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DISH OF THE MONTH: Clean and Crisp


May 2017

Photo by David Szymanski

Old is new again at Belfr Kitchen in downtown Delafield. Housed within a building constructed in 1868 as a Presbyterian church, the decidedly modern Lake Country restaurant opened last October after nearly six months of renovations.

General manager Joe Kolafa says Belfr’s menu will change with the seasons. “At the forefront is going to be local, healthy and seasonally inspired ingredients,” he continues. “We’re taking things as they come available to us — mostly from Stone Bank Farm at the moment. They let us know what they have coming in season, and there are a lot of things they grow specifically for us. We find ways to play with them on the menu.”

And as heartier flavors give way to lighter fare, Belfr’s brown butter poached whitefish shines. “The whitefish itself comes from Lake Superior,” says Kolafa. “The fillet can be a pretty neutral fillet — it’s not going to have a very fishy flavor to it. We like to embrace more full flavors with the accoutrements.”

The brown butter, Kolafa says, adds richness and depth of flavor, and other accessories include a bed of golden lentils, sautéed leeks and roasted Hakurei turnips. “We top (the dish) with fried leeks as well, just to give it some more crispness,” he adds. The combination of flavors makes for a dish that is both rich and mild, savory yet sweet.

“I look for clean lines, clean plates, (and) simple ingredients — (only) four to five ingredients,” says executive chef Andrew Sokolowski. “You don’t need to overcrowd your plates to make them look nice and beautiful.” 606 N. Genesee St., Delafield, (262) 303-5066,


This story ran in the May 2017 issue of: