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Trending: Barrel-aged cocktails
If you are seeking a cocktail with character, you might want to turn to barrel-aged cocktails. "The barrels import all kinds of flavors like caramel and nut," says Kimberly Floyd, owner of Boone and Crockett.
Favorite Places within the city limits
Who doesn’t enjoy the thrill of discovering a new restaurant, but there are a multitude of established restaurants in the city that are worth keeping on the short list. 
Culinary concoctions
Area bartenders are blending food and booze into recipes that are as complex and delicious as some of the most delicately crafted dishes coming out of the restaurant kitchen.
The dish on dining
At Salotto Zarletti, Brian Zarletti’s latest venture, everything is made from scratch, from the cream-stuffed burrata cheese to the wood-fired pizzas. The only exclusion is the gluten-free pasta, which is made in Madison.

Festival Foodie Finds
The Milwaukee restaurant scene may have come into its own over the past few years, but plenty of foodies will agree some of the best local cuisine can only be found on the city’s summer festival circuit.
Chef Spotlight
As the grandson of Vincent "Jimmy" DeMarinis, the son of Josephine DeMarinis and nephew of Rosemary DeMarinis — the original cooks at Mama DeMarinis — Vincent DeMarinis grew up around great Italian food. His family lived upstairs from the legendary Bay View pizzaria, and at 12 years old he started in the family business washing dishes.
Dish on dining
Just in time for summer, a new bistro, beer gastropub, creperie and bakery join the ever-expanding South Side dining scene.
Gluten-free dining
For celiacs and those who suffer gluten intolerance, dining out used to mean a plain chicken breast or burger — no bun or bread — and maybe some plain veggies.
Global influences
The sound of a crowded restaurant — the low rumble of chatter, staccato chimes of flatware and glass, and the muffled fanfare of shouting in the kitchen — overtakes us as we pass through the door. 
'A' for Ardent
Chef Justin Carlisle’s Ardent restaurant opened last fall and is already receiving critical acclaim. Ardent is one of 30 new restaurants in the country to be named a semifinalist for a prestigious James Beard Award, which will be announced in early May.
The perfect balance
I’ve always harbored a bias for the underdog. I prefer Milwaukee to New York City. I frequent quaint neighborhood joints over expensive flashy ones.
Global flavors, Locally sourced ingredients
You don’t often hear the word "hip" preceding the words "German restaurant," but that’s exactly what the newly opened Cafe Bavaria is. The newest addition to the Lowlands Group is adjacent to the group’s Wauwatosa outpost of Cafe Hollander.
Super Pretzels
The humble pretzel is riding a new wave of popularity, a boon to Milwaukee’s Miller Baking Co., where pretzel products have been produced since 1920. 

Beer Hall, Stilt House and Troop Cafe
Lakefront Brewery’s Palm Garden isn’t just for Friday nights anymore. The new brew-tastic restaurant, Lakefront Beer Hall, is open weekdays during brewery tours, with counter service and full service on Friday nights for its famed fish fry.

Monday brunch
Stuffed hash browns. Apple turnover bread pudding French toast. Fried chicken and waffles. Brunch. It’s not just for Sundays anymore.
Master of mixology
They may not have the star power of the top chefs but mixologists are beginning to make a name for themselves. Leading the charge is Adam Seger, a mixologist before most of us had ever even heard the word and certainly before it became cool.

Cafe Vocar, Wayward Kitchen, TOCHI
Chef and restaurateur Michael Vocar’s namesake restaurant is a dream nine years in the making. He purchased the Riverwest building and remodeled it slowly, opening Cafe Vocar late last year. "I come from a cooking family," Vocar says. 

Chef Speak: Andrew Miller/Executive Chef, HOM
Andrew Miller began his culinary career by doing odd jobs for a mom-and-pop restaurant in Naperville, Ill. This Culinary Institute of America grad enjoyed the restaurant business so much that he spent most of his first paychecks visiting fine dining establishments to train his palate.

Jazz joints
On the second Monday of the month, the Rhythm Aces generally get in the groove from 6 to 9 p.m. Plus, who knows who else might show up with an additional sax. 924 E. Juneau Ave., (414) 271-4220.

Pubs, Italian Fare among the Newest Offerings
The holiday glow might be fading but don’t let the cold winter dampen your cheer. Head out to some of Milwaukee’s newest restaurants and nightspots to brighten your spirits: think beer-focused, Italian-centric, plus a new speakeasy.

Feed your soul
In the spirit of the season, artists from "The Nutcracker" and local executive chefs share fond memories of the holidays and the foods they love.
 

Milwaukee influenced
Although Shorewood native Rachel Miller Munzer came of age working in restaurants, starting with a job at Hubbard Park Lodge when she was just 14, she says she never dreamed one day she would own one. "I always knew I wanted to own a small business, but never thought it would be a restaurant," she says.
 

Wisconsin coast to coast
People in other parts of the country are discovering what Wisconsinites have known all along — a friendly demeanor and the liberal use of cheese is an almost guaranteed recipe for success. From New York City to the Pacific Northwest, it seems there’s a Midwest food renaissance taking place.

 

Foodie trip
Love food. Will travel. That’s sort of been my motto, and I’ve traveled far and wide to indulge my passion. Though I’ve enjoyed sipping sake with a Buddhist monk and his family in Japan and delighted in tasting bilberry and cardamom ice cream in Finland with the ice cream maker, some of the best foodie trips I’ve discovered are much closer to home. Here are four Wisconsin destinations you’ll want to visit and indulge.
 

Great wines for any budget
If you’re looking for a special wine for a big celebration or just a bottle of red to go with take-out pizza, local wine pros have got you covered. Here are their picks for their favorite high-end wines as well as their go-to vino that’s priced right.
 

Eat Local
For one of the most impressive breakfasts in town head to Blue’s Egg (317 N. 76th St.) As the name suggests, the house specialty is omelette and Benedict dishes. But you won’t go wrong with the other breakfast items such as blueberry pancakes,
crepes and hand-cut hash browns.

 

The year in dining
The year in Milwaukee dining can be summed up in these terms: good wine, hand-crafted cocktails and small plates in a casual atmosphere. With the laid-back yet hip vibe of so many of the city’s new restaurants, it’s not surprising most are clustered in the burgeoning food mecca that is Walker’s Point. Here are 15 notable new establishments that have opened since last fall.
 

All kinds of new
If you’ve 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.
 

Chef Spotlight: Eli Murphy/Executive Chef - Honeypie
Eli Murphy 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.
 

Chef Speak: Brian Zarletti
Brian 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.
 

Oyster Fest
Did you 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 bars.
 

'Cue fix
When it 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 spots.
 

Chef Speak: Thi Cao
Buckley’s 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.
 


Chef 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."

Jackson's, Millioke, Blaze and Lucky Joe's Tiki Room
Jackson’s 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.

Unique pizza
Pizza. Warm, goey, chewy … oozing with cheese, overflowing with toppings, backed by a zippy red sauce and supported by a perfect crust. But deciding on what makes a crust perfect, which pizza maker does it better and who delivers it faster can be the subject of many passionate arguments, er, discussions. Just about everyone I’ve encountered has a favorite pizzeria.

Chef Speak: Grant Slauterbeck
Grant 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.

Cider rising
Bob Purman 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.
 

Bay view
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.

Wine, Cakes and Spirits
"Hot 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 fine.

Gasthaus blends German classics with contemporary favorites
WAUKESHA – Weissgerber’s Gasthaus has been a prominent part of the Waukesha community for 30 years.

Downtown Waukesha restaurant honored for perfect cleanliness

WAUKESHA - A downtown restaurant that features gluten-free food has attained the rare accomplishment of capturing perfect cleanliness scores from the Waukesha County Division of Environmental Health for two consecutive years.
Take me out to the ball game
Whether you crave Irish-pub fare or BBQ, or even Italian food from a storied restaurant family, many restaurants offer free shuttle service to Milwaukee Brewers home games at Miller Park. (Opening Day is April 1.) What’s in it for you? Not just a free ride, and your being freed from the angst of finding a parking spot or springing for the stadium’s parking fees.

Fork In The Road
MUKWONAGO - Yogi Berra once said, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” So when you come to the fork at the intersection of Hwy 83 and County Road ES in Mukwonago, take it to Fork in the Road restaurant located at 215 N. Rochester Street.

Chef Speak - Bryan Phillips
For Bryan 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.
Beer gardens
There’s 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!

BBQ, Bier, BelAir and The Bay

Flowers 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.
Chef Speak/Tyler Mader
Tyler Mader 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. 

Jazz cafe, Mexican fusion and a Milwaukee Carson's 
There seems 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.

Wine bars, sushi and 'cue
With spring’s warmer temps on the horizon, several new restaurants, coffee shops and bars debuted — even during the cold snaps of winter. The Ruby Tap (1341 Wauwatosa Ave., Wauwatosa), which actually opened in August, ushered in the frenzy with a new concept: wine on tap and wine dispensers.

Taste/Chef Speak: Thomas Peschong - Executive Chef, Turner Hall
From 1990 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.

Chef Speak/Ross Bachhuber

Odd Duck 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.

Fiesta Mexicana

Mexican 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.

Casual eats and a North Woods retreat
A new collection of casual-eats restaurants opened in late winter and early spring, ensuring there wasn’t an awkward pause in the flurry of new restaurant openings.

Chef Speak: Scott Pampuch - The Iron Horse Hotel

Scott 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 began.

The Dish: Nines at the River Club of Mequon
I ordered 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.

The dish/What's new in city dining: Joey Gerard's
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.

Cruisin' for cuisine
Hop on 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.

The Dish/What's new in city dining: Wild Earth Cucina Italiana
Wild Earth 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.

Milwaukee's Italian dining scene

For the 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.

Just Dessert
Sarah 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 13th. Is it any wonder that Mironczuk was a recent winner on the Food Network’s "Sweet Genius," a show where chefs concoct competitive desserts, that was also taped on a Friday the 13th with a Halloween theme and Sarah’s winning dish was a cake shaped like a tarantula?

The year in dining
Returning to his native Wisconsin after cooking with Michel Richard at Citronelle in Washington, D.C., was never a question — he always intended on it. Thomas Hauck, chef owner of c. 1880, on a corner along bustling 1st Street in Walker’s Point, uses his restaurant as a culinary laboratory where he pickles, preserves and dehydrates.


Chef club
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.

Chef Speak>>William Doyle: Executive Chef/InterContinental Milwaukee
InterContinental-Milwaukee 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. Taking over this past spring, his kitchen at the downtown hotel overflows with the flavorful.

The 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. The ever-changing menu is no small feat when one considers he serves the likes of Lamb with Baba Ganoush and Pita Panzanella.

Sweet suites
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. Rocket Baby Bakery’s French-blue storefront beckons from busy North Avenue in Wauwatosa.

The dish/What's new in city dining: Mozzaluna
At Mozzaluna, the Margherita, the classic Italian pizza made with tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil, olive oil and oregano, comes in one size, medium. Actually, all the pizzas on the menu are one size fits all. People who like a thick, chewy crust, smothered with chunky tomato sauce and topped with a thick layer of mozzarella, will love this one.

The dish/What's new in city dining: Odd Duck
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 palate-pleasing surprises. They play with flavors here. Even the bar snacks listed on a chalkboard piqued curiosity, especially the Bacon-Almond-Caramel-Corn.
The dish/What's new in city dining: Espana Tapas House
"We’re bringing Spain to you," our server says as we settle into a window table at Espana Tapas House. Our smiles broaden as we look around at the brightly painted walls and matching red tablecloths.

Chef Speak: Chef de Physique - Sarah Dusseau - Chef/Co-owner CafeOne24
Clean 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.

The dish/What's new in city dining: The Noble
I would eat cat food if they dressed it with a sauce and served it at The Noble. In this small space with six tables and eight seats at the bar, we found food nirvana. We also found it busy on a Friday night. As we waited in chairs behind the espresso machine — the waiting room — we noted a bookcase with some old books.

The dish/What's new in city dining: Hamburger Mary's
Lolling on the lanai. Psych advice. Gluten-free bread. Half-pound Angus burgers. What more does one need during summer in Bay View?
Dock and Dine
Do you have a boat? Does a friend of yours own a boat? If you have access to a pontoon or other watercraft some night this summer, consider ditching the car for a leisurely ride up or down the Milwaukee River.

Beat the heat
Perspiration should be reserved for beading along the outside of a iced mug or glass. When beating summer’s heat, area mixologists have many tricks up their sleeves. Whether wanting chilled, twirled, mingled, shaken or stirred, ask and you shall receive.

Chef Speak: Matt Baier - Dream Dance Steak
Chef Matt Baier of Dream Dance Steak relates how his mother told him he liked to cook since he was a youngster helping her in the kitchen. His parents were instrumental in laying the foundation for his interest in food. Baier, his brother and sister helped in the family’s half-acre garden, from which they canned most of what they grew.

The dish/ What's new in city dining : The Smoke Shack
It looks like a shack. Duh. That’s why the owners Joe and Angie Sorge named it Smoke Shack. We knew we were in the right neighborhood when we got out of the car and detected the sweet smell of a hard-working smoker.

Chef Speak: Roberto Reyes - Chef/Owner Revolucion Restaurant
Coming 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.

The dish/What's new in city dining : Braise
I felt juicy anticipation after several conversations with friends who had already dined at Braise, a new restaurant on South Second Street. Every bite exceeded expectations.

Cafe One 24
Portion control? It’s not the first thing I think to mention when I speak about a restaurant. At Cafe One 24 it’s on the menu. Well, not explicitly expressed, but implied in executive chef Sarah Dusseau’s philosophical musings about her restaurant. She comes from a fitness background. 

The Rumpus Room
On my visit to The Rumpus Room gastropub, a quick look at the bar confirmed the "pub," and my first bite of the Scotch Egg confirmed the "gastro." The interior of the latest Bartolotta restaurant group endeavor combines the look of an elderly English pub with dark walls, dark furniture and wonderful scarred hardwood floors, with a long bar and an impressive collection of spirits displayed on the back wall.


Epicurian escapes
You could go American for brunch — eggs, bacon and pancakes — but why not opt for edibles off the beaten path and take a virtual vacation? Several of Milwaukee’s ethnic eateries, whether German, Dutch, Italian or Irish, don’t hold back on creativity — without losing hold of tradition — when devising their breakfast menus.

The dish/What's new in city dining

Everyone’s doing it — serving locally grown, organic, healthful food. Parkside 23 owners took that premise a step further when they planted a 10,000-square-foot organic garden a stone’s throw from the restaurant. PS23 combines the best of casual dining with exceptional food prepared to enhance natural flavors. There’s no designer food here that requires an explanation from your server.

Stack’d Burger Bar
At Stack’d Burger Bar, the owners literally mean "stacked." The Build-Your-Own Stack’d Burger puts the consumer in charge of the sandwich. It’s all clearly stated on the menu, reading step by step.
 

          





















 







 

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