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Lobbying for lobster

Photos by Matt Haas

June 2015

There are few things I love more than summertime in Milwaukee. The city’s energy is infectious — we act as if we’ll never see another warm weather day, and the list of events and to-dos is endless. So to commemorate the return of Cream City’s most celebrated season and the launch of M’s inaugural "Dish of the Month" column, I chose to feature a dish that’s quintessentially summer — the lobster roll from St. Paul Fish Company, a downtown eatery located within the Milwaukee Public Market.

"The basic rundown is that it’s a very classic take on an East Coast lobster roll," explains JP Toske, executive chef at St. Paul Fish Company. "We try to stay really ‘true blue’ to what it’s supposed to be and what the iconic dish is." And what exactly does that involve? A buttered, Brioche style hot dog bun is stuffed with homemade lobster salad — a delectable combination of freshly poached, cold water Maine lobster claw, mayo, lemon juice, finely diced celery and sliced green onion. The roll is served with French fries and St. Paul’s house slaw, a mayo-based cabbage salad seasoned with lemon and horseradish.

"What really sets ours apart is the bread," adds Toske. "The filling is really well done as well. It’s very simple." Plus, the dish costs a reasonable $13.95 — a far cry from its counterparts out East, which can run upward of $20.

400 N. Water St., (414) 220-8383,

Barbecue ribs, artful, nouveau cuisine and a hookah lounge are some of the newcomers to Milwaukee’s restaurant scene.

Sandra’s On the Park

Noted restaurateur Sandra Van Renner Prosser and her father, Gene Prosser, opened Sandra’s on the Park in the space formerly occupied by Mia Famiglia. This light and airy restaurant features homemade barbecued ribs (even the bloody mary has a tiny barbecue rib stuck in it) and steaks, along with pasta, pizza and a signature fish fry on Fridays. But stop in early every night for complimentary cheese fondue during happy hour. "Eventually, we are going to do breakfast, but we want to get dinner under our belt first," says Van Renner Prosser, who also owns the Traditional Pancake House in Greendale. 10049 W. Forest Home Ave., Hales Corners, (414) 235-8889,


Walker’s Point continues to grow as a restaurant hub, with Meraki becoming the latest addition to the scene. Artful, with gold-edged china plates and a chic, post-industrial interior design, the cuisine matches the décor, with sumptuous layers of flavors — it’s classical cuisine served up in elegant, nouveau arrangements with a nice selection of both small and large plates. Especially good is the poached egg appetizer, served over a creamy, savory squash polenta. If morels are in season, customers may see them added to the dish. A carefully curated cocktail, beer and wine list adds to the ambiance. 939 S. 2nd St., (414) 897-7230,

Lucid Lounge

Middle Eastern small plates, unusual hookah flavors and swanky cocktails. What’s not to love at Lucid? SURG Restaurant Group’s latest addition to the Milwaukee Street scene is anything but boring. Try the chorizo-stuffed dates, the harissa-glazed chicken lollipops and the Shores of Pompeii tequila drink made with ginger syrup and muddled blackberries. But what makes Lucid so cool is, well, the cool lights, which change colors on the walls and bar, creating a very hip vibe. 729 N. Milwaukee St., (414) 431-5557,

- Jeanette Hurt


This story ran in the June 2015 issue of: