worked in restaurants through high school and college, but after he
got his degree he realized he’d still rather be in the kitchen.
Murphy worked in the local-food-focused kitchens of Nostrana and
Tastebud restaurants in Portland, Ore. before following girlfriend
Erika Ehley back to her hometown of Milwaukee.
know that oysters are an excellent source of zinc, iron, calcium and
selenium, as well as vitamin A and vitamin B12? Besides, they taste
good. And you know what else they say about oysters … So when the
mood hits, make your way to one of several Milwaukee area raw oyster
selecting cheeses for entertaining, Patty Peterson of Larry’s Market
in Brown Deer has three simple tips: Limit the selection to three to
five cheeses with a good balance of flavors, textures, colors, shapes
kinds of new
ever enjoyed chef Kos Saeng’s signature sushi rolls at Screaming
Tuna in the Third Ward or Yokosa in Brookfield, you’ll want to check
out his latest restaurant venture, Slice ‘N Dice in Pewaukee.
"We decided to branch out west because we have family out
here," Saeng says.
Zarletti grew up in a food-centric, Italian family in Kenosha. So
naturally he studied marketing at Northwestern University. He started
working at Main Street Bistro in Racine, and that experience drew him
back to the kitchen. In 2002, he opened a small Italian café in South
Milwaukee, and in 2004 Zarletti’s debuted in downtown Milwaukee.
Zarletti hasn’t looked back, opening Rustico Pizzeria and the
soon-to-be-opened Salotto Zarletti in Mequon.
comes to barbecue, greater Milwaukee has jumped on the saucy bandwagon
with ribs, brisket and sausage rubbed and ready to go. While the
community doesn’t — yet — have the smoky reputation of a Kansas
City or the Deep South, when you’re talking ’cue, Brew City is
well on its way to hog heaven. Tune in your tummies to these hot
of the south
restaurants, a new menu and a new brew pub: What’s not to love about
Milwaukee’s South Side? This month the culinary place to be is
Avenue is an East Side iconic destination where people congregate for
food, fun and libations in a blend of historic locales and new
Chef Thi Cao’s culinary background is about as diverse as it comes.
"I am a Vietnamese person who has grown up in America. I studied
classical French cuisine, and I worked (as executive chef) in an
Italian restaurant," says Cao.
Carlisle and Sprecher take root
dinner service at the Bossa Nova dining room of KASANA Café is filled
with culinary delights — from a savory burger, enhanced by dates and
topped with blue cheese; to chicken vatava, a Brazilian creamy
casserole made with coconut milk and onions; to Xingu Brazilian beer,
a black beer that’s light and slightly sweet; to a creamy, to a
mousse-like dark chocolate dessert that’s made with no sugar yet
tastes as decadent as can be.
Speak: Anette Righi DeFendi
As a young
girl growing up in Grafton, Anette Righi DeFendi sat in church
pretending to bake brownies. Her cookbook, of course, was the hymnal.
"That’s one of my earliest childhood memories," Righi
DeFendi says. "It was before I could read."
A Momentous year for food and drink
Bartolotta decided he wanted to open a northern Italian cucina in the
Wauwatosa Village, the landlord initially refused him. "He didn’t
want an Italian restaurant because he was afraid of the smell of
garlic coming up to his offices. I finally won him over, and so we
opened," Bartolotta says. "It’s a wonderful, wonderful
thing we did."
Millioke, Blaze and Lucky Joe's Tiki Room
Blue Ribbon Pub at the new Brewhouse Inn and Suites (www.brewhousesuites.com)
sounds like a corner tap that might serve up a fish fry and some
sandwiches. Although it is on the corner of the block, it’s not just
any neighborhood tavern.
Warm, goey, chewy … oozing with cheese, overflowing with toppings,
backed by a zippy red sauce and supported by a perfect crust.
Speak: Grant Slauterbeck
Slauterbeck was named executive chef of the No. 1-rated hotel in
Wisconsin in April and in three weeks’ time he created the hotel’s
summer menu, living up to his "inventive" reputation with
such dishes as Foie Gras Popcorn Balls and a deconstructed tuna
sandwich with quail eggs.
couldn’t get the crisp, clean taste of hard, French cider out of his
mind after he and his wife, Yannique, visited France. In fact, it was
a series of French vacations that led these two Milwaukeeans to start
their Door County cider orchard and tasting room.
Park your bike
on Alterra Bay View Café & Bakery’s vertical rack, find a place
on the patio and grab an iced chai. At one of Bay View’s busiest
corners, there’s plenty of people-watching to do. 2301 S.
Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 744-6117, alterracoffee.com.
Cakes and Spirits
time, summer in the city, back of my neck getting burnt and gritty…
"Cool town, evening
in the city, looking so fine and looking so pretty." Lovin
Spoonful, I’m sure, wasn’t thinking about Milwaukee’s summer
dining and drinking options, but boy, are these new options pretty and
Speak - Bryan Phillips
Phillips, a little of this and a little of that goes a long way. It’s
a culinary process that begins with simplicity and evolves with
imagination. He’s getting his chance to show his stuff as the new
head chef at the Hi Hat.
no better place to be than Milwaukee in summer, when beer, food, music
and fun are served up under the sun and stars at the city’s
signature beer gardens. It’s a German tradition with a few new
twists, so raise a mug and Prosit!
heading to a festival this summer? Spend some time in the Third Ward
before or after for a unique shopping and dining experience.
Bier, BelAir and The Bay
have blushed into full bloom, wet and snowy days have long since
melted into memories, and Milwaukeeans, emerged from hibernation, seek
all things sun. Patio season is finally here, and this year’s
arrival comes with exciting new outdoor dining and drinking options.
has a vision. Scion of the fabled Milwaukee restaurant family, Mader
is focused on building his Trad to Rad brand, which reflects his
cooking style of adding unique flair to traditional recipes.
Winter has finally taken the snow back to his chilly man cave. Now is
the time for daffodils, with lettuce and Swiss chard not far behind.
Fresh produce and cut flower fans eagerly anticipate the pending
growing season, with the value-added factor of sociability at farmers
cafe, Mexican fusion and a Milwaukee Carson's
to be new eateries almost everywhere you turn in greater Milwaukee,
from downtown’s hopping East Wisconsin Avenue to the outer reaches
of Waukesha County. Obviously, there is no boundary for good times and
good beverage. Here are a few of the newest places around town.
has made a splash on the city’s culinary scene ever since it opened
in 2012. The Bay View restaurant, 2352 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., is noted
for an ever-changing menu that emphasizes fresh local produce, meats
and dairy products. Innovative dishes vary almost day-to-day in small
plates or standard entrées.
fare is Milwaukee’s latest hot "in-food," where Hispanic
influences can be found almost everywhere. When it comes to eateries
and menus, the new seamlessly blends with the old. Here’s a mix of
places to consider when a South of the Border fix is needed.
eats and a North Woods retreat
collection of casual-eats restaurants opened in late winter and early
spring, ensuring there wasn’t an awkward pause in the flurry of new
Speak: Thomas Peschong - Executive Chef, Turner Hall
to 2011, chef Tom Peschong was a familiar face at the Riversite
Restaurant, where his dishes consistently earned kudos. Among his
honors was being named a James Beard Best Midwestern Chef nominee.
Relishing Peschong’s experimental menus and solid presentations,
local food critics regularly placed the Riversite in their Top 25
ranks for fine dining.
bars, sushi and 'cue
warmer temps on the horizon, several new restaurants, coffee shops and
bars debuted — even during the cold snaps of winter.
Dish: Nines at the River Club of Mequon
the Crouching Tuna, Hidden Shrimp Roll, a toss of the dice from a menu
that suggested unexpected flavor combinations on every line. The menu
deconstructed the roll by listing tuna, avocado, shrimp, soy glaze,
wasabi cream and caviar, but I chose to let the roll surprise me and
let the flavors speak for themselves.
Speak: Scott Pampuch - The Iron Horse Hotel
Pampuch, top chef and beverage director at The Iron Horse Hotel and
founder of the award-winning Corner Table restaurant in the Twin
Cities, grew up in Winona, Minn., where his culinary training really
Dish/What's new in city dining: Wild Earth Cucina Italiana
Cucina Italiana — the name suggests a sensory feast on Italy’s
coast looking down from an oversized window to a raging sea, or
perhaps a view of a rolling hillside in Tuscany.
dish/What's new in city dining:
Rave reviews of
Joey Gerard’s preceded our visit to the latest addition to the
Bartolotta Restaurants roster. Joe Bartolotta’s two namesake
restaurants, one in Greendale and one in Mequon, harken back to a time
before we counted calories; a time when menus featured liver and
onions, meatloaf and beef stroganoff.
board the bus for culinary adventures — and leave the driving to
Milwaukee Food Tours. Theresa Nemetz and husband Wade will ensure a
good time, grand fun and an exciting peek into the city’s history,
all rolled into one jolly excursion.
gift of feed
Balistreri siblings, Tony, Theresa and Peter, running Sala da Pranzo
Italian restaurant is an extension of their family experience. Even
before their grandfather came to America as a young boy from St. Elia,
Silicy in the early 1900s the Balistreris have been a cooking family.
Mironczuk had a pet tarantula named "Pablo," calls herself
"Zombie Girl," was born a week before Halloween and her
2-year old daughter, Bernadette, entered the world on a Friday the
love their food and drink during the holidays. A well-stocked pantry
in preparation for the party season should include a goodly supply of
the following locally produced goodies.
with a cheese curds conundrum. Bob Wills, owner of Cedar Grove Cheese
in Plain, Wis., struggled to deliver fresh curds — so fresh, they
squeak — to Milwaukee retailers by early afternoon each day. The
240-mile round trip posed a challenge.
sweet-toothed person in your life, a sugar-coated treat with
Milwaukee-area ties is the perfect gift for the holidays.
art of food
that chocolate bar you adored as a child? First introduced by the
Hershey Co. in 1978, it’s comprised of peanut-flavored crisps with
layers of milk chocolate and peanut butter. c.1880, a
less-than-year-old restaurant in Walker’s Point, has gone to town on
deconstructing its caramel, peanut and chocolate ingredients.
Milwaukee, where 19th century beer barons like Joseph Schlitz and
Capt. Frederick Pabst put Brew City on the map as a drinking town,
wine has at last caught up. Wine bars are sprinkled throughout
neighborhoods from Bay View to Brookfield.
year in dining
to his native Wisconsin after cooking with Michel Richard at
Citronelle in Washington, D.C., was never a question — he always
intended on it.
Executive Chef William Doyle has enough Irish in him to truly
appreciate green. That love affair certainly spills over to garden
greens … in fact, anything fresh and seasonal is fantastic.
dish/What's new in city dining - C. 1880
I wish I
could guarantee future diners at c.1880 the same dinner we enthused
over, but since chef and owner Thomas Hauck features regional/seasonal
products, the menu is never the same.
Chefs at country
clubs have a tall order — to satisfy pickiest of palates. After all,
members at these exclusive clubs eat artisan ingredients in far-flung
nations and often host multicourse gourmet meals in their homes.
thanks, Wisconsin style
national holiday and celebrate our Wisconsin bounty by cooking a
Thanksgiving dinner made almost entirely from local ingredients.
dish/What's new in city dining
They know how to
make diners feel special at Odd Duck. We had excellent service despite
a crowd, and the small-plate dining restaurant in Bay View is full of
At several new local
bakeries the charm lies not only inside the pastry case. Enter
through Café Perrin’s brick-red door and into a mirage of color: original
art depicting bright flowers hung on seafoam-green walls.
dish/What's new in city dining
At Mozzaluna, the
Margherita, the classic Italian pizza made with tomato sauce, mozzarella,
basil, olive oil and oregano, comes in one size, medium.
Three new Walker’s
Point eateries embrace late-1800s décor with cutting-edge design that
relies upon craftsmanship using mostly salvaged materials. Flashy,
showy accents akin to many urban dining rooms are discarded in favor
of a cozy ambiance that’s in perfect pitch with its farm-to-table
Chef de Physique
eating and fitness guru Sarah Dusseau opened her Brookfield restaurant
with partner Renee Scheterie earlier this year, laughing that now her
daily workout is running a restaurant, a constant task with very few
breaks. Her delightfully trendy wine bar and up-tempo eatery is called
CafeOne24, named after the street where it’s located.
Reyes - Chef/Owner Revolucion Restaurant
from a long line of restaurateurs, Roberto Reyes, 41, strives to mix
innovative techniques with traditional Mexican recipes at his first
eatery: Revolucion Restaurant, near 29th Street and Morgan Avenue
on the South Side. Open since last fall, each menu item is labeled
with its origin state in Mexico.
Engel - Chef/owner
- Pastiche Bistro & Wine Bar
done his time in kitchens across metro Milwaukee, including The
Bartolotta Restaurant Group and Hotel Metro, Michael Engel at last
opened his own restaurant in March 2010. French flair at Pastiche
Bistro & Wine Bar is in every detail, from the cooking methods to
the wine selections.
feel like merely dining from a small plate with an accompanying wine.
Combine delicious meats, a touch of cheese and a good pour. What more
does one need on an almost-spring eve?
Out of the
Sometimes, to get
out of a rut, you have to think outside of the plate and detour from
familiar foods. Two years ago, TIME Magazine coined the phrase "discomfort
dining" to describe it, and a new
adventurous approach to eating out.
open houses, potlucks and parties are the perfect excuse for home
cooks to challenge themselves with new recipes, exotic ingredients and
savvy techniques. What better place to acquire these skills than from
the master, a chef?
The dish on
restaurant scene is always in a flux, whether due to the economy,
desire for something new or to update with the times. So what’s
happening these days in the local world of pots and pans?
speak - Peter
Sandroni - Chef/owner La Merenda
in 2007, Peter Sandroni’s awarding-winning La Merenda is a charming,
always bustling Walker’s Point tapas restaurant. La Merenda name
means "early snack," referring to the custom of early
evening socializing over small-plate dining and exquisite beverages.
one prefers George Webb’s classically simple buttermilk wheatcakes or
going all the way with International House of Pancakes’ Rooty Tooty
Fresh ‘n Fruity (done up with two eggs, two bacon strips, two pork
sausage links and two buttermilk pancakes knighted with strawberry
topping, warm blueberry or cinnamon apple compote and whipped dairy),
area breakfast lovers have a range of choices featuring this traditional
What can be said
about French onion soup that hasn’t been said before? Well, lots.
Especially since versions of this great dish have been around since
the ancient Romans, so there is always more to add to the story. The
soup started humbly, because onions were easy to grow and subsequently
plentiful in the good old days.
Kurt Fogle, the new pastry chef of the SURG Restaurant Group, has had
a charmed culinary career. Merely five years ago, he decided to pursue
his dream of being a pastry chef and enrolled in classes at the
renowned French Pastry School in Chicago.