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Milwaukee’s Birch lands among America’s best restaurants

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Eight photos arranged in a grid showing elegantly plated food selections from a high-end restaurant.
Birch / Facebook
Just a few of the many excellent dishes created at Birch, which the "New York Times" named one of the top restaurants in America.

Each week on This Bites, dining critic Ann Christenson from Milwaukee Magazine and Radio Milwaukee’s resident foodie Tarik Moody dig into the city’s culinary and restaurant culture to help you find new spots, old favorites and the best ingestibles around Milwaukee.

We don’t talk about sports very often on This Bites. And we don’t on this week’s episode, either. But our lead item reminded me of something Milwaukee Brewers fans might be familiar with: the connection between the food scenes in our city and New York.

Last month, the team traded for Mark Canha, then a member of the New York Mets and a well-known foodie. Asked about swapping the Big Apple’s culinary landscape for Milwaukee’s, he said, "Daniel Vogelbach was there, and he was right away coming up to me with all the restaurants I need to go to. I think it's a sneaky good food city."

Maybe not so sneaky after all. No less than the New York Times, in its list of the best restaurants in America released earlier this week, included Milwaukee’s Birch — the only Wisconsin representative in the bunch. The Times in its write-up said of Birch chef and owner Kyle Knall:

One meal at the restaurant he runs with his wife and partner, Meghan, and it’s apparent he is a chef sincerely inspired by his new surroundings. Where else can you get roasted wild walleye, served in its own smoke-scented broth with pickled fennel salsa verde, or exceptional housemade pastas enlivened by premium Wisconsin ingredients, from feta to corn to shishito peppers? This is worldly Midwestern cuisine free of clichés.

We add our own kind words at the top of this week’s episode, which also includes:

  • Another “best of” search — this one from Honeypie Cafe, which will hold its eighth Great Midwestern Pie Championship on Oct. 7.
  • An official opening for the eatery with arguably the best view in the city: Greek restaurant Avli.
  • Ann’s thoughts on the Trade Hotel restaurants, with her full review available only in the latest issue of Milwaukee Magazine.
  • A grab-and-go burrito spot set to open in early November just south of Cathedral Square Park on North Jefferson Street.

Thanks for picking up this week’s episode. If you’d rather have them delivered (no charge), be sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Director of Digital | Radio Milwaukee