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Oct 12, 2009 06:30 AM

Milwaukee dining?

I'm based out of the Twin Cities, though I'm in Milwaukee pretty frequently because my girlfriend is currently going to school there. We''re looking for some dining recommendations for when I visit. I'm a chef, and she's a big foodie, so the more adventurous the better. We're open to just about anything though. So far we've been to Cempazuchi on Brady Street, and and Café Hollander on Downer Ave.. Suggestions ranging from fine-dining to hole-in-the-wall diners would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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  1. We have always had a great experience at The Hinterland, both for fine dining and the separate lounge menu. Menu changes daily and uses fresh fish flown in from both coasts.
    We also Like Branded and Smyth restaurants in the Iron Horse

    1 Reply
    1. re: Living4fun

      I'll second it. We're also from Minneapolis and thought the food in the lounge area was excellent when we visited a few months back. Tough to provide reco's on specific dishes as the menu does change frequently, as the previous poster said. The lounge is based primarily on small plates, we had a great time trying a number of different dishes. The space is cool too.

      If you're looking for breakfast / brunch spots, I'd recommend Trocadero. We really liked the food and bloody mary options were really nice as well. During the summer months, the patio is fantastic.

      1758 N Water St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

      Hinterland Erie Street Gastropub
      222 E Erie Street, Suite 100, Milwaukee, WI 53202

    2. If you're a fan of mexican, moles in particular, Jalapeno Loco on Layton, across from the airport. We just made another visit there last weekend. The Oaxacan version of the chile relleno was great, the moles always good, and as "insane" as it sounds Hugo's "insane special" combining habanero and bleu cheese is really hot and really good.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mike_d

        Of all the 5th Ward Mexican restaurants, Botanas was by far the best and (from what I hear) very authentic Mexican restaurant in that particular area! Great outdoor seating (for warm weather) and lots of dining space indoors!

        Botanas Restaurant
        816 S 5th St, Milwaukee, WI 53204

      2. I'm starting to feel like a broken record (remember records?) when it comes to this place, but I really think that Meritage on Vliet St between 59th & 60th is one of the most interesting reataurants in Milwaukee, The food is excellent, the atmosphere is relaxed. and it is not at all expensive.

        5921 W Vliet St, Milwaukee, WI 53208

        2 Replies
        1. re: Fydeaux

          Fydeaux - Someday I will do Meritage & promise to report back.

          amgarrison - a search on Milwaukee will yield a plethora of great food finds. You can not be bored in this town...

          1. re: Fydeaux

            I will second you in support of Meritage. Chef Kelly has fantastic vision -- and it's one of the best places in the city to experience local, seasonal dining. Kelly belongs to the local RSA program through Braise, and sources up to 75% of her ingredients locally. In addition to having a great little patio spot in the summer, the restaurant offers $4 tapas deals on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.

            5921 W Vliet St, Milwaukee, WI 53208

          2. Just a few thoughts for you….hope you enjoy exploring Milwaukee and its food!

            For all out fine dining, both Sanford and Bacchus have not disappointed me.

            Bosley on Brady—seafood, fine dining atmosphere….but not over the top in terms of price

            Crazy Water—also great seafood, small, casual atmosphere, open kitchen/view of the chef…you might find that fun.

            Roots downtstairs bar—“Roots Cellar”—We have always eaten in the casual bar area. Food is great (and creative) and the best view of the city around.

            Swig is fun for small plate dining.

            If you don’t mind driving to Tosa…I love Le Reve for lunch!

            It’s been a while, but I did always enjoy Balzac for their wine selection and tasty small plates. I am not sure how the quality has fared over the last year or so.

            This doesn’t meet the adventurous criteria…but both Water Street Brewery & Milwaukee Ale House are fun places to go to enjoy locally brewed beer and to eat affordable, yet tasty American food. In the same realm, I also like Twisted Fork for casual food.

            I will second the vote for checking out the Iron Horse hotel. I have only eaten in the bar--Branded, but it was great and have heard nothing but good things about Smyth.

            2 Replies
            1. re: bte576

              Twisted Fork is a very nice restaurant that rarely gets mentioned here for some reason.

              And Le Reve is excellent for dinner too.

              Twisted Fork
              2238 N Farwell Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202

              1. re: Fydeaux

                I tend to forget about the entrees at Twisted Fork…as their appetizers and sandwiches/burgers are so good….but yes, it is good all around!

                I have wondered how the dinners were at Le thanks for the recommendation.

            2. Anmol on Mitchell St. Pakistani/Indian. They don't serve liquor. Hole in the wall, but the food is phenomenal. I recently moved from MKE back to the TC and Anmol is one of the few things I miss.

              Anmol Restaurant
              711 W Historic Mitchell St, Milwaukee, WI 53204