There are about to be some new burgers on the block in Milwaukee

There are about to be some new burgers on the block in Milwaukee

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Wahlburgers in Milwaukee


In 2011 in Massachusetts, the Wahlberg family—chef Paul and famous actors Mark and Donnie—founded their first burger joint, called Wahlburgers. They’ve been expanding ever since. Now the fast food chain with the most hilarious name is finally reaching Milwaukee.

Mark, Paul and Donnie Wahlberg, with their mother, Alma.

Two Wahlburgers are set to open in the area in 2019. One will be within The Corners of Brookfield shopping center and the other will be right in the Third Ward at 322 N. Broadway.

Here’s Ann’s sneak peak:

“At Wahlburgers, a basic burger looks like this: a one-third-pound Angus patty topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, government cheese, pickles and the signature creamy Wahl sauce. (Government cheese is a processed product, like American cheese. And the patty is the restaurant’s proprietary blend of brisket, short rib and beef chuck.)

“The menu builds from there to a double and triple decker, specialty burgers, sandwiches (a Sloppy Joe, inspired by the Wahlberg brothers’ mother, Alma), sides such as fries and tater tots, Wahlbowls (naked burgers) and salads, plus ice cream floats, frappes and desserts. The Milwaukee location will feature that prototype menu, with the possibility that options specific to our area could be added at some point. ”

Other Milwaukee food news and culinary events

Game of Scones

Speaking of Ann’s writing, she finally did a story in Milwaukee Magazine this month that she’s been wanting to do since the first season of “Game of Thrones” came out. Check it out. Ann presents: The Game of Scones: Milwaukee’s 5 Best Scones, Ranked.

Third Coast Provisions’ Argentinian wine dinner

It may come as a surprise, but Argentina is the world’s fifth largest wine producer. Though they may be under-appreciated by some, it’s not for a lack of quality. Want to see for yourself? Join Third Coast Provisions on Wednesday, March 20 to celebrate the diverse and stimulating food and wine of South America’s sleeping giant. Featuring a carefully curated selection of Argentinian wines and a one-time-only menu designed by their top-flight team of chefs, this is the perfect way to celebrate the first day of spring. See the menu and additional information here.

The 37th Annual Taste of Milwaukee

The Taste of Milwaukee is back on Thursday, March 21 with over 20 of the area’s best restaurants serving their signature dish and dessert samples. The event at The Italian Community Center should be a blast with live entertainment and a silent auction. Plus, it all benefits the Broadscope Disability Services.

Here’s who will be there:

Saz’s State House

Fleming’s Steakhouse

Mr. B’s Steakhouse

Joey Gerard’s Supper Club

Cafe Benelux

Lo Duca Wines

Holy Land Grocery & Deli

Lovely & Tasty Walking Tacos

The Gouda Girls

Soulboxer Cocktail Co

Greige Patisserie

Oberweis Dairy

Rollin’ Dough – Specialty Cookies>

FoxFire Food Truck

Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que

Thunder Bay Grille

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The woman who bakes backstage for some of the biggest names coming to Milwaukee

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Pabst pastry chef Julie Thorsen

Julie Thorsen backstage at Summerfest, Photo via Instagram

Julie Thorsen is the one of the most renowned, but underground pasty chefs in Milwaukee. That’s because she caters specifically to artists backstage at the Pasbt, Riverside Theater, Tuner Hall and occasionally at Summerfest. So unless you’ve performed there, you probably wouldn’t be able to try any of the treats she makes.

She has a really interesting story that Ann brought us in March’s issue of Milwaukee Magazine. Thorsen originally had a career as a mechanical engineer with We Energies, until she got laid off in the early 2000s when the company was downsizing. After that, she decided to completely change her career path and attend Le Cordon Bleu in London to study pasty arts.

There, she started giving her pastries away to actors at West End theater as a way to see shows. And after she received her certificate, she knew what she wanted to return to Milwaukee to do: bake for celebrities.

Thorsen and John Bell of Widespread Panic via Thorsen’s Instagram

Now, that’s exactly what she’s been doing for 10 years for the Pabst Theater Group. She’s baked chocolate mousse for Journey, pumpkin cheesecake for Thom Yorke, lemon bars for The National, personalized sugar cookies for Trevor Noah and a dessert spread for Mel Brooks so good he said he might love her.

Follow Thorsen on Instagram to keep up with her latest treats for the talent that comes through Milwaukee. And pick up this month’s Milwaukee Mag to read the whole behind-the-scenes feature that Ann wrote about her.

Other Milwaukee food news and culinary events

Raw Bar at Crossroads Collective

The last empty space in the Crossroads Collective food hall will be filled by a place called Raw Bar, a new seafood spot from the chef and owner of Morel in Walker’s Point. It will have seasonal seafood such as raw oysters, king crab legs, crab claws, shrimp cocktail and ceviche. But in sprite of the restaurant’s name, it won’t serve everything raw. It will also have sandwiches like a lobster roll a fresh tuna melt and soups like a lobster bisque and clam chowder. As for the decor, it will be inspired by the movies “JAWS” and “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.” Raw Bar is slated to open in mid-March.

Fermentation dinner at Braise

On Thursday, March 21, Braise is putting together a four-course vegetarian based fermentation dinner with fermented drink pairings like kombucha, beer and wine. The first course is coffee kombucha glazed carrots with coconut kefir, roasted peanuts and baby kale. The second is spent grain cannelloni with braised rutabaga and mushroom, house chevre and oaked apply vinaigrette. Then there’s a shio koji fried celery root or koji rubbed beef ribeye with carrot kimchi and black garlic aioli. The last course is a peach vvass cake with lacto-fermented honey and brewer’s mash granola. Get reservations and more information here.


Char’d is doing a new dinner concept on Sundays, starting on March 10. They’re offering a cultural dining experience centered around a traditional Korean home meal of rice, soup and “banchan.” These are little side dishes of different textures, flavors and colors. The goal of this type of meal is to stimulate the full range of flavor senses from sweet, sour, spicy, bitter and salty tastes and even try to incorporate as many colors in the foods as possible. Get reservations here.

Pi(e) Day

Here are two great events to combine your love of pie and math on March 14 for Pi Day:

The Original Pi(e) Day

Hatched bakery is taking over Pilcrow coffee for the day to sell its signature pies.

Pie Sale Benefiting No Kid Hungry

Tre Rivali is letting you have your pie and feel good about it too. They will donate 100 percent of all proceeds of their pie sale to Chefs Cycle: No Kid Hungry.

Chilango Express

Sunday, March 10 is the last day you can visit Chilango Express at 6821 W. Lincoln Ave. in West Allis. But this is not bad news! It’s good—the Mexican restaurant (one of our favorites) is tripling its size by moving a few blocks away to 7030 W. Lincoln, the old Sofia’s Italian restaurant. Not only will the new place have more tables, it will have a bar and an expanded menu adding items like chimichangas, fajitas and nachos. Soon it might even offer breakfast. The new location opens March 14, 2019.

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Why Sanford’s Justin Aprahamian is Milwaukee’s chef of the year

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Milwaukee Magazine’s chef of the year

Justin Aprahamian in Milwaukee Magazine’s March 2019 issue. Photo by Kevin J. Miyazaki

Ann picked Justin Aprahamian as Milwaukee Magazine’s first “chef of the year.” He is the chef and co-owner of Sanford Restaurant, a James Beard award winner for 2014’s Best Chef: Midwest, has made a huge positive impact on the city and he is just an all-around nice guy.

She took skill, innovation, consistency and community leadership into consideration and Justin came out the winner.

He’s been gracefully carrying the torch of the original Sanford owners, Sandy and Angie D’Amato, since late 2012.

Anyone who has ever had a meal at Sanford knows that it’s an experience like no other in the city—and we’re not just talking about the divine menu. In her article, Ann calls the service “ballet-like.” And the tight ship all starts with Justin and his humble leadership of his charismatic crew with impeccable presentation.

You can read Ann’s in-depth feature on Justin in this month’s issue of Milwaukee Magazine where he talks about his journey to where he is today and how Sanford is bigger than just him.

Other Milwaukee food news and culinary events

Wisconsin connections at this year’s James Beard Awards

Wednesday, the James Beard foundation announced the 2019 semifinalists for its awards that are like the Grammys of the culinary world.

Five Milwaukee establishments and chefs made the cut: the Bartolotta Restaurants, Bavette La Boucherie, Bryant’s Cocktails, The Diplomat and EsterEv have all joined the James Beard Midwest competition.

Also representing Wisconsin in 2019’s James Beard nominees is Chef Tory Miller’s L’Etoile, for Outstanding Chef and Jonny Hunter of Forequarter in Madison for Best Chef Midwest.

A winter cookout

This year we embraced the polar vortex, the snow and the cold. To reward us for our endurance and to get us all through the rest of winter, Snack Boys and Hotel Madrid are putting on an afternoon cookout like no other.

Expect dishes like suckling pig, smoked brisket, half chickens, to whiskey galore and ice cold beer.

They’ll be hosting at Hotel Madrid under a covered patio with heaters, fires and cocktails to keep you warm. You can learn all the secrets by chatting with the chefs in the outdoor kitchen while they roast, grill and char everything to perfection. Get more information here.

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Your guide to Taste & Toast, which is basically downtown Milwaukee’s happy hour festival

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Milwaukee’s happy hour festival

Lately, you might be seeing a lot of promotion for Taste & Toast Milwaukee—but what is Taste & Toast? It’s kind of like Milwaukee Downtown Dining Week, but smaller. It features five (week)nights of special menus of bottles and bites, during the hours of 4-7 p.m. So basically, we like to call it the Milwaukee happy hour festival.

It’s perfect to lift your spirits and satisfy your palate (and pocketbook) after work by sampling and sipping specially priced small plates, appetizers and mixers at over 20 downtown restaurants.

Here’s a list of all the places participating:

  • Blu at the Pfister Hotel
  • Blue Bat
  • The Brown Bottle
  • Carson’s
  • Cubanitas
  • DOC’s Commerce Smokehouse
  • East Town Kitchen & Bar
  • Flannery’s
  • Harbor House
  • The Garden Grille & Bar at the Hilton Garden Inn
  • The Loaded Slate
  • Monarch Lounge
  • Oak & Shield Gaming Pub
  • Oak Barrel
  • Onesto
  • Pastiche at Hotel Metro
  • Pier 106
  • Rumpus Room
  • SafeHouse
  • Smoke Shack
  • SportClub
  • Tavern at Turner Hall
  • Who’s On Third

The deals at all of these places are the perfect excuse and opportunity to go out every day this week to sample new restaurants, try places you’ve been meaning to go to for years or to revisit old favorites. Even the parking is discounted to $3.

Check out all of the restaurants’ Taste & Toast happy hour menus here.

Other Milwaukee food news and culinary events

Good City Brewing’s new Fiserv Forum taproom

Good City Brewing hasn’t been around that long, but they are expanding quickly. Their new location in the Bucks arena’s Live Block is huge and stylish. And its grand opening weekend is here. Get a list of the festivities, going on all day Friday and Saturday, here.

While you’re drinking, check out the menu. Good City is known for their food as well as their brews. The new downtown location features staples from the original East Side taproom like the Impossible Burger, barramundi po’ boy, pilsner mac and cheese and the beloved curry fries.

EsterEv collaborative dinner series

EsterEv, inside DanDan, is bringing its collaborative dinner series back from March to November. The lineup brings chefs from across the country together to cook cuisines ranging from French to refined Mexican to fine dining. Each date is a 10-course meal and reservations are required. First up on March 5, Chef Ryan Pfeiffer from Chicago’s Blackbird will be at EsterEv to offer his creative Midwestern cuisine using farm-fresh ingredients.

Tua Pasta

We have more Milwaukee pasta news. Tua Pasta (meaning “Your Pasta” in Italian), a fast-casual pasta bar, is now in the works to open downtown at the former John Hawks Pub space along the Riverwalk. It will allow diners to craft their own pasta dishes– choosing from a selection of freshly-made noodles, sauces and locally-sourced toppings that will be cooked right in front of them. Tua Pasta will also serve made-to-order salads, gelato, beer and wine.

Wisconsin supper club dinner

Everyone loves a good supper club. The Landing at Hoyt Park did a Supper Club dinner on January 19, and it was such a good time, they are bringing it back for a second round.

This second Wisconsin Supper Club dinner on March 16 in the cozy Grand Hall will invite Holly De Ruyter, the producer of documentary “Old Fashioned: The Story of the Wisconsin Supper Club” and Mary Bergin, author of Wisconsin Supper Club Cookbook” to provide evening of history, entertainment and of course, a Wisconsin supper club fish-fry dinner and Old Fashioned cocktails.

Campsite 131

March 1, Camp Bar is opening a wine bar—Campsite 131. Named for its address at 131 N. Jackson St., Camp’s newest concept will have a slightly more upscale Northwoods theme with a long list of wines, but it’ll be just as cozy.

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Egg & Flour will bring fresh, handmade (and fast?) pasta to Crossroads Collective

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News from Crossroads Collective

egg & flour pasta bar

Photo courtesy of Egg & Flour

Egg & Flour

Crossroads Collective has been open since December, offering soup, vegetarian fare, BBQ and more. And in March, it’ll be adding pasta to the lineup.

Adam Pawlak, recent executive chef at Black Sheep in Walker’s Point, will be opening the Egg & Flour Pasta Bar in mid-March.

He says it will be all about people being able to come in to “enjoy handmade truffle ravioli with Parmesan cream sauce in less than 10 minutes… and without breaking the bank.”

Handmade is the key word. They’ll be making pasta from scratch every morning—like by putting dough through a handmade extruder to make linguine, spaghetti and rigatoni, or by hand sculpting pastas like ravioli and tortellini.

But these traditional methods don’t exclusively come with traditional ingredients. Gluten free and vegan recipes will also be available.

And they’ll include a range of fanciness, from mac and cheese to pasta Bolognese.

Chinese New Year

In honor of Chinese New Year (February 5-19), all of the vendors at Crossroads Collective are doing Asian-inspired specials to celebrate the Year of the Pig. Here’s what each is doing:

Shanghai speakeasy and main bar – Brews from both Singha and Tsingtao and craft cocktails like “To Catch a Humming Pig” (two gins, housemade orange rosemary syrup, lime), “Hea-ting and Coo-li hing” (avagales silver, li-hing syrup, lime juice) and “Call me Xingfu!” (Tito’s vodka, passion fruit puree, tamarind).

Beerline Cafe – Shanghai noodles featuring udon with stir-fried shiitake mushrooms, Napa cabbage, bok choy, carrots, ginger, scallions and thinly sliced seitan steak strips in garlic hoisin sauce

Falafel Guys – Asian shawarma bowl featuring yellow rice, hummus, chicken shawarma and housemade Asian sauce

Frida – Chinese corn, crab and shrimp soup (gluten and dairy-free); broccoli and Napa slaw with cashews, bean sprouts, blood orange, wonton crisps, edamame and miso vinaigrette; lemongrass chicken bao burger with pickled carrots, daikon, cucumber, cilantro and togarashi aioli on a steamed bun

Heaven’s Table BBQ – Smoked five spice pork brisket served with ginger and garlic rice and hoisin bbq sauce

The Laughing Taco – Red light ramen rice bowl featuring rice, scallion, trout roe, bonito, togarashi and soy sauce (with the option to upgrade your bowl with a serving of trompo pork)

Scratch Ice Cream – Candied banana fritters served with a scoop of ice cream

Other Milwaukee food news and culinary events

Pączki Day

Fat Tuesday is also Pączki Day in Milwaukee. Pączki is a sweet Polish donut-like bakery item and here are the The Wisconsin Bakers Association’s Paczki Preview Party is the place to eat and celebrate the pastry.

This event on Sunday, February 24 at the Polish Center of Wisconsin includes a “Paczki Passport” which gets you samples from each of the participating paczki vendors: Cranky Al’s, Grebe’s Bakery, Le Rêve Patisserie and Café, Neat-O’s Bake Shoppe and Sweet Perfections Bake Shoppe.

Centraal Grand Café and Tappery

Cafe Centraal in Bay View was closed for over a month to renovate and innovate. Now, they’ve reopened as Centraal Grand Café and Tappery. They’ve tripled their draft lines for the new and improved beverage program. And of course, these expansions include the menu too. Take a look at the new menu here, which includes a new snacks section, lots of friets and a weekday brunch menu. We can’t wait to try almost everything on here.

Twisted Fork Vegan Festival

February 24 from noon to 5 p.m., the Sherman Phoenix will be participating in a statewide celebration of this hashtag called #HealthierYou. Twisted Fork Vegan Festival is a free event, open to the public where vegans, vegetarians, omnivores and everything in between are welcome. And it’s a good chance to check out the Sherman Phoenix if you haven’t yet.

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Romantic restaurants in Milwaukee that won’t be too loud or crowded on Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day date ideas in Milwaukee

Three Brothers restaurant milwaukee romantic restaurants

Three Brothers Restaurant, photo courtesy of Travel Wisconsin

In her Ask Ann column in Milwaukee Magazine, Ann recently gave her recommendations for places for romantic dining in Milwaukee for Valentine’s Day or any other special date night. Here’s what she said:

Three Brothers

“First place that comes to mind is Three Brothers, because it’s cozy, feels like an escape (tucked away on a quiet Bay View street) and the hearty, stewy Serbian food is perfect for sharing. And the place just seems slower. But bring cash!”


Meraki in Walker’s Point is a restaurant I don’t mention enough. The menu targets grazers to prix fixe diners, and the seating options include intimate booths. (Plus they have a secret-menu burger!)”


“Mistral, the Mediterranean bistro attached to the Bay View’s Avalon Theater, has a private alcove table you can request by reservation. And with the cinema right there, you can hit an early or late screening – under the enchanting stars projected on the theater ceiling.”

Harbor House

“Granted, a winter evening won’t offer much of a lake view at Harbor House, but who needs a view when you’re gazing into somebody’s eyes? Request a booth or table next to the windows. The menu offers special-occasion must-gets like whole steamed lobster, crab legs, surf and turf and raw oysters, which may or may not have aphrodisiac properties.”

Here are some other ideas for the hopeless romantics out there:

Tapas & Amore at The Iron Horse Hotel

At the Tapas & Amore event, minglin’ singles and lovers alike will be spicing things up in the midst of the winter chill thanks to the flamenco guitar sounds of Evan Christian and a Spanish-themed cocktail and tapas menu available in the Iron Horse’s Smyth restaurant, Branded bar and The Lobby lounge. It’s the perfect place to whisper “te amo” to the one you adore, or celebrate the season with your squad (and plenty of vino).

Bavette’s Valentine’s Day menu

Bavette La Boucherie might be a great foodie date on February 14. It will have a special four-course tasting menu available in addition to the regular menu. The sweetheart specials include lots of oysters, scallops, roast quail and more.

Safe House

Safe House is hosting an anti-Valentine’s Day party called Operation: Bang and Burn. They’re asking that you “bring an item that reminds you of your ex to destroy in a fiery inferno.”

Strange Town

This Valentine’s Day, Strange Town will be cooking and serving a track-by-track rendition of the Smiths classic “Strangeways, Here We Come” LP! Get more info about the prix fixe menu and reservations here.

Other Milwaukee food news and culinary events

Milwaukee’s first food truck park

Seemingly combining the trends of food halls and food trucks, Milwaukee will be getting it’s own “food truck park” this spring. The owner of Mazorca is behind the new concept and has bought a lot and building in Walker’s Point to open Zocalo Food Park and Tavern.

Jesus Gonzalez says the hope for Zocalo, which is the word for a public square in Mexico, is to create a similar gathering place by bringing in food trucks, a beverage program and even have room for parking, outdoor seating, live entertainment and games such as bocce ball and soccer.

Pho-bruary in the Silver City

It’s Pho-bruary! This month, Thai Bar-B-Que, Bamboo and Vientiane Noodle Shop will be selling pho for $5 a bowl when you dine in. Usually it costs between $8 and $10. Though just because it’s on sale, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tip your server.

Dim Sum + Give Some

Dim Sum + Give Some is back this year as a gala. Monday, March 18 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at the Italian Community Center, 15 acclaimed chefs from Milwaukee, from across the Midwest and as far as Colorado will be coming together to put on a six-course dinner to support The Kennedy’s Disease Association in honor Dan Jacobs of DanDan, who is battling Kennedy’s Disease. This cocktail party-style gala is sure to bring together good food and good drinks over a good cause.

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Where to get the best soup in Milwaukee

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Best soups in Milwaukee

soup bros milwaukee

Soup Bros, photo courtesy of Yelp user Gina S.

Soup Bros

The Soup Brothers have been in Milwaukee for over 20 years and they serve soup so good that “Warhol would have eaten it, not painted it,” as one of their signs on the wall says. The vibe, the music and the eclectic design of the whole place is offbeat, but warm and inviting, like any good soup establishment should be. The menu always has a few different broth-based and cream-based soups that are always served with a slice of delicious and warm sourdough bread. The fire-roasted red pepper bisque is a favorite (especially Ann’s favorite). And I prefer the Mario’s Barrio stew. It’s not always on the menu though, which should be a crime.

Amaranth Bakery

Just because it doesn’t have soup in the name doesn’t mean they don’t have good ones. Amaranth Bakery specializes in whole-grain breads and pastries, but their soups are just as carefully crafted. With a wide variety of flavors like peanut sweet potato, Turkish lentil, borscht, shrimp vegetable curry and a potato-kale with Italian sausage, you won’t be disappointed.

The Soup Otzie’s 

This retro diner is for the mom’s-pot-roast-loving crowd, which is just one of the great soups the restaurant serves. Soup Otzie’s other daily specials vary from creamy corn chipotle, beef barley and Thai curry.

Benji’s Deli

Benji’s Deli is a classic Jewish diner that serves classic grandma comfort soups that never get old, like matzo ball, sweet-sour cabbage borscht and the “mish mosh,” a chicken broth soup with matzo ball, noodles, rice and kreplach (meat-filled dumplings).

The Soup House

You’ll want to get to this lunch spot by noon if you want a bowl of the best-selling buffalo chicken soup or seafood gumbo. Or, get the jasmine rice or noodles with tikka masala. And bring cash! The Soup House doesn’t accept plastic.

Other Milwaukee food news and culinary events

Tables Across Borders

Three Milwaukee restaurants – Amilinda, The Tandem and Tricklebee Cafe – want to highlight some of Milwaukee’s refugee communities’ cuisines with a new pop-up dinner series called Tables Across Borders. The series will feature cuisines from Syria, Serbia, Congo, Ethopia and more.  There will even be a dinner featuring Rohingya cuisine, whose Milwaukee community has the largest number of Rohingya refugees in America. There will be six dinners that will be located at the three restaurants. Check out the schedule here.

Michael Twitty, author of “The Cooking Gene” in Milwaukee

Author Michael Twitty is coming to Milwaukee on his book tour for “The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South,” which won two James Beard awards in 2018 for Best Food Writing and Book of the Year. On February 18 at the Mitchell Street Library, he’ll be giving a talk on culinary justice and the African American impact on Southern foodways and the complexities of his identity as a gay, African American, Jewish man.

Then February 19 at The Diplomat, he will be the guest of honor at the Tase of the South dinner, a meal to honor journeys through Afroculinaria. Dane Baldwin, Linda Burrell, Jennifer Casey, Zakiya Courtney, Caitlin Cullen, Michael Easterling, Jarvis Williams and Venice Williams will cook up a feast celebrating regionally and culturally diverse Southern foodways. Get more info on that event here.

Santino’s Little Italy

Ann just discovered and fell in love with this “Moonstruck”-esque Italian hideaway in Bay View. It’s the kind of place that when you walk in, the owner will give you a warm greeting and you’ll feel like you stepped into Italy. And the atmosphere has an authentic menu to match with a bocce ball-sized meatball appetizer, Pisano pizzas, saucy old-school Italian-American dishes and Mama Galati’s Italian cookies to top it all off. You can check out Ann’s full review of Santino’s in the February issue of Milwaukee Magazine or try it for yourself.

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How much should you tip these days in Milwaukee?

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Tipping etiquette

view mke server

Photo courtesy of View MKE

There are a lot of articles out there about how tipping actually hurts the server or how its history is twisted, even racist.

While these things may be true, not tipping will also hurt the server because whether or not it’s fair, the tipped minimum wage still exists. So until restaurant workers have a better wage, you gotta tip.

Ann did some research for an article in Milwaukee Magazine and found that according to The Emily Post Institute, tipping 15-20 percent on a sit-down restaurant meal is still recommended. And unless service is really terrible, we tip 20 percent anytime we’re at a place with a server that comes to your table.

And when service is exceptional (or a delivery driver is out in extreme conditions for example, like when I ordered food in the recent snowstorm), you can always tip more.

But what about fast-casual counter-service joints, food trucks and places that add gratuity to the bill you ask? Well, the last one at least is easy. You don’t have to tip twice.

As for counter-service, where you’ll often pay with a Square or other mobile app, Anne says this:

“Per Eater’s recent ‘definitive’ restaurant tipping guide, 20 percent is your go-to. Why? Because workers are sharing the burden of taking and running orders, busing tables and keeping the place clean. Coffeehouses? Not necessary to tip, says Eater, but a buck or two per order is an extra token of appreciation. Food trucks? Not mandatory, but again a dollar or two to show recognition. Bars? The Eater guide advises a dollar per drink at a dive bar and 20 percent at a cocktail bar.”

Other Milwaukee food news and culinary events

Chinese New Year at DanDan 

The Year of the Pig is almost upon us and DanDan is celebrating the new year for three nights, January 31-February 2. Dinner is 4-10 p.m. and they’re serving a special four-course menu, featuring pork and Chinese chive dumplings and a Cantonese pork belly. And on February 5, they’re celebrating the Year of the Pig with a pig roast celebration from 6-10 p.m. DanDan is taking reservations for both, though if you’ll be there on the fifth, make sure to request the pig roast if that’s what you’ll be eating.

I.d. at The Delafield Hotel

Also on February 5, the I.d. restaurant in The Delafield Hotel will be flipping the restaurant to go back to the days of the classic supper club with a special, swanky menu. Chef Joe will be putting his spin on club staples like the relish tray and prime rib.

Valentine’s Day dinners

Safe House

Safe House is hosting an anti-Valentine’s Day party called Operation: Bang and Burn. They’re asking that you “bring an item that reminds you of your ex to destroy in a fiery inferno.”

Strange Town

This Valentine’s Day, Strange Town will be cooking and serving a track-by-track rendition of the Smiths classic “Strangeways, Here We Come” LP! Get more info about the prix fixe menu and reservations here.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

A year of Milwaukee restaurant openings and closings in review

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The 2018 Milwaukee dining year in review

dons diner and cocktails

Don’s Diner & Cocktails

When one restaurant closes, another opens. That was the case in 2018 when c. 1880 closed and Don’s Diner & Cocktails opened in its place. Or, did you forget that all happened last year? We almost did. That’s why Ann put together this article in Milwaukee Magazine keeping track of the openings and closings we saw in 2018. So here are the changes that you might have forgot that our dining scene has seen in the last year:

Snack Boys opened. Yokohama closed, but Merge opened in its place. View MKE opened in the old Wolf Peach. Milwaukee got two new food halls: Crossroads Collective and the Sherman Phoenix (which is really more than a food hall). Uncle Wolfie’s Breakfast Tavern and the Tavern at Turner opened. Coquette Cafe closed, but Fauntleroy opened. Sze Chuan opened. Water Buffalo closed and Blue Bat Kitchen & Tequilaria opened. Brady Street welcomed Kompali. Bay View welcomed Belli’s Bistro & Spirits, but said goodbye to Juniper 61. The Third Ward got Char’d, but lost Swig. And the East Side got another vegan spot, Celesta.

We were sad to see a lot of these restaurants go, but are looking forward to trying (and revisiting) all of these new options in Milwaukee. And as always, if you want to help keep a restaurant you like from closing—go eat there!

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The only thing that competes with the adoptable cats at Sip & Purr Cat Café? The pastries

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