Coldwater Landing

5820 Coldwater Road
Fort Wayne, IN 46825
(260) 483-9841
no known website (really? It's 2011 - welcome to the 21st century; is available at . . . jus' sayin')

Recently the 3 Elles dined at the Coldwater Landing. We arrived at 5:00 p.m. and found no hostess at the stand so we wondered into the bar where there were 3 patrons chatting with the bartender. There, we were immediately greeted and seated in a small room off the bar. The decorations and plates, including the fish in the fish tank, remain the same as they were when the restaurant was Chappell's (click here to see).

Initially, we were told there was no special martini or drink list - What?!?! After asking again, we were told the bartender had a little menu. Sherry, our server, brought back an impressive list of creative spirits including a full page of unique martini options. We all opened the evening with interesting choices:

Milkshake martini, Banana Split martini, & Tropical Rain (left to right)

For the first time ever in our nearly 3 years of 3 Elles outtings, our martinis were served unstrained . . . why is there ice floating in my milkshake martini (that won't bring the boys to the yard)? That was pretty disappointing - fortunately, we drank round one pretty quickly so the ice didn't have a chance to melt (much) - and the room where we were dining was pretty cold. You'll also notice that NONE of the above martinis were served with a garnish. That's the icing on the cake - it's the cherry on the sundae - it's the mint on the pillow. It's a small thing that makes a HUGE impact. Garnish is important!

I chose the Milkshake martini after Sherry had said several times how good it was. Who am I to go against the recommendations of the server? The menu said it was topped with whip cream and a cherry - not so much. It had a good flavor and was definitely interesting. We have not come across anything close to this uniqueness anywhere in Fort Wayne.

Allen L chose the Tropical Rain. This non-alcoholic alcohol martini was simply orange juice with some coconut. It's taste was deliciously light and refreshing, but it's benefit as an after work cocktail was non-existent.

Adams L chose the Banana Split. The pretty pink liquid dessert was good, but not extraordinary. It was playful combination of the traditional dessert flavors, but not worth making a special trip to this establishment to try. Swing through Dairy Queen for a more satisfying treat.

Round 2 centered around one drink - the special - a chocolate caramel truffle - YUM! The thick caramel drizzle on the glass was a super treat. This would make a fantastic dessert (not so excellent paired with my Caesar salad and fish).

The appetizer list was nearly 1/4 of their menu featuring oddities. Alligator tail and mussels and the like. Commonalities like bruschetta and artichoke dip aren't served here. Adams L did order the one thing we typically select, crab cakes (sorry no photo). The 2 little cakes were served beautifully atop 3 sauces drizzled on the plate. Although the small cakes lacked jumbo lump meat, they were simply the MOST delicious crab cakes I have ever eaten! These simply move to the top of the 3 Elles crab cake list of fame!!!!! The cakes were packed with big flavors and complimented wonderfully with the various sauces (a garlic aioli, and 2 spicy varieties). The Elles would have liked to see either 3 cakes or 2 larger ones. The portion size was disappointing. Exactly how good are these crab cakes? Allen L who never liked crab cakes before the Elles started going out, and usually can take them or leave them, said "These are so good that I could eat this for my meal!" Yeah - that's how good they were!

Our entrees came with a choice of house or Caesar salad. Adams L and Allen L chose the house salad (one with the dressing on the side). They found the limited number of choices for their dressing a bit disappointing, but found the house dressing fair with a woody taste. They agreed their husbands would hate the dressing. They felt it was crispy and cut nicely. It was presented beautifully.

I selected the Caesar salad. It was beautiful with its shaved parm cheese and large croutons (made from their dinner bread). Although it could have been fantastic, it was DROWNING in dressing which unfortunately ruined the salad. I would definitely get this salad again . . . with the dressing on the side!

Sorry for no photo, so you'll have to take our word for it. Delicious! Fresh from the oven, the 2 types of bread are served hot! A fantastic pairing with the salads and entrees. It's simplicity was it's strength. It might have been nice had it been served with olive oil and parm cheese or butter warm enough to spread, but that's simply our suggestion.

This was definitely the highlight of our visit. The food was beyond excellent. Although the menu does not contain great depth, what they do serve is simply sensational! Each of us completely enjoyed our entrees.

Adams L selected one of the evening's specials - a Teriyaki Sirloin with Shitaki Mushrooms paired with broccoli and asparagus atop a bed of wild rice. She said the sauce was flavorful and delicious. The steak was tender and well prepared, but could have been even better had the steak been marinated in the sauce rather than just drizzled with it prior to serving. The steak was so tender it could be cut with a fork. The vegetables and rice pairings completed this meal perfectly.

Allen L chose White Gulf Shrimp with Almond Herb Breading - the photo is worth 1000 words, look at them. They were HUGE and delicious. The flakey breading was not greasy in the least. The number of "MMMMMMMMMM's" coming from her side of the table tells the whole story. The twice baked potato was creamy and full of flavor variety. The pepper seasoned asparagus was crispy, not mushy just tender enough to be perfect!

I selected the Canadian Walleye served with 2 sides (twice baked potato and broccoli). The breading on the walleye was the same as the gulf shrimp (above) and was the best coating I have ever eaten! It was crispy but not greasy. It stayed on the fish and were able to be enjoyed in a single sensational bite. The broccoli was very delicious, but if you don't like pepper, I would definitely suggest telling them to either skip it or go light - a little went a long way. The twice baked potato may not be the best pairing with walleye, but it was definitely smooth and filling.

The other Elles selected a cheesecake drizzled with raspberry sauce. They commented about how homemade it tasted (though, it wasn't). They raved about how it wasn't too sweet and how it was so smooth. This was definitely a favorite for them. They felt the raspberry sauce was perfect to provide the hint of tartness. The girls really enjoyed this dessert and would definitely get it again.

I selected the homemade Chef's special Chocolate Pie with a praline crust. It was quite different than other desserts and I was glad that I selected it. The other Elles didn't care for it nearly as much as I did. The burnt cookie tasting crust paired with the over-the-top sweetness of the homemade fudge tasting top. It was very rich and was easily shared among the 3 of us. I loved that an eatery still creates their own desserts - classy!

Our server, Sherry, was attentive and prompt. Our water glasses were never empty - a huge plus for us! Our every question and request was attended to.

Given our good experience, I could see the 3 Elles returning to this restaurant.

Until the next bite -

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