Late 2011 at Firefly Urban Grill + Bar, Wauwatosa
“For a moment … we’re all immortal. Time stretches out forever. There’s a moment like that in every meal. If you pay attention it’s there … where oblivion is replaced with infinity … and then, the check comes.” -Aaron Wolfe from “Ruthy’s Dinner” at The Moth.
It has been eight months since our ABCs of Milwaukee Dining quest ended. Eight months where I’ve tried to figure how to sum up a two-year quest with my best friends. This is the best I could do.
Looking back, it is astounding to see all the things that have changed in the two years of our ABCs of Milwaukee Dining quest. Adam, Cindi, Shannon, TJ, Michelle and I have experienced two marriages and two babies. New houses. A new dog. New jobs. New friends. Vacations. And other things too. Read More
Craig Finn, lead singer of The Hold Steady and rock ‘n roll prophet, soaks in the Summerfest love in 2014.
We saw some great concerts in 2011 and 2012! So only seeing five shows in 2013 was a let down.
Nevertheless, when I put the last two years together, we saw some great concerts and although I don’t get to shows as often as I used to, I can’t think of many places I’d rather be than amidst other music lovers, beer in my hand and the music of a band I love making a moment into magic. Read More
In late October, we made a trip to a frequent location–Milwaukee’s East Side–for our final ABCs dinner. On a moderately chilly Monday night, we drove up and down the streets that make up the Brady Street neighborhood…
None of us had ever been to Zaffiro’s but we had certainly heard about it before–it was Michelle and Adam’s selection. Read More
Whenever we select a restaurant I’ve never been to, I am eager to go online and see the reviews.
Thanks to Michelle’s winning entry of Yen Ching (Adam also picked it), I found mixed results of a curious, unsurprising variety. I saw claims that Yen Ching is the best Chinese in Milwaukee. I saw that Yen Ching was featured on Dirty Dining.
I was eager to form my own opinion, so on a sunny Friday evening in early June, we made the half-hour trek from Bay View to Brown Deer and pulled up in front of a restaurant festooned with life-size golden lions, red siding, green shingles and large Chinese characters.
The interior carried the theme further. The large dining space was decorated with items meant to evoke ancient China, and they looked like they had been in place for about as long. Adam said:
I loved the gold Buddha statue and paper-style lantern light fixtures.
The mostly windowless dining area was maybe a third full on a Friday night–no reservations necessary. Although, Cindi notes: “I noticed a lot of people picking up their take-out.” Read More
Since there are no ‘X’ restaurants in Milwaukee, we decided to make this round a wildcard round.
Harbor House is one of Milwaukee’s premier restaurants because of its location. Set out into Lake Michigan between Discovery World and the Milwaukee Art Museum, Harbor House’s best tables allow diners a picturesque perspective of Milwaukee’s skyline and its changing reflections upon the lake.
Besides its view, Harbor House is known for seafood. Everyone but Mike had been there (it was Michelle’s submission). Read More
Nothing could quite hit the spot after our morning tour of Lakefront Brewery (read about it here) than a great brunch, so we were counting on our “W” restaurant, Wolf Peach, to deliver.
Wolf Peach, named for the tomato’s European nickname with a menu that honors the fruit, was Shannon’s selection. Most of us had not been there before. Adam said:
The brewery tour served as a nice way to go buzzing straight into lunch. The first thing I noticed walking into Wolf Peach was the excellent view of the city. The restaurant sits perched on Brewer’s Hill and the entire back wall is a floor-to-ceiling window looking over the city. It also has a raised patio that I’m guessing seats people come spring and summer.
You almost exclusively see downtown from the Lake, but the view from Wolf Peach, atop a bluff above the Milwaukee River, highlights the city and its iconic buildings from a more impactful vantage point.
The place is small, rustic and was lively and packed throughout our brunch. Our spot was in the middle of the dining room, at a tall table–it seems like no space is wasted–the aisles are tiny and tables seem to take up every possible other inch. Reservations were necessary. Read More
The unmistakable, lime green label of Lakefront’s IPA is ubiquitous in Milwaukee’s finer bars and restaurants, but as a neophyte beer drinker, I still remember it as the first microbrew that really made an impression on me. IPA remains one of my favorite beers.
So, it is a huge hole in my hophead resume that I have never been to Lakefront Brewery for a tour. I’d only first gone there the year before for a fish fry charity event.
When I saw a case of Lakefront beer and a private tour were a silent auction item, I had to win, and, eventually, after several other bidders stepped in, I made the winning bid – Michelle was okay with it because Lakefront also makes one of her favorite beers, Riverwest Stein, which is their most popular offering.
A year later, prior to our ABCs of Milwaukee Dining brunch at Wolf Peach, Adam, Cindi, Michelle, Shannon, TJ and I made the trek to the brewery, which is, decidedly, not on the lake. Instead, it is tucked in the Milwaukee River basin, in the Riverwest district. Read More