Barkha and Jesse
Daily, who together ran the Thiensville Farmers Market, had not
initially planned on opening a restaurant. But when a condemned
Victorian-style bulding, dating back to the 1890s, became available,
the couple restored it and opened The Cheel.
represented the farmers market at events, I brought food I
cooked," explains Barkha, who is originally from Nepal.
"People would ask us, ‘Where’s your restaurant?’"
It took almost a
year’s worth of renovations — and help from the local community
— to get The Cheel, which means "eagle" in Nepalese, open
for business. It has become a destination restaurant, as it’s the
only Nepalese restaurant in the greater Milwaukee area. The space is
warm and welcoming and shows off the building’s great bones, but
with inviting touches.
Joe Sandretti, who previously worked at Buckley’s, uses Barkha’s
family recipes for traditional dishes such as momos, chicken tarkari
or goat sekuwa.
fresh fish and lamb are featured prominently on the menu, as are many
vegetarian and gluten-free dishes. Start with a tidbit or small plate
like the momos or tofu gyaw, where pieces of tofu are coated with
chickpeas and fried. Then, try a bigbit or entrée, but especially
recommended is the thali or combination plate of the day, which
features two entrees, a side vegetable dish, two dals, rice and your
choice of achars or dipping sauces. If you can, save room for one of
Sandretti’s cheesecakes, which he flavors with Nepalese spices. Each
dish can be paired with wine or beer, but general manager Ryan
Palkowski, who previously managed Elsa’s on the Park, also shakes up
some very good classic cocktails. His version of the brandy
old-fashioned uses imported Italian cherries and French cognac, and
his cosmo boasts a secret fruit infusion (see if you can guess its
flavors). Expect wine, beer and even spirits dinners this year.
105 S. Main St.,
Thiensville, (262) 236-9463, thecheel.com
visitors to the Schlitz Brewery ended their tour with a cold one at
The Brown Bottle. Years later, after the brewery and beer "that
made Milwaukee famous" closed, the pub became a restaurant.
remodeled and reopened, The Brown Bottle now has new life, and at the
helm of this iconic restaurant is executive chef Ben Hudson, a
graduate of the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute. Hudson previously
helmed a vegetarian restaurant in Portland, Ore., and also cheffed at
Bacchus. "I like to do an unusual spin on classic, comfort
foods," he says.
And one of his
biggest twists is on The Brown Bottle’s Friday night fish fry. The
fish is either beer-battered or baked, and the baked version comes
with a beurre blanc sauce. The sides, which include applesauce, tartar
sauce and coleslaw, are all made from scratch, and the coleslaw is
flavored with red peppers, chives and buttermilk. "We don’t
dress the coleslaw until right before we open because I want it to
taste as fresh and as good for the last diners as the first,"
clam chowder is laced with fresh thyme and smoked bacon. Burgers are
delicious, as are salads, which come with house-made dressings.
Especially good is the fall panzanella — fresh greens are dressed
with shallot vinaigrette, house-made croutons, cranberries and walnuts
on a bed of creamy, roasted squash.
Later this year,
expect to see beer dinners, and during the warmer months, enjoy the
patio, which opens onto Schlitz Park’s new Brewhouse Square Park. If
you plan to visit, call for directions or visit the website rather
than using a GPS or Google, as Galena Street, which was recently
extended, does not yet exist virtually.
221 W. Galena
St., (414) 539-6450, brownbottlemke.com
Lakeside Restaurant and Lounge in Heaven City
Heaven City has
a long history. The building was once a hangout for gangsters, a
brothel and even a religious commune. When the space became available,
Lakeside Restaurant owner Troy Schoenrock decided to remodel and
restore the old Heaven City and move the Lakeside Restaurant to Heaven
City’s historic locale in Mukwonago.
boasts a series of interconnected rooms, including an enclosed porch
and a fireplace room. While worn-out floors were replaced and new
paint added, some things were kept the same — like a chandelier with
a tilted fixture, as rumor has it was broken by a visiting gangster.
The menu, created by chef Ricky Garcia, features all of Lakeside’s
signature dishes like steaks, chops, seafood and Italian pastas, as
well as Lakeside’s weekly specials like all-you-can-eat fish fry on
Fridays, all-you-can-eat prime rib on Saturdays and all-you-can-eat
Italian specialties on Tuesdays.
On Fridays, come
early for dinner or expect a wait. Besides baked and beer-battered
cod, try haddock in a white wine sauce or the Caesar-parmesan sauce,
in which baked, tender whitefish is smothered in a creamy, cheesy
sauce that is especially good for dipping the homemade potato chips
The wine list
was carefully selected by general manager Tanya Haback, and the bar’s
classic cocktail menu is carefully curated by bar manager Jason Neu,
who previously worked for Great Lakes Distillery and Ray’s Wine and
Liquors. Neu makes his own old-fashioned mix, and expect to try
seasonal drinks as the weather warms up.
was recently added, and special brunches are planned for Easter and
National Ave., Mukwonago, (262) 363-9335, lakesideheavencity.com