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Feb 17, 2014 02:20 PM

Milwaukee - Anniversary Dinner Recommendations?

My Husband and I are most likely going to be in Milwaukee for our Anniversary. I was wondering if someone could recommend a restaurant to us?

We frequent Bacchus quite often and love it there. We recently tried Sanford and honestly weren't that impressed (maybe our expectations were too high).

Can someone recommend a great place for us? We love all kinds of food. The food is most important to us but we'd also like great atmosphere.

Thanks :)

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  1. You sure cover the Midwest for this anniversary between Minneapolis and Milwaukee! I travel to Milwaukee at least once a month for work. You aren't going to go wrong with any of the Bartolotta group restaurants (of which Bacchus is a member). I'd suggest branching out to their Lake Park Bistro and try to make your reservation before sunset so you can enjoy the spectacular views of Lake Michigan. Outside of that (and Sanford since you nixed it), here are a few other ideas:

    -Hinterland: Gastropub with really outstanding food. Cuisine is temporary American and you have a choice between making a dinner of it or sharing a number of small plates. One of my favorite in Milwaukee.

    Carnevor: If steak is a must, I think this place does it as well as any place in town. You get a choice between wet and dry aged too (though dry is more expensive).

    Three Brothers: This isn't going to be modern and trendy. It's a Serbian restaurant set inside an old Schlitz brew hall. It's classic stick-to-your-ribs comfort classics. I'd suggest the Serbian salad and the burek. You won't find anything like this outside of Milwaukee.

    1. I second The Hinterland.
      Crazy Water is an intimate venue with amazing food.
      AP is a new restaurant from Crazy Water that has been getting great reviews.
      AP Bar & Kitchen
      814 S. 2nd St.
      Milwaukee, WI 53204
      (414) 672-6000

      Braise is another restaurant I recommend:
      Braise Restaurant
      1101 S. 2nd St.
      Milwaukee, WI 53204
      (414) 212-8843

      1. Hi, does the restaurant have to be located technically within Milwaukee? If not, you may wish to consider Ristorante Bartolotta (see link below) which is located in a suburb of Milwaukee called Wauwatosa. It is owned by the same family that owns Bacchus and Lake Park Bistro among other restaurants. They specialize in Italian cuisine and after 30+ dinners there I can say I have never been disappointed with the food, wine list or service. They also have a half price bottle of wine night (I think the night varies so call first) and you can get some very nice wine for half price.

        Have a great anniversary and please let us know where you went and what you thought.

        1. I second the Lake Park Bistro. Great food, beautiful view, and on Sundays and Mondays they have a half price wine bottle special.

          1. Ardent is a new restaurant in Milwaukee and has already garnered a lot of praise, including being named a semi-finalist in this year's James Beard Awards. Check out Carol Deptolla's review in the newspaper at

            1751 N. Farwell Ave.
            Milwaukee, WI 53202

            Disclaimer: I haven't dined at Ardent yet, but have plans to do so in May. I will also be dining then at Sanford, which I have always loved in previous visits.

            Of the other places mentioned, I've enjoyed Hinterland a lot, and it would be suitable for an anniversary dinner. While I've enjoyed the food at Crazy Water, it's very casual and bar-like, and IMHO a bit too much so for an anniversary dinner.

            5 Replies
            1. re: nsxtasy

              Hi nsxtasy. Nice to hear from you as always and I hope you are doing well.

              I only know two people that has been to Ardent but they really liked it and they are rather tough to please. I would think just based upon the resumes of the chefs (TRU, Gramercy Tavern among others) that the food and service would be excellent.

              I look forward to hearing about your dinner at Sanford this spring. The people I know that have been there in the past few months have said it is not as good as the old Sandy and Angie days when they owned and ran the restaurant. By the way, they moved to Pennsylvania and are opening a cooking school there.

              Take care and stay warm!

              1. re: nsxtasy

                Here's another possibility:

                Pastiche Bistro & Wine Bar
                3001 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
                (414) 482-1446

                I ate there last year and really enjoyed my dinner. Pastiche is a French bistro and the food is excellent (as is the wine). It's very much a neighborhood bistro type place - cozy and intimate, and would work for an anniversary dinner. Pastiche is located in the Bay View neighborhood a couple miles south of downtown. It seems to "fly under the radar", doesn't get a lot of media attention, but it's definitely worth considering.

                1. re: nsxtasy

                  Hi nsxtasy, what were your thoughts on Ardent and Sanford this month? You always have great opinions and I enjoy reading them.

                  1. re: Fowler

                    As my plans shook out, it turned out I did not dine in Milwaukee at all. I did have two excellent dinners in Sheboygan County, though, which I reported on in the Sheboygan topic at

                    I am planning another trip to Milwaukee in August, to catch some games at Miller Park. Due to the logistics and game times, Ardent and Sanford won't work on that trip. However, I am still keeping both in mind in case I make another trip to the area (or even go up there just for dinner).

                    Thanks for the kind words!