Eating out in Sheboygan County: The Fig & The Pheasant
This article was originally published in Sheboygan Press: https://www.sheboyganpress.com/story/life/2020/01/08/eating-out-sheboygan-county-local-pub-fig-pheasant/2837102001/
Richard Baumann, Special to the Sheboygan Press
SHEBOYGAN — This restaurant’s name, The Fig & The Pheasant sounds like a medieval allegorical story, but it was carefully crafted by owners Patrick and Ronna O’Toole.
The “fig” is an earth root symbolic of positive connotations and the “pheasant” is a spirit animal that symbolizes untapped creative passions.
They have successfully combined that premise by elevating ordinary foods into dining delights that reflect their Irish heritage, as well as the Irish traditional foods served by previous owners. The end result is a superb selection of made-from-scratch meals. No vendor ready-made frozen items here!
We started our dining experience with a gimlet ($9), but it was far from ordinary. It was a delicate blend of ginger soda, freshly squeezed lime and Mount Gay Rum, and garnished with a burnt sprig of rosemary speared into a Luxardo black cherry — a candied cherry soaked in Marasca cherry syrup. This is not a drink you slurp up. You purse your lips to the glass and let drops of the nectar slide over your taste buds — needless to say, I liked the drink!
For my entree I had the Guinness pot roast ($19). It was a good-size portion of tender, slowly cooked beef blanketed with Guinness gray and served with sauteed vegetables (I would have liked the carrot strips cooked a bit more) and a choice of mashed (my choice) or red potatoes. The meal was excellent.
My other three dining partners all had a cup of roasted squash soup ($5) which was finished with our local Drewry Farm maple cream and spiced almonds. They all gave it the highest accolades.
Since we dined on a Friday night out, dining friends George and Geri opted for fish and chips ($18). It was the typical Friday night fish fry (coleslaw, rye bread, etc.), and they were well satisfied.
There is a nice selection of sandwiches — Irish butter pub burger ($12), spicy Angus beef ($13), etc.
Entrees included the 52 Stafford steak Diane ($31), which was given top awards by some folks we met on the way out who had ordered it. Next time, that will be my choice.
My favorite dining-out food is always the dessert. Ronna O’Toole is a certified pastry chef, so it was difficult to choose from a selection of five of her desserts. So I only chose these two: the Guinness gingerbread cake ($7) had sauteed apples, cranberry sorbet and vanilla cream, and the chocolate mousse (which wife Carol said I did not need and was also $7). Well I have to be totally honest and tell you that both are on my list of “best ever desserts.”
The Fig & The Pheasant is housed in a 130-year-old hotel. The O’Tooles run it as a B&B (18-plus rooms). Note: They have years of hotel/restaurant experience in Hong Kong, Dubai, Norway, etc., so they are very experienced in all aspects of serving the public.
The pub dining area, with its beautiful chandelier, is off the bar and there is a “back” dining room (with antique tin ceiling) where my wife and I had our wedding reception 61 years ago.
I like this dining area — a bit more quiet and secluded that the pub dining area. Do also look at the beautiful stained and leaded glass windows and doors — they are real vintage.
Live Irish music is played every Wednesday.