Special Dinner in Milwaukee--suggestions
Zarletti, which I visited recently, has some good sized space for a group that size, the atmosphere is much more relaxed that some of the other good restaurants mentioned above. We loved the food and the service. There were some good sized groups that were clearly having fun when we were there on a Sat. Getto has reviewed; we only had the pasta, but I'm not complaining one bit.
If it were me, I would go to the Three Brothers. I *LOVED* this place when I visited in September. (So much so that I'm thinking of driving the 8+ hours RT just for another dinner here.) The burek is fantastic, and the roast duck made my husband so happy that even he wants to go back (he hates car travelling).
But it's tiny, so you'd definitely need reservations for 8 people. I think they only have one big table, though they could push two together.
Caveat: The restaurant was very quiet and cozy when I was there - not sure if it's condusive to a big noisy group. But if there's lots of slivovica flowing, I bet the place gets pretty lively.
Here's my post where I raved about all the good food I had in MKE, starting with the Three Brothers:
Have a nice celebration!
It's not clear whether or not you're ruling out "over the top fancy". The reason I ask is because Milwaukee has one of the finest restaurants in the entire Midwest: Sanford. Yes, it's dressy, and no, it's not inexpensive. But if you appreciate fine food, it's absolutely wonderful, and it's perfect for a special occasion. Every food lover in Milwaukee should go there at least once!
1547 N. Jackson Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Beyond that, I'm sure others here can make recommendations.
I've found Dennis Getto's reviews on the Journal-Sentinel's dining/entertainment website to be very reliable:
In particular, check out his articles on the best 30 restaurants in town (not all of which are "over the top fancy"):
as well as his article on best new restaurants in the past year:
Thanks for the info nsxtasy. I have been to Sanford, and agree it is sublime. I'm just thinking I need a place where we can be a little boisterous and party a bit and not annoy other diners too much. I did look at all the Ghetto things, and was hoping for a more "personal" recommendation from a fellow "chow-er". In particular I am wondering about Holiday House.