I was in Milwaukee last week on a business trip. While most of the breakfasts and lunches were catered, dinner was up to us. I must say, I was very gastronomically pleased with Milwaukee. It was my first trip to the Midwest, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. No matter where I went for the evening’s cuisine, I left satisfied — with many the food coma to prove that I enjoyed my meal to the fullest.
Here are my top five eateries from my week in Milwaukee:
1. Wolf Peach
This was a can’t miss experience. I’m still reeling from the wonders of the evening, and it’s been a week and a half! Wolf Peach focuses on European dishes with a communal dining experience. Our party of ten was urged to order two dishes each and then share with the group. Everything was delectable in the extreme. Dishes of note: smoked bone marrow, the mixed charcuterie board, slow-poached egg pizza, deviled duck eggs, and roasted broccoli. I also enjoyed a Dragon’s Milk Bourbon Barrel Stout from New Holland Brewing while I waited for the rest of the party to arrive at the restaurant. It was amazing.
2. Umami Moto
Lovely sushi, and really tasty dessert, too! Dishes of note: tuna roll, the best unagi nigiri I’ve had in a long time (unagi is one of my most favorite things in the world), and their salmon roll.
Located in the hotel, not only was this a welcome respite after a day of travel, the food was also fantastic. I ordered the rosemary polenta cake dinner. The slightly smoky polenta on top of a bed of baby arugula with goat cheese and a raspberry-balsamic reduction was divine. The waiter recommended a South African wine, Protea. Its black fruit and espresso flavors were balanced by lovely minerals and a bit of smokiness. It was perfect with dinner.
4. Water Buffalo
Recommended because it carries local ingredients, Water Buffalo made for a terrific last dinner in the city. I ordered the grilled Berkshire pork loin. The combination of the tarragon mashed potatoes with the apricot Dijon glaze that was drizzled on the pork — OMG delicious. They also served up the largest crème brûlée I have ever seen. Make sure to share it with a friend.
5. Café Calatrava
Found inside the Milwaukee Art Museum, this restaurant is surrounded by gorgeousness. After filling your soul with the museum’s great collections, sit in the cafe that’s situated right on the waterfront. I slowly savored a light lunch of fresh fish paired with ramps and a roasted wedge of polenta while hungrily gazing out at Lake Michigan.