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Family pheasant

Photos by Matt Haas

September 2015

These days, it seems as if the inspiration behind every dish can be attributed to one very specific moment. At Le R ve Patisserie and Café in Wauwatosa, it was the wild mushroom and rice stuffing served at a family meal (a restaurant industry term for the pre-shift meal cooked and enjoyed by the staff) that led to the creation of the French bistro cafe’s fall pheasant entree. "Another chef developed the stuffing, a dish his grandfather used to make, and served it at family meal," explains sous chef Courtney Wilkerson. "We all thought, ‘Oh! That would be really good in pheasant.’" And so the dish was born.

The poultry is brined and filled with the stuffing, then plated with a corn risotto cake, braised cipollini onions and haricot vert (French for green beans) and topped with a brown butter sauce and balsamic reduction. The entire dish is an exercise in balancing salty and sweet — the palatableness of the brown butter sauce pairs well with the brined pheasant skin, and the braised onions’ subtle sweetness contrasts the seasoned green beans. Wilkerson describes Le R ve’s culinary approach as "bistro food done well." "We take our time to make sure everything is done correctly," she says.

7610 Harwood Ave., Milwaukee, (414) 778-3333,


This story ran in the September 2015 issue of: