Chef Spotlight
When the Anaba Tea Room closed last year and Tochi Ramen opened in its place, Chef Gregg DesRosier knew that it might take a while for regular customers to accept the change. But accept it, they did — and in droves — as Tochi has served 50,000 bowls of ramen in its first year. DesRosier sat down with M Magazine to discuss the changes, his travels to Asia and his love of Japanese mayo.
Bartenders who cook
Whether it’s shaking a perfect martini, infusing bourbon with bacon or figuring out how to put a new spin on the classic old-fashioned, savvy bartenders not only know their way around a bar, but many times, they also know their way around a kitchen.
The dish on dining
This East Side coffee house and wine bar, which is kitty-corner from Sanford Restaurant, serves up delicious breakfast burritos and homemade quiches.
Bloody brilliant
Burke’s most popular bloody mary, the Lazy Susan, sits on exactly what its name suggests — a Lazy Susan.
A passion for the plate
The chefs and owners of this month’s featured new restaurants all have turned their singular enthusiasm for exceptional food into four equally exceptional yet quite diverse dining experiences.
The chef's table
From the street it looks like just another brick building in Milwaukee’s Fifth Ward. There’s no sign, marquee or anything else outside to let you know that this is the site of one of Milwaukee’s newest and most innovative restaurants.
Dish on dining
In Story Hill, the latest story is, well, Story Hill BKC, with the B standing for Bottle (wine), the K standing for Kitchen (food) and the C standing for Cup (coffee). Dan Sidner and his partner Joe Muench, who own Blue’s Egg and Maxie’s Southern Comfort, purchased a building at 5100 W. Bluemound Road that used to be a uniform store.
The Blind Horse Restaurant and Winery
The black granite bar gleams against the stonewalls and burnished woodwork in a space that was once a run-down barn. Barrels and bottles of cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel and chardonnay are paired with cheeses, chocolates and small plates.
Meet Justin Aprahamian
Justin Aprahamian had big shoes to fill when he purchased Sanford from legendary chef Sandy D’Amato in 2012, but the Waukesha County Technical School graduate has filled them well.
Savvy steak houses
Paleo-dieters and related meat lovers do well around greater Milwaukee, where staking out steak houses is an ongoing hunt. The following are among the area’s best — all places where the meat cuts are thick and juicy, the vegetable sides are fresh, the bread is warm and quality beverages are abundant.
Vegetarian Challenge
Any professional chef worth his apron can invent a tasty vegetarian recipe. But what happens if you limit the amount of ingredients and then make the chef use locally sourced products?
Cuisine craze: What's in, What's out
Chefs know that foods come and go, although the lines between what’s in and what’s out are always blurry. "Food trends are like any other trend ­— they typically become the norm as restaurants try to keep up with each other.
Dining in 2014
If there was one word to sum up this year’s dining trends, it would be fun. Fun with beer. Fun with ice cream. Fun with ramen. Milwaukee continues to be a casual city, and if you dress in jeans, you won’t feel out of place at Ardent, Salotto Zarletti or Goodkind. Feeling comfortable is a mainstay of Milwaukee restaurants.
Strange brews
Carrots. Oysters. Chocolate. Foods that show up in gourmet dishes are now finding their way into bottles. Bottles of beer, that is. "I think as brewers are looking to differentiate themselves, they’re turning to the kitchen for inspiration," says beer chef Lucy Saunders, author of the new book "Dinner in the Beer Garden."
Tasty Tutorial
It was lobsterfest at Cuisine. My lobster tail arrived perfectly poached with drawn butter, potatoes Anna and crisp, green spears of asparagus. My server was attentive, refreshing my iced tea before I could ask, and in between bites and conversation, I watched my chefs prepare the food on a giant television screen showing the kitchen.
Dish on dining
Beer, breakfasts and (freshly) brewed coffee — three of my favorite B’s. Add a local focus, and you’ll have this month’s three featured restaurants.
Burger blitz
Milwaukee restaurants serve up some pretty spectacular burgers. Most of these tasty patties feature cheese, a good bun and maybe some onions or mushrooms. But some places go crazy with wild flavors and exotic ingredients. Here are some of the most unusually delicious burgers.
Great dining beyond Downtown
Milwaukee is home to some pretty amazing restaurants, but so are its suburbs, and great new restaurants are opening on a regular basis. But while I’m always intrigued by new places, there are some restaurants that continue to delight. Here are some favorites:
Follow the three R's: Research, Read and Request
All this back-to-school hoopla reminds me of the other three R’s. Sure, reading, writing and arithmetic are important life skills, but having mastered those lessons, you’re ready to learn the other three R’s — research, read and request — to order wine at a restaurant.
Dish on Dining
Barbecue, home cooking, real gastropub drinks and fare, and coffee with pizza all headline the new places that have opened these past few months.
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 ( 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,

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.




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