City, Net Cafe
There seems to
be new eateries almost everywhere you turn in greater Milwaukee, from
downtown’s hopping East Wisconsin Avenue to the outer reaches of
Waukesha County. Obviously, there is no boundary for good times and
good beverage. Here are a few of the newest places around town.
(306 E. Wisconsin Ave.) celebrated its grand opening in February and
is already garnering fans for its food and occasional live jazz in the
evenings. Owned and operated by veteran restaurateur and jazz drummer
Sam Belton, downtowners drop in for breakfast or lunch specials, such
as Tamie’s Turkey or Sam’s Wrap. Espresso drinks are by Abyssinia
Coffee Roasters, with Belton doing his own roasting. He secures his
beans from Ghana, Tanzania, Indonesia and elsewhere, favoring a
powerful "red eye" espresso for himself. Belton has attended
roasting workshops and completed a course at the American Barista
& Coffee School in Portland to hone his skills. His daughter,
Shani, is the chef.
Backing up for
the likes of Milwaukee jazz greats Manty Ellis and Adekola Adedapo,
Belton is often out on the road with the Don Lewis Quartet. His
jazz-themed restaurant extends to a gallery of musicians’ photos
lining the walls.
restaurant called Hispania will open early in June in Delafield (627
Genesse St.). Hispania owners Juan and Natalia Gutierrez plan to use
local produce to build the menu of their white-tablecloth, fine-dining
establishment. Fish and vegetables are signature items, in the hopes
of educating the American palette about "hidden" Mexico’s
culinary richness. Servings will be in a small-plate format, with an
emphasis on dishes from the family’s native state of Chiapas.
dad, Antonio, owns a coffee bean farm in Mexico, and his coffees will
be served at Hispania. Small bags of the organically grown beans will
also be sold, as well as artwork and textiles from Chiapas, Oaxaca and
other regions in Mexico. Gutierrez is a mechanical and electrical
engineer; his wife acted as architect for the restaurant.
Steaks & Famous Barbecue, considered by some reviewers as among
the "Top 40 Chicago Restaurants Ever," is opening a
Milwaukee location in early June in the first floor of The Moderne
(1141 N. Old World Third St.), a 30-story condo/apartment tower.
Carson says his place is a restaurant for food lovers. Displaying his
dedication to prep, some two-thirds of his space in The Moderne is
reserved for the kitchen. The restaurant will seat 150 people.
He’s using all
local contracting talent and even has a house in the city,
demonstrating his commitment to Milwaukee. "I like the city and
have friends here," says Carson, a third generation restaurateur.
The place will
be definitely upscale, though sandwiches will hover around $10; the
prime Iowa beef steaks will have a low $30s price point. Naturally,
Wisconsin cheeses will be served. "Why buy French cheese when it
is so good here?" he asks. The restaurant space was designed by
Carson’s longtime pal, veteran creative Matt Rinka, owner of
Milwaukee-based Rinka Chung Architecture. Rinka also designed the
overall Moderne, as well as Milwaukee restaurants Café Benelux, Café
Hollander, Café Centraal, Brick 3 Pizza, Nomad World Pub, Trocadero
and Blackthorn Irish Pub.