Pewaukee restaurant gets artisanal makeover

By Katherine Michalets - Special to The Freeman

Feb. 12, 2015

PEWAUKEE - Nearly 99 percent of the food served at Artisan 179 in downtown Pewaukee is made in-house, said Executive Chef Rich Sweed, who was hired in November with the intent of transforming Lakefront Grille.

Last Thursday was the official re-launch for the restaurant that has sought a new identity since it was Piano Blu, he said. Owners Carrie and Dale Boehm remain, as well as Ted Anderson, managing partner.

Sweed previously was the executive chef at The Legend of Bristlecone. The idea was to revamp the menu and the restaurant’s atmosphere to have an artisan, hand-crafted feel. Except for a few things, such as bread and some of the dry pastas and mustards, Sweed said the staff makes everything at Artisan 179, from the truffles to the syrups used for cocktails. Meat and poultry is also free range or grass fed, and much of it comes from local producers.

Sweed said Artisan 179 is where “artistry and food unite.”

“All of our walls are redecorated; it’s all local artists hung on our walls,” he said.

The intent for the menu was to keep it unique. The “Bar Snack” category includes roasted edamame, chicken wings with Siracha hot sauce, crispy pork belly with parsnip puree and ramen with broth that takes two days to make. Sweed said the dinner menu has small plates and entrees such as braised short rib. The Cuban sandwich is made from pork smoked in-house. There is also an adult milk and cookies option for dessert with homemade cookies and a Maker’s Mark vanilla bourbon shake.

“We are 100 mph all of the time,” he said. “We believe in the concept and what we want it to be.”