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The dish/What's new in dining
The Black Trumpet


June 2009

The Black Trumpet, located in Waukesha’s Clark Hotel, has an elegant patina. The well-trained staff will park your car, take your coat, pull out your chair and give you an informed tour of the menu.

The hotel and restaurant, located in a historic building in the heart of downtown Waukesha, opened in December. During our visit, the greeter escorted us through the bar, past a fireplace nook with inviting couches and delivered us to a server who took us to the best seat in the house.

We took our time choosing entrées from the lunch menu. "These are hard decisions," my friend said. I narrowed it down to three: the Chicken Artichoke and Asparagus Sandwich, the Lobster BLT and the Chef Salad. I pointed to the Cuban Monte Cristo. "Let’s see if they can get it right," I said, as there’s always an issue with the sandwich when I order it at other restaurants.

My friend sampled the Five Lily Cream Soup, a house favorite, with five kinds of onions — roasted, pureed and served with a chive garnish. "It’s mild," she said, "but the flavor lingers."

Her Chef Salad, an unusual combination of chili-roasted pork and confit of rabbit, came with a mild Green Goddess dressing — an ideal complement to the strong flavors. The Monte Cristo surpassed my expectations; deep fried, and filled with pork, ham and cheese, it oozed flavor in every bite. Our server told us, "The chef combines butter, whole eggs and cream to make the crisp coating on the sandwich." It came with a "shooter," or a small cup of thick and spicy gazpacho.

The menu moves upmarket at dinner with á la carte appetizers, soup and salads, along with an impressive list of entrées, such as lobster served with parsnip polenta and mushroom stew or pheasant with pancetta and white bean ragout.

On Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., The Black Trumpet serves a superstar all-inclusive, four-course brunch menu. Every meal starts with house-made pastries, then moves on to the first course, perhaps Baked Brie En Croute with a poached pear. Next a Caprese Omelet may be served, followed by something like bread pudding with dark cherry merlot sauce or Bananas Foster Profiteroles with spiced rum chocolate sauce.

Yes, we loved The Black Trumpet — and yes, we shall return.

»The Black Trumpet
Located in the The Clark Hotel
314 Main St., Waukesha
(262) 549-3800


This story ran in the June 2009 issue of: