“The place is designed to feel like you came to our
house for dinner,” says Jason Tofte, co-owner with his wife,
Cristina, of Tofte’s Table in downtown Waukesha. A mix of Mason
jars, crystal wine glasses and antique serving utensils plus the
pair’s regular table visits to chat with guests lend a relaxed
atmosphere to the elegant space painted deep purple.
Before opening their own restaurant, Jason worked as
a chef for almost 20 years at Eddie Martini’s, and Cristina managed
Sanford and Coquette Café. Theirs too is a fine-dining
establishment, and refined comfort food staples like fried chicken
drumsticks and meatloaf with Yukon mash share the menu with octopus
and braised pork belly for more adventurous diners.
“Everybody can find something to eat here. I wanted a
place that was affordable, so you could come here once a week, and a
place that has the gamut,” Jason says.
Foodies will swoon over the aromatic and tender
braised pork belly resting atop root veggie hash made with carrot,
parsnip, turnip, celery root and onion. Cider vinegar, brown sugar
and herbs are reduced to a sweet-sour cider gastrique, which cuts
through the fat, Jason notes. Seasonal vegetables, such as the
pattypan squash, carrots and haricot verts shown here, add more
color to the plate. For a finishing touch, candied bacon slices
cooked with Sugar in the Raw are torched just before serving.
“That dish is sweet and salty all over the place,”
Jason says. In fact, like the restaurant itself, the entree delights
the senses without fussiness. 331 Riverfront Plaza, Waukesha,