We live in a
city with dozens of great restaurants, but what exactly defines a
“foodie experience”? Which restaurants offer something truly
memorable? Here we round up five experiences to try this winter.
The Trout House at Rushing Waters
“Food miles” is the distance between where food is
grown and where it’s served. The Trout House replaces the word
“miles” with “yards” for the freshest fish in town. “The fish are
raised 200 yards away from where you sit in the restaurant,”
explains Peter Fritsch, co-owner and president of Rushing Waters
Fisheries, LLC. The eatery offers the chance for you to “hook and
cook” your own fish too. Reel in the trout, then leave the cleaning
and cooking to the pros. The fantastic food and gorgeous setting
attract devoted fans from Milwaukee, Madison and Chicago. “We don’t
get too many people fishing when it’s 0 degrees, but we’re catching
fresh fish year-round,” Fritsch adds. N301 County Road H, Palmyra,
(262) 495-2089, rushingwaters.net
Five O’ Clock
There’s a certain old-school charm that defines the
authentic supper club, and no one does it better than this downtown
favorite. Sinatra and his Rat Pack would feel right at home here.
Your first stop is the bar. Relax and sip an old-fashioned or
specialty martini while an attentive server takes your dinner order.
Arrive at your table to find a salad, a relish tray and warm bread
waiting. Sorry, but really not sorry, vegetarian friends: It’s all
about the steak here. After dinner, head up to the swanky Alley Cat
Lounge for live jazz on weekends. Reservations required. 2416 W.
State St., (414) 342-3553, fiveoclocksteakhouse.com
at The Grain Exchange
’Twas just days before Christmas, in Milwaukee’s
downtown; happy diners were smiling, and no one wore a frown. The
stockings were hung by the chimney with care, and Christmas décor
filled the room with such flair. The evening begins, wine and beer
freely flowing — anticipation of three delicious courses is growing.
To this delightful tradition, fans flock without hesitation.
All cheerful rhymes aside, visit bartolottas.com or
call (414) 727-6980 for tickets to the annual dinner event, which
runs Dec. 21-23.
Are you a chocoholic? Do you need a support group to
cure your chocolate addiction? You aren’t alone. Satisfy your
cravings at this Waukesha-based gourmet shop, where chocolate isn’t
just a tasty treat — it’s a way of life. Celebrate the holidays with
a Chocolate Make & Taste class on Dec. 19, where you’ll sample and
compare various varietals, or explore the history of hot chocolate
and learn how to make homemade mixes on Jan. 4 at the Warm Up With
Chocolate class. 234 W. Main St., (262) 544-8030, allochocolat.com
Braise Snow Shoe
Dinner at Jeff Leen Farm
Hoping to beat the winter blues? Here’s our
recommendation: Step 1: Bundle up in your warmest, most wind-proof
Step 2: Strap on a pair of snow shoes.
Step 3: Hike
through the snow-covered fields of a working farm. Step 4:
Post-hike, arrive at a cozy barn for an amazing foodie experience.
While you warm up with hot cocoa, cider, wine or beer and snack on
appetizers like roasted winter vegetable tartlets with locally
produced cheese, Braise owner/chef Dave Swanson will cook a hearty,
one-pot meal over an open fire. (Cassoulet, anyone?) What’s the
sweetest way to end this memorable evening? S’mores, of course.
Exact date TBA. Jeff Leen Farm, N254 County Road I, Random Lake,
(414) 212-8843, braiselocalfood.com