We interrupt our irregularly scheduled programming to bring you: stuff to do, eat & see in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee, which is apparently either Chicago's little sister or the new Portland, is known for: beer (not just the big boys anymore: Milwaukee nowadays is home to a thriving craft beer scene), sausage, and the best bloody marys period. But you can do more in Milwaukee than just eat. And I'll get to that. But first, you're going to want to eat:
The Pasta Tree Restaurant & Wine Bar
Cozy european-style bistro, homemade pasta and a fantastic wine selection. Reservation strongly recommended. Not ideal for large groups or anyone looking for a quick, cheap meal. Only open for dinner and not open on Monday. Bonus: their complementary bread is always warm, fresh and homemade!
George Watt’s Tea Shop
Just a block away from the Pfister, a unique Milwaukee favorite for breakfast, lunch or tea. Menu items range from pastries and tea sandwiches to full entrees over breakfast (9am - 11am) and lunch (11am - 2pm). They can easily accommodate groups with a reservation and will take reservations for smaller parties as well. Calling ahead is recommended - just in case of a private party. Open from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, closed on Sunday. Don’t forget to try their famous sunshine cake!
A half an hour walk or a quick drive from the Pfister, Comet is the heart of East Side Milwaukee dining. Their “slow food” style is homemade, comfort food that appeals to a wide crowd, carnivore to vegan. A few fan favorites, all of which can be made vegetarian if not vegan - chili mac, BBQ pork sandwich, the Big Luck burger and their bacon wrapped meatloaf. This one gets extra busy over weekend brunch and after 6:00 PM. They don’t take reservations and they can only accommodate groups of six or fewer. But its well worth the hype!
The Milwaukee Public Market
Less than a ten minute walk into Milwaukee’s Third Ward, the Public Market can be a quick stop for lunch or a full-day activity. Ok, maybe not the full day, but there is plenty to buy, eat and drink. A quick list of some things you will find here: seafood, Wisconsin cheese, wine, deli food, sandwiches, ethnic food, chocolate, bakery, fresh produce, a spice shop and coffee. The Green Kitchen is a Chiuminatto family favorite - freshly made sandwiches, salads and ginger shots! There is upstairs seating at the market for you to enjoy all the goodies. Also: if you don’t get the coffee in the market, you can walk across the street to a Milwaukee favorite - Colectivo (formerly known as Alterra).
An East Side institution, this is the second go for Pizza Man after the original burned down in 2010. Back with all the original recipes and extra seating, this is a great stop for lunch or dinner. About 2.5 miles from the Pfister, this is the perfect place to get dinner before a movie at Milwaukee’s Landmark Downer Theatre next door. The Artichoke à la Mode pizza is their top-seller with good reason. Not to mention, the wine selection is quite extensive and there are plenty of things besides pizza on the menu. This one is good for groups but does get busy when the weather is nice enough for rooftop patio dining.
Perhaps not the most "Milwaukee" option, Cubanitas does offer a solid Cuban menu that does not overreach, and has the distinct advantage of being located just around the corner from the Pfister. Good for lunch, dinner, or cocktails with a small to medium group.
Credit goes to my sister Chloe for writing most of these blurbs.
Coming tomorrow: Milwaukee sights & sounds!