The crab cake was incredible; sizable and stuffed with crab meat, it was topped with a spicy sweet mango salsa. Each came with the choice of French fries, salad or fruit salad.

Lastly, dessert brought a combination of dense dark chocolate cake and cheesecake topped with raspberry glaze.

In the end, Julie and I were thoroughly impressed. The food was great, portions satisfying and service friendly.

On a side note, we found the nature of the three-course meal kept us out to lunch longer than anticipated. So, if you're on a strict lunch hour, I'd recommend mentioning your time schedule to the server up front to ensure a speedy coursing.

Have you been out for "Downtown Dining Week?" Give us your input and feedback using the Talkback feature below. Be sure to check back tomorrow for another review of Milwaukee's "Downtown Dining Week."

Talkbacks

Nippersinker | May 29, 2009 at 3:27 p.m. (report)

I was actually at Swig at the exact same time yesterday. My co-workers and I had a great--and filling--experience, although it did take quite a while. I thought the portions were huge and everything was tasty. Tomato basil soup was also offered as a side with the sandwich. I had dinner that night at Charro, and also ordered from the Downtown Dining menu. The food was pretty good (chips and salsa, empanadas, mahi mahi tacos and ice cream sundae), but the service was slow and disjointed. Between the two of them, I think the value of the Swig meal was better than Charro's.

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