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The Wolf is revealed, and The Cheel has returned

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Side-by-side photos of elegantly plated lettuce wraps and a lamb shank on a bed of rise with steam rising from it.
The Wolf / The Cheel
Dishes from The Wolf (left) and The Cheel will tempt area diners, as both restaurants are now in their soft-opening phase.

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.

I usually supply the words that (hopefully) entice you into listening to each episode. For this one, I’m going to turn it over to my co-host, who said the following at the top of one of her recent news items over at the Milwaukee Magazine website:

“The opening gods have come through this week.”

Indeed they have, as the area welcomed a new restaurant option from a familiar name and welcomed back another that seems to have rebounded from a heavy dose of bad luck.

The first is The Wolf on Broadway, which is now open on the ground level of The Kinn Guesthouse. The latest brainchild of Whitney McAllister and Wolfgang Schafer, who own Uncle’s Wolfie’s Breakfast Tavern, will serve a menu inspired by executive chef Kristen Schwab’s family dinners growing up.

We’re talking corn fritters with chili pepper jam, butter chicken wings, a chili crisp fish sandwich and duck-fried farro with duck confit and a sunny egg. We all should be so lucky to have family dinners like that.

On the “welcome back” side of things, The Cheel in Thiensville is softly open three years after a fire decimated the Nepali-inspired eatery. Reconstruction delays turned a summer reopening into a fall one, but folks are finally coming through the door to get a taste of endive boats, bheda shank lamb and truffle filet mignon.

Besides the two openings, we’ve got some Thanksgiving-themed talk to go along with the feast that is almost upon us. Ann’s colleague at Milwaukee Magazine, Kristine Hansen, compiled a list of local restaurants for those who’d prefer to have someone else cobble (gobble?) together their holiday meal.

Finally — and sorry to end on a bummer — we also say goodbye to Balzac, the Lower East Side wine bar that announced its closing this week. According to co-owner Leslie Montemurro, the fallout from the pandemic has made it too challenging to continue, and the last service will be next Wednesday, Nov. 22.

We, of course, will soldier on to keep you informed about all the openings, closings and other culinary news around the Milwaukee area. It would be a big help if you could subscribe wherever you listen to us, and leave a rating or review if you like what you hear. Thanks.

Director of Digital | Radio Milwaukee