Wolfgang Schaefer has an announcing about Milwaukee’s restaurant scene that sums it up better than any outsider ever should: From comfort meals to best-dining, it is “exquisite and approachable,” a sound asleep giant that does not take itself too seriously.
“You can goof off and get shit carried out at the identical time right here,” explains the lifelong Wisconsinite. “That’s the Midwestern way—make first-rate meals, deal with people nicely, and have a ball doing it.”
If you watched that sounds a touch too laid-back, you actually haven’t been to Uncle Wolfie’s Breakfast Tavern, the normal brunch eatery Schaefer opened together with his wife, Whitney, on the tail end of 2018. Chef Joe Singer excels at elevating familiar objects, from a crepe-like omelette—with sweet potatoes whipped right into the egg wash, clean avocado and residence-made chorizo for its fillings, and a coup de grâce crown of mango and raspberry salsa—to a stacked multi-grain sandwich of bacon, smashed avocado, balsamic-roasted tomatoes, discipline vegetables, and thick-cut, beet-cured salmon.
Uncle Wolfie’s ought to forestall proper there and maintain its seats filled, however, Whitney additionally runs one of Milwaukee’s great life-style stores (Orange & Blue Co.) in the back of its sunny Brewer’s Hill space. What better way to cope with an extended wait at the weekends than a tightly curated series of clothing, earrings, and self-care scents, oils, and serums, proper? It absolutely shows how a long way Cream City has come from its supper golf equipment and steakhouses.
“I moved back to Milwaukee in 2012 after being long gone for decades,” says Whitney, “and fell in love—for the primary time, absolutely. A pal took me to this tiny eating place that had simply opened known as Centro Cafe. The tables fast stuffed up with flavorful bruschettas, bowls of handmade pasta, glasses of wine, and chocolate cake. I felt at domestic there; the seafood risotto turned into paying homage to something I could are becoming off the Adriatic Coast in Italy. It became then that I started to understand the lifestyles I ought to create for myself on this metropolis.
Chef Dan Jacobs has had a comparable revel in view that leaving his longtime home of Chicago in 2011. “I by no means planned on staying in Milwaukee, but it sunk its tooth into me and my wife very difficult. I find it irresistible here; the eating scene has come sooo a long way from what it was eight years in the past. If I were to move now, there are 20 places I might need to work for.”
Luckily he mustn’t choose. Jacobs and Green Bay native Dan Van Rite helm three very special eating places in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward: the frisky Chinese-American fare of DanDan, the experimental multi-direction food of Esterel, and the Fleetwood Mac-scored French meals of the newly opened Fauntleroy.
“[Fauntleroy’s] soundtrack is a number of our favorite music,” explains Jacobs. “It jogs my memory of using around in the back seat of my dad’s automobile, paying attention to Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, and The Who.”
Not every body receives it. In many ways, Fauntleroy’s tropical indoors and luxurious ’70s look—more glam-rock than glamorous—stands in stark contrast to its preceding tenant, the almost 20-yr-antique French bistro Coquette Cafe.
“We took the opportunity to modernize it,” says Jacobs, “to present Milwaukee some thing new.”
“For Coquette regulars,” provides Van Rite, “it’s like going to the identical place for breakfast every day, then a person takes it over and it is simply not the identical factor. Our hope is that they will come around to present our model a chance; it is scrumptious.”
No kidding. A limited lunch menu gives a masterful croque madame, an umami-packed French onion soup (way to mushroom inventory and miso), and a Grand Royale burger offering German butterkäse cheese, brisket patties, special sauce, and a pile of thoroughly ideal fries. Meanwhile, dinner stretches its objectives to a caviar service, hen liver eclairs, and two-character take on duck an l’orange, entire with leg confit, foie gras, dry-elderly breast meat, grilled hearts, and contrasting waves of citrus, crunchy potatoes, and lightly dressed vegetables. The only issue lacking is Mick Jagger, sitting across from you with a massive smile on his face.
One fairly recent Milwaukee eating place that becomes a fulfillment proper from the begin is Odd Duck. Melissa Buchholz and chef/co-owner Ross Bachhuber were so blown away by way of the overpowering response from their 2012 opening that the couple removed its lunch service and massive plates absolutely. Bachhuber can now be determined to careen among culinary styles and cultures inside the sprawling Animal and Vegetable sections of his ever-evolving menu. Our spring visit revealed such immediate standouts as a fiddlehead fern fricassee, Oaxacan fried eggplant, and nasi lemak rounded out with the aid of pandan rice, fried oyster mushrooms, chili sambal, peanuts, a car pickles, and a tough-cooked egg.