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Sep 17, 2010 09:13 AM

Milwaukee dowtown near Riverside Theatre

Going to a show at Riverside Theatre, staying at the Pfister. Looking for something casual but good, within easy walking distance. Mason Street Grill looks interesting but might be a little pricey? Pasta, seafood, sandwiches... almost anything. Actually, I love upscale bar food. Appreciate any help.

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  1. Try searching for Milwaukee St., which is between the Pfister and the Riverside. Pasta, sushi, cuban, steak..... All exist in that one block. Elsa's on the Park, just north of you, high-end sandwiches in bar. You're in the one place (okay, I'm exaggerating) where you've got tons of options within walking distance.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mike_d

      While they don't serve true dinner food...there is a great wine bar on Milwaukee Street as well with delicious cheese and meat plates. Indulge is the name. I have made a meal out of it before, but you could try pairing that with another stop with an appetizer at a bar.

      Funny...we're heading to an upcoming show at the Riverside and I was just thinking, where should we eat?

      1. re: bte576

        When did it open? Did it replace Carnevor?

        724 N Milwaukee St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

        1. re: mike_d

          It has been there for a few replaced a coffee shop I believe.

          Indulge - Milwaukee
          708 N. Milwaukee Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202

    2. I was in that area a few weeks ago. I crossed the river and walked five blocks south to Hinterland, in the Third Ward. I liked it a lot. And you can stop at the Public Market on the way.

      1. We had tickets to a show at the Riverside on Sunday night last weekend. After reading this thread, we walked over to Milwaukee Street to find a pre-show dinner. We were stunned to discover that just about every restaurant in that area was closed on Sunday. I think I saw one Ethiopian place open. Can any Milwaukee resident shed some light - is this normal or was something going on?

        We ended up going to Port of Call Bistro on Wells Street, about a block or so north of the theatre. Enjoyed it quite a bit, actually, so it turned out to be a happy turn of events. But still weird to see that street so highly recommended looking like a ghost town.

        Port of Call Restaurant
        30420 E Johnswood Rd, Drummond Island, MI 49726

        5 Replies
        1. re: shaja

          Some restaurants are closed on Sundays. Ones that are in or close to downtown, and thus to some extent dependent on (or, at least, helped by) the presence of those who work downtown, may have fewer potential customers close by on Sundays and thus may be more likely to be closed that evening. But even some restaurants in outlying neighborhoods and the suburbs may be closed. Calling in advance for reservations will turn up those that are closed; if that's not possible, it's a good idea to at least check in advance on the hours of any particular place(s) you're interested in before actually going there.

          1. re: shaja

            Glad to see you enjoyed Port of Call! It's one of those places I really enjoy eating at, but always seem to forget about when I'm brainstorming restaurant ideas. Their gorgonzola grilled cheese is super tasty. I need to make a note to myself to go there for dinner before the show that I'm going to at the Riverside next weekend!

            Just out of curiousity, which way did you go on Milwaukee Street? North of the theater, there's not a ton of restaurants (at least until you get up by Cathedral Square), and the ones that are there are geared to the work week office crowd. But if you go south on Milwaukee into the Third Ward, the restaurants in that area should have been open. It's a much more residential and shopping area versus the offices and whatnot of right along Wisconsin Avenue.

            1. re: mse924

              >> if you go south on Milwaukee into the Third Ward, the restaurants in that area should have been open.

              Not necessarily. Some of the restaurants in the Third Ward are indeed closed on Sundays, including arguably the two best and most well-known, Hinterland and Coquette Cafe.

              1. re: mse924

                Which way on Milwaukee Street (Sorry, can't figure out how to quote from previous post}

                From in front of the theatre, we walked east along Wisconsin to Milwaukee St., north on Milwaukee (and, we agree about Zarletti's as we have eaten there before), west on Mason, north on Water (where we paused and semi-seriously considered trying the Safe House out of sheer frustration but Mr. Shaja's phone wasn't cooperating to Google the password). We thought about just staying on Water and going up to the Water Street Brewery, but we were getting worried about time. We tthen noticed a place across the river on Wells had their lights on. So we headed west on Wells and made our happy discovery at Port of Call.

                Did not want to eat at the Rock Bottom Brewery as we already had and were looking to try something new.

                We are not residents of Milwaukee, I've eaten there maybe five times in my life, and we researched this thread because it was specific to our destination. Where we live, good restaurants are open on Sundays. It seemed appropriate to let other non-residents know that the area suggested above is not an option on Sundays. I'm hoping my report could save someone else the problem that we had.

                Back to Port of Call, we loved the atmosphere and the graciousness of the staff. I had pork chops with a cranberry chutney; the fruit gave the meat a subtle flavor that was very nice. Mr. Shaja had the paella. It wasn't prepared in the traditional pan, but he still enjoyed it very much. Menu was heavy on seafood, but still plenty of choices for a non-fish person. We would definitely go back.

                741 N Milwaukee St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

                Water Street Brewery
                1101 N Water St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

                The Safe House
                779 N Front St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

                Port of Call
                104 N Washington St, Lake City, MN 55041

                1. re: shaja

                  Good to know that Hinterland and Coquette are not open on Sundays! I have eaten at both multiple times and I wasn't aware of that.

                  I wasn't trying to imply that *ALL* the restaurants in the Ward are open on Sunday nights, but the majority sure seem to be. A quick visit to the Google Gods shows that Ryan Braun's, Water Buffalo, Wicked Hop and Swig are all open on Sunday evenings in the same area.

                  The chops at Port of Call sound tasty...I may have to try those next weekend!

                  Water Buffalo
                  249 N Water St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

                  Wicked Hop
                  345 N Broadway, Milwaukee, WI 53202

            2. Zarletti's is good for Italian food. Interesting menu but a bit noisy in there. Elsa's is good but can be a "scene" . Umami Moto is very good. I always love Mason Street Grill. It is pricey but really good food. You can sit in the bar for more casual dining. Also, there is a counter in front of the kitchen that is fun. If you have a show to make the Third ward might be a bit far to eat and get back to the theater unless you don't mind eating early.

              741 N Milwaukee St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

              Umami Moto
              17800 W Bluemound Rd, Brookfield, WI 53045