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The culinary art coming to the Saint Kate hotel this spring

Along with our first arts hotel, Milwaukee will be getting its first champagne bar this spring when Saint Kate opens.

Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine’s dining critic, Ann Christenson, and 88Nine’s 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 podcast episode below to hear about all the food and drinks coming to Saint Kate, Milwaukee Black Restaurant Week, changes coming to Smyth at the Iron Horse Hotel and a special wine dinner coming to Blue's Egg.

Restaurants at the new Saint Kate Arts Hotel

Tuesday, Saint Kate—the new arts hotel opening this spring in Milwaukee—released its plans for four new restaurant and bar concepts coming to the former Intercontinental. Here they are:

Aria Café & Bar

The heart of Saint Kate’s food and beverage program will be Aria Café & Bar. The all-day neighborhood café and restaurant, located on the second floor of the hotel, will specialize in simple, classic American cuisine handcrafted from the freshest, seasonal ingredients. Whether enjoying blueberry granola pancakes or house made corned beef hash in the morning, the return of the Milwaukee favorite Big Boy Burger for lunch, or sugar and spice crispy Amish chicken and shareable plates like charred Octopus with romesco for dinner, Aria will offer a friendly environment for socializing while noshing on humble, rebooted classics. The restaurant will also feature several select partnerships with local butchers, bakers, brewers and potters to celebrate art in all its forms. Just like the expressive melodies of an operatic aria, Aria Café & Bar will be a performance of sight, smells and flavors.

Proof Pizza

Located adjacent to Saint Kate on Water Street, Proof Pizza will be Milwaukee’s newest neighborhood pizza joint – a pizzeria perfect for a quick lunch during a busy work day or a casual dinner before a performance. Inspired by the regional cuisine of southern Italy, Proof Pizza will be known for its specialty and build-your-own hand-made Neapolitan-style pizzas featuring 48-hour slow-rise dough and homemade tomato sauce, all cooked in under two minutes in a handcrafted 800-degree brick oven. Other menu items include Italian-style pocket sandwiches known as “tascas,” fresh seasonal salads, antipasti, playful desserts and other Italian classics reinterpreted with an artistic twist. Proof Pizza will also feature a simple and fun selection of imported and craft beers, as well as tasty wines.

the Bar

The focal point and primary gathering area at Saint Kate, “the Bar” will welcome artists of all stripes and walks of life to work and play around the clock. During the day, the Bar’s evocative collection of art and comfortable seating creates the neighborhood’s go to spot for work or casual pop-up meetings. Guests can sip on locally roasted coffee, fresh squeezed all-natural juices and cocktails, or nibble on house-made pastries. In the evening, the convivial space will transform into a vibrant, social spot, where guests and locals alike will mix, mingle and commune around the intimate bar while sipping cocktails made by expert craftsmen and experiencing pop-up sets from local DJs, performers and other artists. From the ice, juices and bitters made in-house, to “outside-of-the-glass” presentation, each hand-crafted cocktail will be created with the care and attention of an artist. The Bar will also feature draft cocktails with shareable drink options, nitro cold brew cocktails, local craft beers on tap, a crowd-sourced beer can art program, approachable wines, and a special focus on non-alcoholic drinks. Guests will be able to enjoy bites from the Proof Pizza throughout the night. Also, for guests who prefer to enjoy a drink in the privacy of their room, the Bar will provide “Do it Yourself” cocktail room service.

Giggly Champagne & Wine Bar

Also found on the second floor of Saint Kate will be “Giggly Champagne & Wine Bar,” Milwaukee’s first and only champagne bar. A hidden gem overlooking Milwaukee’s theatre and entertainment district, Giggly (for short) will tickle the senses. Giggly will be the place to make every day a party – to “faire la fete.” A collection of champagne and international sparkling wines from the world’s finest vintners will be available by the glass and bottle, as well as a full selection of cocktails, beer and bar bites. An inviting wine list will take guests from sweet to dry and showcase different variations of sparkling wine, while the cocktails will highlight the fun you can have when pairing sparkling wine and spirits. You will be able to find some non-alcoholic fizzy lifting drinks and bubbly desserts, too!

Other Milwaukee food news and culinary events

Black Restaurant Week

Community members, black-owned restaurants and BlankSpaceMKE have come together for the fourth year to showcase African American entrepreneurship and promote local businesses by hosting MKE Black Restaurant Week, April 14-20, 2019. Get more information about the restaurants participating here.

Iron Horse Hotel's Smyth

The Iron Horse Hotel's restaurant, Smyth, will be closing in May 1 and reopening as a new restaurant. It's still unnamed, but it'll be created by the team behind many downtown restaurant like DanDan and Fauntleroy. We did get one clue: they're putting in a hearth for wood-fired cooking. We can't wait to see what that means.

Gamba wine dinner at Blue's Egg

Thursday, April 11, Blue’s Egg in Shorewood will be hosting a dinner featuring wines from Gamba Vineyards and Winery, including its Etrusca Wines. Agostino Gamba, owner, grape grower and winemaker of this fine wine estate will also be there. Dinner will be prepared in collaboration between Blue’s Egg Shorewood and Story Hill BKC’s culinary teams, under the direction of co-owner Chef Joe Muench. Get more menu details and tickets here.

Director of Digital | Radio Milwaukee