Festa Italiana celebrates Joe Bartolotta, and Milwaukee restaurants embrace all things crab

640 476

Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine's resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee's culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

On this week's edition, we're previewing Festa Italiana, examining Chicago's take on a traditional Wisconsin supper club, discussing a new pizza place on Mitchell Street, sharing news of a new crab joint and looking at a new snack bar in Washington Heights. Stream the episode below.

Festa Italiana's crab-eating contest | facebook.com/festaitalianamilwaukee

One of the city's most popular ethnic festivals, Festa Italiana will feature a few new vendors this year, as well as cooking demonstrations, a cannoli eating contest and a kid's pizza-making contest. This year's fest will also feature a tribute to Joe Bartolotta.

Then we look at Chicago's misguided stab at a supper club: St. Clair Supper Club, which charges an exorbitant amount for a fish fry ($44). But beyond the price, the menu has some nice nods to traditional Wisconsin supper club staples.

Tony's Pizza is coming to Mitchell Street (604 W. Historic Mitchell St.), which promises pizza with a Latin touch. Expect ingredients like beans, cilantro and habanero peppers, as well as traditional pizzas, and hamburgers. It's aiming for an early August opening.

Crabs are officially hot right now. Oak + Oyster, 724 N. Milwaukee St., is now hosting a pop-up concept called Pistol Pete's Crab Shack. The menu features a New Orleans flair. Boiled, pickled peanuts, anybody? And in other crab news, Crab It Your Way has opened at 823 N. 2nd St. They're describing the menu as Louisiana-style food with a Midwestern twist.

And finally, an intimate new bar called Charles E. Fromage has opened in Washington Heights at 5811 W. Vliet St. The menu features snacks like olive salad and five-cheese spread, as well as a variety of Wisconsin beers and a rotating wine list. There will also be locally made sodas.

Stream the episode below.

Like what you hear? Subscribe!

Get all of 88Nine's podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We've got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don't forget to check out our new podcast "Backspin: The Search for Milwaukee's First Hip-Hop Song," a six-part exploration of the birth of Milwaukee rap. All episodes are streaming now.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

The best bites at Bastille Days, and a festival for sangria fanatics

640 511

Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine's resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee's culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

On this week's edition of This Bites, we talk about a French festival (Bastille Days) and a Spanish one (Sangria Fest). Plus there's news of a new diner coming to Riverwest. Stream the episode and read about it below.

Bastille Days | easttown.com

Bastille Days is back, marking summer's halfway point. And we'll admit it: Not all the food at Bastille Days is authentically French, but there are quite a few French specialties there if you're in the mood for them. Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro offering beef bourguignon and crème brulee. Birch + Butcher is there, too, offering a French spin on a fried chicken sandwich. Lagniappe Brasserie is featuring escargot and a free range lamb sandwich. Le Reve Patisserie will be offering croissants, baguettes, sandwiches and warm brie with honey. And the North Shore Boulangerie will be offering tarte flambé.

Ann also highlights some of the non-French offerings on the menu, including a pastrami and pickled peach sandwich and, of course, Saz's combo platters.

Hosted by Hotel Madrid, Sangria Fest will be held from 2-6 p.m. this Sunday, and as you'd expect, it will feature lots of sangria. The event brings together mixologists from a variety of cocktail bars, who will offer seven different sangrias to sample. There will be snacks and food, too, as well as a live DJ.

In other exciting news, Diplomat is now serving lunch. Starting this Monday, the Brady Street restaurant will serve lunch with options including the Diplomat burger, a ribeye sandwich and a Caesar salad.

And Riverwest is getting a new restaurant, which isn't something we get to report as often as we'd like. We don't know much (including the name of the restaurant or the date it will open), but we know that it's a diner where the West Bank Cafe used to be and the owners of Art Bar are involved. Maybe Riverwest will get its own poke restaurant now, too.

Stream the episode below.

Like what you hear? Subscribe!

Get all of 88Nine's podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We've got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don't forget to check out our new podcast "Backspin: The Search for Milwaukee's First Hip-Hop Song," a six-part exploration of the birth of Milwaukee rap. All episodes are streaming now.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Dining along Historic Mitchell Street, Peach Week returns

640 427

Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine's resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee's culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

This week, we're talking about Ann's nostalgic summer food memories, dining along Historic Mitchell Street, Peach Week, Mai Tai Day, Malort Fest and more.

Stream the episode below.

In addition to sharing her summer food memories, Ann shared three restaurants where you travel back in time -- Nite Owl, Fred's Custard and Grill and Kenosha's Frank's Diner.

Historic Mitchell Street

We also talked about places to dine along Historic Mitchell Street. We mentioned places like the Pakistani restaurant Anmol, the Indian-Pakistani grocery Sasta Bazaar, Lopez Bakery, Syrian restaurant Damascus Gate and more. You can check it out in full detail in the July edition of Milwaukee Magazine.

Peach Week 2019

Then from July 8-14, Tree Ripe Citrus' Peach Week returns with some amazing events.

  • July 9, 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m., at SmallPie: Fresh peach sale and pie.
  • July 10, 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.: Peach Dinner at The Diplomat: Come join us for a Georgia peach inspired dinner with Chef Dane Baldwin. Sweet, savory and boozy, he is incorporating peaches into everything. Reservations recommended.
  • July 12, 5 - 8 p.m., at Maxie's: Peach inspired dishes and fresh peach samples
  • July 13, 5 - 8 p.m., at Story Hill BKC: Fresh peaches, dishes, and pairings, oh my!
  • July 13, 4-8 p.m., Peach Social at The Palomino: Come celebrate with an afternoon of fresh Georgia peaches, pork, barrel-aged cocktails, and pie! Peach pies from our Honeypie Cafe bakeshop kitchen, peach-soaked bourbon cocktails from the bar, peach ice cream, peach inspired side dishes, and of course, fresh Georgia peaches for sale from Tree-Ripe Fruit Co.
  • July 14, 7 a.m. - 11 a.m. at Blue's Egg: Stop by to try-out peach themed breakfast and brunch items at the Milwaukee or Shorewood locations.
Mai Tai

This Sunday is Mai Tai Day and Great Lakes Distillery got you covered. Visit their tasting room on Sunday and they will make you featuring Roaring Dan's Rum and Good Land Orange Liqueur. If you can't make it, they provided a recipe for you.

2 oz. Roaring Dan's Rum
3/4 oz. Good Land Orange Liqueur
3/4 oz Orgeat Syrup (Recipe Here)
3/4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

Shake all ingredients together in a mixer with ice. Strain into a glass with fresh ice, garnish with an orange slice and serve with a straw. Note: Don't skip the Orgeat syrup -- this is what makes it a Mai Tai!

If Mai Tai's aren't your thing, Story Hill BKC will be hosting an Argyle Winemaker dinner on July 15. It will be a four-course dinner paired with wine from Argyle's Winery in Oregon.

Finally, for those who like really 'flavorful' beverages, Ray's Growler Gallery is teaming up with Jeppson's for Malort Fest on July 27. There will be Malort-infused slushies and more.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Summer in Milwaukee means it's time to dine outside

640 510

Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine's resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee's culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

This week, we're talking about Ann's massive cover story for Milwaukee Magazine looking at the best places to dine outdoors this summer, and Ann shares her favorite rooftops, food trucks and summer drinks, including some clever seasonal cocktails at Odd Duck and a Star Wars-themed drink at Merriment Social.

Stream the episode below.

The Yard at Iron Horse Hotel | facebook.com/ironhorsehotel

We also talk about The Dock at Bradford Beach, which is now open and features food, craft beer, wine, cocktails and frozen drinks, such as pina coladas. Hours for the Dock will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. If it's a warm autumn, concessions could be open into October.

Meanwhile, MooSa's, just south of Bradford Beach, is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. It's run by the owners of Casablanca restaurants on Brady Street and in Brookfield.

We also give some love to Upstart Kitchen, a food-centered business incubator that gives budding entrepreneurs access to a professional-grade kitchen and ecosystem of community support, and look at Blue Mangoes, a Milwaukee-based dried fruit social enterprise that is raising its first investor round of funding.

Like what you hear? Subscribe!

Get all of 88Nine's podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We've got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don't forget to check out our new podcast "Backspin: The Search for Milwaukee's First Hip-Hop Song," a six-part exploration of the birth of Milwaukee rap. All episodes are streaming now.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Twisted Plants offers a new spin on vegan comfort food

640 640

Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine's resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee's culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

On this week's episode, we look at the new food hall coming to Bay View, preview the 2019 Garlic Fest and look at the Sporkies. Read about and stream the episode below.

We kick off the episode by talking about a new food truck we're excited about: Twisted Plants, which specializes in plant-based comfort foods. They offer a vegan veggie patty, sliders with barbecued jackfruit and an interesting wing dish.

Then we preview Sunday's Garlic Fest, which features original garlic-heavy dishes from some of the city's finest restaurants. There will also be live music, games for kids, a petting zoo and a raw-garlic eating contest.

Ann then introduces us to the Sporkies, an annual State Fair food competition, and describes some of the decadent dishes that will be competing, including hot dog nachos.

And we close the episode by looking at the new food hall coming to Bay View, which will feature a heated patio. It'll be 1.5x bigger than the East Side's Crossroads Collective. It's scheduled to open in 2020.

Stream the episode below.

Like what you hear? Subscribe!

Get all of 88Nine's podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We've got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don't forget to check out our new podcast "Backspin: The Search for Milwaukee's First Hip-Hop Song," a six-part exploration of the birth of Milwaukee rap. All episodes are streaming now.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Milwaukee's food truck scene continues to boom, and Purple Door hosts its flavor contest

640 480

Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine's resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee's culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

On this week's episode, we report some big news from the Iron Horse Hotel, which has announced the name of its new restaurant. We also talk about things to do for your father on Father's Day, share a Milwaukee Magazine feature highlighting new food trucks, and preview Purple Door's annual flavor contest. Stream it below.

Mr. P's Grilled Cheese | Photo via MilwaukeeMagazine.com

The Iron Horse Hotel restaurant formerly known as Smyth will reopen as a new restaurant called Ash. The name refers to the new hearth that will influence the menu. DanDan chefs Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite are creating the menu.

Looking for some Father's Day dining options? We suggest brunch at the I.d. restaurant in the Delafield Hotel. You could also consider Heaven's Table, the BBQ restaurant at Crossroads Collective, a streak at 5 O' Clock Steakhouse, some pasta from Egg & Flour and Ca'Lucchenzo, Korean fried chicken from Merge, the new rooftop at Glass & Griddle or one of the Deer District's new restaurants.

Or of course you could head over to Purple Door, which is featuring a 15-flavor ice cream tasting as part of its annual flavor contest. The flavor that receives the most votes will become a permanent flavor.

And the city's food truck scene has gotten even more crowded. Here are five more trucks to look out for this summer.

Like what you hear? Subscribe!

Visit RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts to get all of 88Nine's podcasts delivered right to you. We have shows about food (This Bites), the local music scene (Tap'd In) and film (Cinebuds). Check it out!

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Hacienda brings experimental beers to North Avenue

640 427

Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine's resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee's culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

Read more and listen to the episode below to hear all about the new East Side brewery Hacienda, the city's best loaded fries and creamy treats and some upcoming dining events.

Hacienda Beer Co. | Photo via facebook.com/haciendabeerco

The North Avenue renaissance continues. The street's latest addition is Hacienda Beer Co., which opened on June 1 at 2018 E. North Ave., right across the street from the new Crossroads Collective Food Hall.

Hacienda is the modern, experimental beer arm of Door County Brewing. It's a taproom and restaurant with 12 beers on draft as well as bottles and cans to go. The menu includes baked cheese curds, beer cheese fries, duck confit empanadas and salads. We also preview the space's upcoming beer dinner Friday, June 14.

Speaking of fries, we've noticed a trend of loaded fries on local menus. Ann shares her recommendations for some of the city's most interesting ones, including Fuel Café's nacho fries and Glass and Griddle's disco fries.

Then Ann recommends places to cool off with some creamy treats, which include Scratch Ice Cream at the Crossroads Collective, and we both sing the praises of salted caramel.

We close the show by talking about the health-conscious menu at The Dock at Bradford Beach and by previewing the June 23 Dim Sum + Give Some benefit organized by DanDan chefs Dan Van Rite and Dan Jacobs.

Like what you hear? Subscribe!

Visit RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts to get all of 88Nine's podcasts delivered right to you. We have shows about food (This Bites), the local music scene (Tap'd In) and film (Cinebuds). Check it out!

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Zocalo Food Park prepares to open in Walker's Point

640 479

Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine's resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee's culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

Read more and listen to the episode below to hear all about the Zocalo Food Park in Walker's Point.

milwaukee food truck park site zocalo
The future site of Zocalo food truck park

We kick off this week's episode previewing the new food truck park Zocalo Food Park, which will open next month on a 7,000 square foot lot opening at the corner of 6th and Pierce Streets. Among the initial tenants are Bowl Cut, an Asian rice bowl concept; Fontelle's, a burger place from the creators of Fresh Fin Poke; Mazorca taco truck; Scratch Ice Cream; and Ruby's Bagels.

Then Ann discusses her interview with John Dye, who runs three of the city's most iconic cocktail bars: Bryant's, Jazz Estate and At Random. What drew him to these historic establishments?

Next Ann offers her tips for planning a perfect picnic, and shares details about the Tosa Farmer's Market and a beer dinner. And finally, we talk about a La Crosse chef who is hosting a dinner at the James Beard Foundation's Beard House in New York city.

Like what you hear? Subscribe!

Visit RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts to get all of 88Nine's podcasts delivered right to you. We have shows about food (This Bites), the local music scene (Tap'd In) and film (Cinebuds). Check it out!

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Digging into Milwaukee's best barbecue and the city's Memorial Day dining specials

640 480

Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine's resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee's culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites. This Bites is supported by Society Insurance.

Read more and listen to the episode below to hear about the city's best barbecue and this weekend's Memorial Day dining specials.

This month in Milwaukee Magazine, Ann highlighted her favorite barbecue spots in the city. We discuss her picks, which include iconic old staples like Speed Queen, newcomers like Iron Grate on Howell Avenue and even a chain: DOC's Commerce Smokehouse, a newcomer downtown at 754 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave.

Also, it's not every episode we get to announce a new opening in Riverwest, but this week saw the addition of Bar centro to the neighborhood at 804 E. Center St. It's a compliment to the ever-popular Centro Cafe next door, and will feature dozens of varieties of amari, which will be used for cocktails and spirits (or served on the rocks).

Also discussed: this weekend's Memorial Day dining specials and Bucks-related specials, and the new brunch service at Iron Horse Hotel. The menu reflects the involvement of DanDan chefs Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite, with an emphasis on comfort food staples like chicken and waffles, biscuits and sausage gravy and a smash burger breakfast (served over a bed of hash browns).

Heaven's Table Catering and BBQ Heaven's Table Catering and BBQ
88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Ca'Lucchenzo brings fresh pasta to Wauwatosa and Little Duck gets snacky

640 426

Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine’s resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee’s culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites. This Bites is supported by Society Insurance.

Read more and listen to the episode below to learn about Wauwatosa’s newest Italian restaurant, Strange Town’s Rosé All Day block party, Little Duck's monthly Quack Snacks event and Crazy Water’s new Taco Thursday specials.

Owners Sarah and Zak Baker this week opened their new Italian restaurant Ca’Lucchenzo Pastaficio & Enoteca at 6030 W. North Ave., in the building formerly home to Juniper 61. A carb-lover’s paradise, the restaurant specializes in house-made pastas and will also serve snacks, appetizers, risotto and various polenta-based dishes, in a setting with a homey, casual feel.

In other news, Strange Town will celebrate the most summer-friendly of all wines, rosé, at its Rosé All Day block party on Sunday, May 26, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event will feature hand-selected rosés, as well as beer and craft summer cocktails and food from several local restaurants. 88Nine DJ Amelinda Burich will provide the music, and like all great block parties, there will be a bouncy house.

Then Ann shares some vegan recipes featured in the May issue of Milwaukee Magazine, including an unforgettable cauliflower and baked tofu dish and a recipe for aguachile, a brothy Mexican dip served with tortillas or tortilla chips.   

facebook.com/littleduckmke Quack Snacks at Little Duck


We close the episode by noting two days food lovers should mark on their calendar. The first Monday of each month, Odd Duck’s special events offshoot Little Duck hosts Quack Snacks, a casual drink and snack pairing series. No reservation is required; just swing by and see what the kitchen has created.

And finally there’s Crazy Water's new Taco Thursdays. Inspired by her trip to Mexico, chef/owner Peggy Magister offers a different selection of tacos and margaritas each week. Tacos are just three for $10.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee