When it’s Valentine’s Day or merely an event to celebrate the love you feel for the sweetie, a romantic meal out is in order. From romantic neighborhood places on the East Side, Walker’s Point and Bay View into grand-and-glam downtown eateries, Milwaukee is full of choices that straddle classic cuisine but also cultural and diverse inspirations.
Listed below are 10 restaurants which appeal to couples–also have great food, and a line-up of craft cocktails and leading wines .
Mason Street Grill
Inside the Pfister Hotel is Mason Street Grill (414-298-3131), serving beans and incorporating live jazz at its pub area virtually every night of the week (a ideal place to satisfy your date to get a martini pre-dinner). Despite being a steakhouse–using seven cuts of beef on the menu, and comfort foods such as poultry pot-pie–there are also quite a couple of vegetarian and seafood alternatives for supper, too, such as blackened Atlantic swordfish. It is suggested to purchase a trio of vegetable components (such as cream of corn and also fire-roasted mushrooms) and discuss with your dining companion that how to choose a wine glass?.
The Pasta Tree Restaurant & Wine Bar
The Pasta Tree Restaurant & Wine Bar (414-276-8867) is on active Farwell Avenue just north of Ogden, where downtown matches the Lower East Side (search for your bright-purple awning). Chairs is in three distinct rooms, which makes the room feel much more intimate: select for the”older” room, to the much right, if accessible. Banquette chairs and tiny tables are equally designed to assist couples’ cuddle while dining. Chef-owner Suzzette Metcalfe has her own love affair with the restaurant: when the original owner retired, she–a former employee–bought the place. Dishes include shrimp pesto linguini and carbonara, and it would be a crime to not share a slice of the Chocolate Nemesis cake.
Also downtown: Bacchus (414-765-1166), in the esteemed Bartolotta Restaurants family, on the ground floor of the Cudahy Building on North Prospect Avenue across from the Milwaukee Art Museum. On a clear night, you just might spot Lake Michigan, and natural light abounds in the glass conservatory dining space. Or, settle into a cozy leather booth in the main dining room. Bacchus hosts one of Milwaukee’s most extensive, and well-thought-out, wine lists; and it’s recommended to sip a craft cocktail in the adjacent bar area before dining. Whether you order off the menu (Modern American cuisine) or spring for the tasting menu (there’s also an all-vegetarian tasting menu), know that James Beard Award-winning chef Adam Siegel is behind it, as corporate chef for the restaurant group.
Buckley’s Restaurant & Bar
Just down the street is Buckley’s Restaurant and Bar (414-277-1111), which channels an urban and neighborhood-bistro vibe thanks to its corner location, small dining room and black-and-white striped awning. There are just two dining rooms; a corner bar where drinks are prepared is in one. Dinner fare includes starters such as mussels and Vietnamese chicken wings, and entrees that include Moroccan spiced lamb shank or a 14-ounce hangar’s steak. There are also vegetarian options like pasta tossed with San Marzano tomatoes. Buckley’s is also open for lunch and Sunday brunch.
Another downtown must-eat spot is Zarletti (414-225-0000) which, as the name suggests, specializes in Italian cuisine. There’s a ‘big-city’ feel to the dining space given that it’s on a bustling street corner, where North Milwaukee Street meets East Mason Street, and the menu encompasses all things Italian, from antipasti to dessert. Dinner choices cover surf and turf selections–such as fettuccine tossed with scallops, wild mushrooms and truffle oil; or pasta Bolognese–but also fold in vegetarian and meat-free choices like four-cheese ravioli and pistachio-encrusted halibut. Naturally, the wine list skews Italian, with sparkling Prosecco, Barolos and more.
In the Bay View neighborhood, Goodkind (414-763-4706) is a locals’ favorite, using a farm-to-table focus. It opened to much fanfare in 2014, serving dinner in addition to Sunday brunch. While casual and small (think salvaged forests born to a wall, along with a romantic area on the second floor of a former pizza combined ), the wine list contains a number of gems (along with the cocktail set is actually spectacular)–also, the food is of the exact same quality you would get in a fine-dining restaurant. Cases are seaweed chips to get a beginner, followed by an entrée of leg of lamb (in the Wisconsin farm) garnished with lavender and anchovy.
Tucked into Walker’s Point, that will be an evolving food community in the previous 3 decades alone, together with restaurants popping up here and there, Crazy Water (414-645-2606) is a legend. Chef-owner Peggy Magister has produced a small-plates menu because launching in 2002, within a former 19th Century feed shop ) It’s an area that feels just like the dining area of a historical residence. On the menu have been supper favorites such as –for starters–buttermilk snacks and smoked trout from Rushing Waters nearby–and entrees such as branzino fish, Amish half poultry and diver scallops. It is almost required to save room for dessert since the choices comprise Door County cherry/chocolate processor bread pudding and three-layer chocolate terrine.
Chef-owner Justin Aprahamian is top the next chapter in Sanford Restaurant (414-276-9608), which James Beard Award-winning chef Sandy d’Amato began within his parents’ former grocery store on the East Side as a farm-to-table, fine-dining eatery. Small and cozy, with just 20 tables, the dining room signifies a reservation that’s hard to snag, and continues to rank as one of Milwaukee’s top dining experiences for the quality and service, even if the price is a bit steep ($85, plus $40 for wine pairings, for a surprise tasting menu). It’s recommended you make reservations one year to the calendar date, says the restaurant.
In Brewers Hill, which is a mostly residential neighborhood just north of downtown Milwaukee, Wolf Peach (414-374-8480)–open for Sunday brunch and nightly dinner–is a gorgeous building boasting views of the downtown-Milwaukee skyline and, when it’s warm out, tiered outdoor seating. Food selections are creative, such as smoked bone-marrow gratin or grass-fed New York strip with dinosaur kale and sunchoke cream. Many of the vegetables are grown at the owners’ farm.