Jeffrey Merlot
Mr. & Mrs. M.

Milwaukee’s best Bloody Mary

By - Apr 30th, 2011 04:00 am
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For having such a terribly unassuming name, we found that The Eatery on Farwell knocked our socks off with charming service and affordable sophistication.

The Eatery is located at 2014 North Farwell Ave., in a property that has changed hands repeatedly in the past several years. We have always liked this space; we like its floor plan and its location on Milwaukee’s fast and trendy East Side. But now we’re absolutely in love with it!

Three well-appointed outdoor dining terraces compliment a roomy (but cozy) interior, tastefully decorated with little crystal chandeliers hanging overhead and prints of some of Manet’s and Degas’ more famous works on the walls, along with interesting black-and-white photos of a very old Milwaukee. We sincerely hope that this establishment is here to stay, and does not end up like its predecessors.

To start things off, Mr. M. tried their Bloody Mary. Now just so you know, we are not ones to hand out stars or rate places with other cute scales. We tell readers what we think is good (or in some cases, bad) about a place, offer a general idea of what the prices are, and leave it up to the readers to decide for themselves. We are also not in the habit of proclaiming “best of” categories, but we’re making an exception —  we gladly break with our tradition to declare this to be the best Bloody Mary in Milwaukee! As Mrs. M. was quick to note, she has never heard Mr. M. say “Damn, that’s a good Bloody Mary!”

Bloody Mary cocktails everywhere are either too tart, too tomatoey, too watery or too spicy, or a combination of all of the above. Most places these days are trying to make up for their poor Bloody Mary mixtures by jazzing them up with over-the-top garnishes like mini cheese burgers on a stick, slices of fried bacon, Slim Jims, etc. The Eatery’s Bloody Mary does come with lots of garnish (including a big piece of tasty beef jerky), but they don’t need to make up for any deficiency in their recipe with the garnish.

The Eatery’s Bloody Mary is savory and simply perfect. Their secret? Finlandia vodka steeped for ten days with sliced, fresh red bell pepper, onion, chili pepper, tomatoes and other proprietary ingredients. At only $7.50 each, this is now our official Bloody Mary headquarters!

But, of course, we had to eat something, too.

The simple, but impressive, menu offers an eclectic assortment of multi-cultural classics. For between $6.50 and $12, you can start things off with Andouille Pepper Jack Dip, Oysters Rockefeller, “Tootsie Rolls” (deep-fried wontons filled with cream cheese, shrimp, red peppers and scallions with honey Dijon), Bruschetta di Pomodori, Steak Bruschetta (tenderloin cooked medium-rare with Boursin cheese, pomodoro on garlic toast), or good ol’ Wisconsin cheese curds.

Soups and salads run between $3.50 and $9.75, and feature baked French onion soup, Andouille chicken chili, Caprese salad (made with their own basil vinaigrette), spinach salad and other items, including fresh fruit.

Their burgers and “sammies” include Mexican Chicken Tinga —  pulled chicken in chipoltle BBQ sauce with provolone cheese served on a ciabatta bun for $8, “The Cheese” – a luxurious grilled cheese sandwich on Italian toast for $7 , a salmon Po’ Boy for $9.75, an old-fashioned bacon cheeseburger for $8.50, and a souped-up BLT called “The Farwell” for $8.50 (jalapeño bacon, turkey, lettuce, tomato and avocado aioli served on Italian bread).

For even heartier appetites, there’s the  Sicilian steak sandwich for $9.25 –a breaded tenderloin served with mixed peppers, fresh mozzarella, marinara and garlic aioli on Italian bread; or the “Gigantor” sandwich for $10.50 — a 10 oz. burger with Muenster cheese, lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions and garlic aioli.

The entrée selection is limited, but quite substantial. Prices range between $8 and $17 for items such as Pecan Chicken, Pan-Seared Salmon, “Pig in a Pot” (pork tenderloin and sautéed mushrooms with their classic pan sauce, finished with Muenster cheese and duxelle in a terra cotta pot), Tofu-Stuffed Ravioli (roasted red pepper and tofu-stuffed wontons fried and set in a roasted red pepper coulis and topped with julienned vegetables), Braised Short Ribs served with their own root-vegetable mash, classic Filet au Poivre served with a baked potato and sautéed mushrooms, and Macaroni and Cheese.

The dessert list even has New Orleans beignets for $5.50! Brunch costs between $5 and $8.50, and is served daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. They also have a full drink list and a nice wine selection.

Mrs. M. enjoyed a glass of prosecco for $9 and their “short stack” of gigantic, fluffy pancakes for $6 (calling it a “short” stack has got to be a joke because it’s roughly the same size as the city of Madison). Mr. M. opted for “The Cuban” sandwich —  perfectly-roasted pork loin and ham, very thinly sliced, with provolone cheese, pickle relish and Dijon mayonnaise which very much resembles Latin recaito sauce, served on Italian bread with a side of crunchy steak fries, all for $9.75.

Our only complaint – and this is more of a generic complaint about most restaurants these days: portion size. They’re just too darned big to be able to finish at the restaurant! But that’s lunch the next day, we suppose.

Did we mention that the Bloody Mary here is P-E-R-F-E-C-T?

Gentlemen, this is an ideal place to impress a new date with first-class style without blowing your whole paycheck.

The Eatery on Farwell
2014 N. Farwell Avenue
(414) 220-1110
Major credit cards accepted

Categories: Dining, Mr. and Mrs. M.

0 thoughts on “Mr. & Mrs. M.: Milwaukee’s best Bloody Mary”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m still celebrating the long-hoped-for demise of Pepe’s Rotten Taco Shack at that location. They apparently set up shop thinking they were going to school los estupidos de Milwaukee about Mexican food, and gouge us while they’re at it. What they accomplished was to offend everyone who made the mistake of entering, with crummy food, outrageous prices, portions that made people leave hungry and angry, and blatant rip-off touches like charging $2 for a “side” that turned out to be a condiment cup of cold, canned bean juice with a teaspoon of beans in it. They sucked memorably!

  2. Anonymous says:

    We never stepped foot into that place – we got a bad vibe just driving past it (glad we never did go in there now)!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I finally came up with an AWESOME Bloody Mary recipe of my own (better late than never)!

    Per cocktail,

    Fill an 8-oz. glass with ice. Add in the following ingredients:

    2 oz. vodka
    4 oz. tomato juice
    ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    ½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce (6 – 8 dashes from the bottle)
    ¼ teaspoon celery salt
    ¼ teaspoon lemon-pepper
    ¼ teaspoon ground, black pepper
    ¼ teaspoon ground, dry dill

    Shake mixture in a cocktail mixer, then pour back into the glass. Garnish with a stick of celery, piece of bacon, olives or whatever suits your fancy!

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