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Dining in 2014

Photos by Dan Bishop

December 2014

Miss Beverly's 

If there was one word to sum up this year’s dining trends, it would be fun. Fun with beer. Fun with ice cream. Fun with ramen. Milwaukee continues to be a casual city, and if you dress in jeans, you won’t feel out of place at Ardent, Salotto Zarletti or Goodkind. Feeling comfortable is a mainstay of Milwaukee restaurants.


Chef Justin Carlisle’s dining destination on Farwell Avenue may have only 20 seats and a tiny kitchen, but the intimacy and the immediacy of Carlisle’s extraordinary cuisine become readily apparent. In fact, because Carlisle has such a small staff, he will also be the one serving you some of your dishes, which are organized by ingredients or dominant flavors. His dishes change frequently, but his decadent beef tartare, served as a layered dish with bone marrow, deviled egg and chervil, is still on the menu, and it’s well worth trying.

1751 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 897-7022,


Tochi Ramen

You can get ramen any time at Tochi Ramen, formerly the Anaba Tea Room. Chef Gregg DesRosier is still at the helm and has a lot of fun with Asian fusion and ramen noodles. DesRosier serves up everything from classic ramen to a version that’s like a Japanese carbonara and even a Wisconsin version made with sauerkraut and brats. 2107 E. Capitol Drive, Shorewood, (414) 963-9510,

Solatto Zarletti

Salotto Zarletti

Brian Zarletti’s latest venture opened in Mequon this year. Except for the gluten-free pasta (which is made in Madison), everything is made in-house, from the cream-stuffed burrata cheese to the wood-fired pizzas. Though the menu stays close to its southern Italian roots, chef Andrew Miller switches things up quite a bit with his fresh fish of the day. 1515 W. Mequon Road, Mequon, (262) 241-5990,


Husband and wife cheffing duo Paul Zerkel and Lisa Kirkpatrick, along with Burnhearts owners Jess and William Seidel and bartender Katie Rose, continually play with local ingredients at this new restaurant in Bay View. For entrees, the rotisserie chicken flies out of the kitchen, and for drinks, try the Light as a Feather gin cocktail made with spruce and mint syrup. 2457 S. Wentworth Ave. (414) 763-4706,

Lazy Susan

Bay View gained another elegant eatery in Lazy Susan. A.J. Dixon’s eclectic eatery offers everything from sloppy Joe fries to Cambodian-stuffed wings, but no matter the dish, it’s all delicious. Many plates are meant to be shared, and the menu changes almost daily. Dixon also serves up a great brunch and some really good gluten-free and vegetarian options. 2378 S. Howell Ave., (414) 988-7086,

World of Beers


Local, from-scratch cooking is the focus of this new Surg Restaurant Group restaurant in Bayshore Town Center. Chef Mark Ray’s pot roast puts Grandma’s version to shame, and after eating his homemade tater tots served with a bacon ketchup, you won’t be able to eat any other kind of tater tots. 5750 N. Port Washington Road, Glendale, (414) 312-7043,

Sprecher’s Restaurant & Pub

Another new restaurant to open at Bayshore Town Center is Sprecher’s Restaurant & Pub. There are more than 20 beers on tap, and while beer is incorporated into some dishes, one of the cooler points of this new restaurant is its walk-by rootbeer float-to-go window. 5689 N. Bayshore Drive, Glendale, (414) 292-0600,


Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub

Beer is the focus at Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub, which opened its third location this year in Waukesha, but you can also get some great fish. The chef uses flown-in-fresh salmon, which he debones and then transforms into decadent salmon burgers. Fresh clam chowder (made from salmon bone stock) chock full of clams and the homemade cheese curds and jalapeno poppers are also popular. 225 South St., Waukesha, (262) 522-3009,


Café Bavaria and World of Beer

In Wauwatosa, two new beer-centric places opened — Café Bavaria and World of Beer. World of Beer serves up more than 400 beers and delights, including a platter-sized German pretzel. Café Bavaria is the newest addition to the Lowlands Group and brings a hip and playful vibe to German cuisine, like its stellar veal meatballs. World of Beer, 418 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa, (262) 770-3902,; Café Bavaria, 7700 Harwood Ave., Wauwatosa, (414) 271-7700,

The Stilt House

A beer-centric bistro opened up in Cedarburg, too. The Stilt House has more than 30 brews on tap, plus hundreds in bottles and a 30-bottle wine list to complement a great menu, which includes delights like mushroom caps stuffed with Gouda cheese and topped with a balsamic glaze, fried catfish and homemade soups infused with ales and stouts. W62 N630 Washington Ave., Cedarburg, (262) 618-4889,


Central Standard Craft Distillery

True to its name, distilled spirits are the focus of the new Central Standard Craft Distillery. Artisan rye, vodka, gin and white whiskey are made in the distillery and can also be tasted in cocktails in the tasting room. 613 S. 2nd St., (414) 455-8870,


Engine Company No. 3

A fun breakfast and lunch spot can be found in Peter Sandroni’s new Engine Company No. 3. Eggs, pancakes and lunch items are served in a remodeled old fire station. Especially delicious is the patacon con huevos, a smashed plantain topped with beans, cilantro rice and roasted red pepper sauce. 217 W. National Ave., (414) 226-5695,

Miss Beverly’s Deluxe Barbeque and Downtown Kitchen

Great meat — from chicken to beef ribs to pork — is served up in Bartolotta’s new Miss Beverly’s Deluxe Barbeque in Greendale. Executive Chef Adam Siegel shows he not only can develop amazing French and modern cuisine, but he’s got a real feel for down-home flavors. The pulled pork is melt-in-your-mouth amazing, the ribs can do no wrong, and the sweet potato pecan side dish could pass as a dessert it’s so good. Bartolotta’s also opened the new Downtown Kitchen at the U.S. Bank Center in Milwaukee, serving up everything from breakfast to sushi much to the delight of downtown office workers. Miss Beverly’s, 5601 Broad St., Greendale, (414) 858-1911,; Downtown Kitchen, 777 E. Wisconsin Ave., (414) 287-0303,


Cream City Swirl

Cream City Swirl serves up crepes, gelato and frozen yogurt on Kinnickinnic Avenue in Bay View. The gelato menu changes all the time, but with the advent of cold weather, owner Susan Nolan has added a new soups menu. 2663 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 897-8769,


Purple Door Ice Cream

It’s ice cream all day, every day at Purple Door Ice Cream’s new creamery in Walker’s Point. Serving sundaes, shakes, malts and ice cream sodas, the line sometimes runs out the door during warmer months. Its spectacular ice cream tasting flights and unusual flavors have garnered the creamery national press as one of the best ice cream shops in the country. 205 S. 2nd St., (414) 988-2521,



This story ran in the December 2014 issue of: