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EsterEv leaving the DanDan nest for its own home in Bay View

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A collection of elegantly plated food arranged on a dark tabletop with beverages nearby.
A few of the items from EsterEv's rotating menu.

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.

Ann and I get to report on a lot of things, but among our favorites is when a smaller restaurant concept gets to spread its wings and fly with the big birds. The topic leading off this episode is one of those feel-good stories — sort of.

EsterEv isn’t exactly a plucky underdog at this point. The fine-dining establishment comes from the minds of two of Milwaukee’s most renowned chefs: Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite. The pair also own DanDan, the lauded Third Ward restaurant in which EsterEv currently operates. Come March, however, that won’t be the case.

Since 2016, the double Dans have welcomed food fans to EsterEv on Friday and Saturday evenings. In the years since, the duo’s work earned several James Beard Award nominations and built a following significant enough to take the project to a familiar location in Bay View. The storefront at 2165 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. was the home of C-Viche until last October, and its newest tenant plans to open March 20 according to a license application.

In its current setup, EsterEv can offer its constantly rotating menu of seasonal items to about 20 diners at a time. That number will more than double in the new space, with seating for 50 between the dining room and bar. While the capacity will change, the restaurant’s commitment to nostalgia-fueled dishes inspired by the great-grandmothers of Jacobs (Ester) and Van Rite (Evelyn) will remain.

You can hear us talk all about this evolving gem in Milwaukee’s food scene in the episode, as well as what else is going on around the city:

Our doors are always open — not literally since we need it quiet in the studio to record. But, metaphorically, you’re invited to our podcast home every week. If you haven’t subscribed yet, please tap that button wherever you listen to us. Thanks.

Director of Digital | Radio Milwaukee