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Sep 11, 2007 05:34 PM

Milwaukee and Lake Winnebago recs please

Hi - We'll be in Milwaukee for a four day wedding weekend, coming from New York. We'll be travelling up to Lake Winnebago (Malone?) one day, but otherwise staying in the city. Going to McBob's Friday night before a show at the Pabst. Any other recommendations for the city or along the drive to the lake would be appreciated. Fun/local/breakfast/lunch - that type of thing. Oh, and delicious, of course!

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  1. Slim pickings in Malone but here are a few recs based on my recent experiences and recent move to the area. As far as Lake Winnebago recs I would actually travel to Elkhart Lake, a resort town, to Paddock for a Chicago like bistro experience, Kohler and eat at the American Club if price is no object to get some fantastic food, or even to Sheboygan and eat at Margaux. Had a fantastic dinner there one weekend. Most good/great dining options are going to be a good 20-30 minutes away from Malone. There are some Salty Seafood lover's on this board and IMHO can't recommend even though it's close to Malone. Hope this helps!

    4 Replies
    1. re: dl72

      I've been going to the Elkhart Lake area for years to attend the races at Road America just outside town. And believe it or not, I've driven through Malone out in what the locals call "the holy land" since every little town has a church. This info is way too late for lunabug but others might find it useful. As a foodie, I'd vote for the Paddock Club as the best place to eat in the area. It just opened this summer in a former redneck bar (Village Green) after extensive remodeling. The food, setting and service are outstanding.

      The new owners (4 local siblings) gutted the place and exposed original brick walls & maple floors, installed a 100 year old Brunswick bar and an open kitchen in the 100 year old building. It does have the feel of a Chicago or New York Bistro except without the attitude. All the menu items including sauces, soups, pasta and desserts are made right there. The chef Lynn Chisholm spent her last five years as executive sous chef at both Lake Park Bistro & Bacchus (both 4 star rated by the local paper) in Milwaukee before opening here. BTW if you are ever in Milwaukee both of these places are outstanding.

      Her menu is described as seasonal ingredients with European culinary traditions. I would call it just awesome. It is kind of like upscale American, Italian & French comfort food except the fish is so fresh it's heavenly. And how can you call a perfectly prepared gnocchi or risotto just comfort food? Everything we tried was just so good and certainly reflects her experience at two of the best restaurants in the Midwest. If the "braised pork belly" is on the menu, have it - it's fantastic. How she ever landed in this quaint little resort town is a mystery.

      I would highly recommend that anyone who is coming close to Elkhart Lake make a detour to enjoy this restaurant for dinner. There's little doubt that when it is discovered, it will be tough to find a seat in the 60 seat dining room. They have a website to check out and it has menus, hours and all that stuff.

      Bacchus-Bartolotta Restaurant
      925 E. Wells Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202

      Paddock Club
      61 Lake St, Elkhart Lake, WI 53020

      Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro
      3133 E. Newberry Blvd, Milwaukee, WI 53221

      1. re: dl72

        I, too, have been visiting Elkhart Lake, Plymouth, and Sheboygan for many, many years. I've posted a summary of all the many places I've been to in that area in the topic at

        If you don't want to bother clicking on the link, just go to Margaux, which is the place that dl72 recommended above. It's easily the very best place in the area, BY FAR. Just terrific in every way. It's one of those places where you read the menu on their website ( ) and everything sounds fantastic - and then you go and the food is even better than it sounded on the menu. If you are interested in reading a detailed report about a dinner I had there earlier this year, see the topic at I ate there again in August and it was every bit as good.

        I suppose I should mention that I haven't been to the Paddock Club, also mentioned here, which just opened a few months ago. I'll put that on my list for my visits during 2008. But you can bet that I'll be going back to Margaux as well...

        1. re: nsxtasy

          Your report on restaurants in the Sheboygan area was excellent. BTW Brio is closed. IMHO the best three restaurants in the Sheboygan area (the ones that could hold their own in Chicago) are Paddock Club, Stefano's & Margaux. The rest are OK but not top of the charts. I was surprised you didn't mention dining at Stefano's since he was the first real fine dining place in the area when he opened about 10-12 years ago.

          I like great food and consider a lively happening bar is essential to my dining experience. Although Margaux has an excellent wine list, I just don't like walking into a dining room and having to walk all the way through it to get to the bar. And the bar really is small.

          Stefano's bar is nice but sort of stuffy. Not really a place to hang out but perfect for drinks before dinner. The Paddock Club has a killer antique bar, awesome wine list with about 16+ by the glass and live classy music on Friday night.

          They all have great food yet all are different. Margaux's style is eclectic, Stefano has some of the best Italian food in the Midwest and the Paddock Club is innovative new American with touches of Italian & French. Perfect for a three night stay in the area. And for those of us that have been coming to the area a welcome change from 15 or more years ago when it was all brats & broasted chicken!

          Give the Paddock Club a whirl on your next trip and report your findings. Good hounding.........

          1. re: twistnolive

            Thanks for the additional info.

            This is the first I have heard of Stefano's (I assume this is Trattoria Stefano in downtown Sheboygan). I can't find a website for them (grrr...) and I don't see them listed on the tourism bureau's website at Italian isn't always my favorite; I usually like it when I have it and it's good, but it's not something I seek out (the way I do with contemporary American, French, Thai, Mexican, etc). And of course, living here in Chicago, I never bother with pizza when I'm out of town. I'll keep Stefano's in mind, but I'll hit the Paddock Club first.

            FWIW, I love great food, but I'm not much of a drinker and don't really care about the bar areas. Different strokes, of course.

            Yes, years ago there wasn't nearly as much variety in the area. Mostly standard American fare, although you could get some reasonably good prime rib and such even then, at Bruce's and 52 Stafford and also Citystreets, which was the first place I remember in the new riverfront/lakefront development.

      2. You probably already know that McBob's isn't in downtown, so I'd plan your dinner accordingly in order to get downtown for your show at the Pabst.
        Lake Park Bistro is a beautiful restaurant that is right on Lake Drive in Milwaukee.The High-Hat and Trocadero has a nice brunch.
        You need to at least see the Art Museum with the Calatrava addition right on the Lake.Pier Wisconsin(Discovery World) is right across fromt the Art Museum.
        I haven't ate there but Coast is right across the street from the museum. Bacchus is also near, and I have ate there and it is a wonderful dining experience.
        There are a variety of restaurants along the Milwaukee River downtown and in the Third Ward. Water Buffalo is one. The Hinterland Brewing Company out of Green Bay is opening a new upscale restaurant in the Third Ward, this week. ( 9/16,Erie St)You can search to get a better idea of points of interest.

        1758 N Water St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

        Hi Hat Lounge
        1701 N Arlington Pl, Milwaukee, WI 53202

        Milwaukee Art Museum
        700 N Art Museum Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202

        Discovery World
        500 N Harbor Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202

        931 E. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53202

        Bacchus-Bartolotta Restaurant
        925 E. Wells Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202

        Water Buffalo
        249 N Water St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

        1. Try Salty's in Fond du Lac. It was one of my favorite places for lunch in all of WI.

          1. Milwaukee has a high-end restaurant that is absolutely spectacular, world-class quality food as good as you'll find anywhere (I had one of the best dinners in my entire life there):

            Sanford Restaurant
            1547 N. Jackson Street
            Milwaukee, WI 53202
            (414) 276-9608

            1 Reply
            1. re: nsxtasy

              Yes, Sanford's is fantastic. Sandy D'Amato also has the Coquette Cafe, a French bistro type restaurant that is also very good, in a different way. Not overly expensive but always a consistent good meal.

              Coquette Cafe
              316 N Milwaukee St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

            2. Hi,

              Here's a recent thread in reply to a fellow New Yorker's query. There's a fair amount about State Fair and Miller, but the posts on Three Brothers and the german restaurants might be of interest.