writing is quite literally on the wall at Charro.
The name "Charro" comes from a movie of the same name
(minus the exclamation point) — a western starring Elvis Presley.
And the written words covering the walls are the lyrics from the title
song of that movie.
At our servers’ suggestion we toured the rest of Charro; the back
room with its velvet walls, high ceiling and romantic red candles, and
the downstairs, designed for private groups and weekend overflow.
Surprisingly, the restaurant shares a basement kitchen with Kenadee’s
next door. We found the design fascinating.
And what comes out of that kitchen, at least at our table, was a
carnivore’s delight. We chose the Ropa Vieja, which translates as
"old clothes" — but tastes like heaven. The Cuban-style
braised beef and pork came with plantains and rice, and a sprinkle of
four cheeses melted on top. The sweetness from the plantains, a hint
of saltiness in the meat and a lingering spicy aftertaste left us
excited over the generous heap of shredded meat.
The recently retooled menu from Umami Moto chef Dominic Zumpano,
who cooked at the James Beard House in New York this spring, features
Zumpano Mole (guajillo peppers, chicken stock, sesame seeds, chocolate
and peanuts, finished with sherry vinegar), Surf and Turf Carpaccio
(thin slices of ribeye topped with a shrimp ceviche), Shrimp Fedeo
(sautéed with chorizo, shallots, garlic, white wine, chicken stock,
small shell pasta, asparagus and finished with heavy cream and
manchego cheese) and more.
As we left, our server brought mouth-watering guacamole to an
adjacent table. "We’ll have that next time," said my
729 N. Milwaukee St., Milwaukee