Jack Fennimore
Now Serving

Eat Thanksgiving on Hyatt’s 20th Floor

Hotel's high-rise restaurant returns -- with turkey. And the Oakland Ave. Pizza War Part II.

By - Nov 25th, 2015 02:54 pm
Hyatt Regency Milwaukee. Photo by Brian Jacobson

Hyatt Regency Milwaukee. Photo by Brian Jacobson

When we reported on the newly renovated yet unnamed restaurant – formerly known as the revolving Polaris – atop the Hyatt Regency at 333 W. Kilbourn Ave., we noted the hotel will start serving holiday meals. Sure enough, the Hyatt’s high-rise restaurant is offering a Thanksgiving Day meal from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. that you and your whole family can enjoy as you take in the spectacular view, according to the website.

The restaurant will have carving stations serving orange and thyme turkey breast and salt & sugar crusted striploin. You can also enjoy rosemary pork loin with sautéed leeks and Swiss chard or seared salmon with fire-roasted red pepper sauce. And for dessert, have a slice of pumpkin cheesecake, chocolate crunch bar cake or a crème puff or two.

The meal is $45 for adults, $15.95 for children 4 to 12 years old and free for those 3 and under. You can make reservations by going on the website, by emailing nick.gravy@hyatt.com or by calling (414) 270-6052. And yes, we too wonder if Nick Gravy is a person or…?

The Iron Horse Hotel

If you’d prefer to eat your meal closer to the earth, the Iron Horse Hotel invites you and yours to join them for Thanksgiving.

“Thanksgiving Day at Smyth,” as the hotel’s British-sounding restaurant is named, consists of a buffet at the hotel’s restaurant on Thanksgiving Day from 12 to 4 p.m. According to their website, it includes everything from roasted Amish turkey, carved ham, honey-glazed smoked salmon and pumpkin pies to vegetarian options like vegetable crudités and quinoa salad. The meal is $39 per person and $16 per child. You can make reservations by calling (414) 374-4766.

Later on, if you want to cap the day with some hot music,  head to the hotel from 7 to 10 p.m. for “Thanksgiving Escape,” where you can enjoy drink specials and music from DJ E-Rich.

MOD Pizza

Sal’s Pizza, Lisa’s Pizzeria, Carini’s La Conca d’Oro, and now MOD Pizza? It looks like the Oakland Avenue pizza war is getting a new combatant. The Seattle-based MOD Pizza, which specializes in build-your-own pizza, will be coming to the “Mosaic” building on Oakland Ave. in Shorewood, according to BizTimes.

MOD Pizza will be the first retailer at General Capital Group’s six-story, mixed-use building being developed at the site between E. Kenmore Pl. and E. Olive St. on the west side of Oakland Ave. The building will also house 90 upscale apartment units and 15,000 square feet of retail space when it opens in Fall of 2016, president of General Capital Group Michael Weiss told the publication. The two-story Shorewood Metro Market, complete with sushi, wine, smoothie and “Veg’d Vegan” Bar and four-story parking garage, are also in development at the site. You can learn more about the Shorewood Metro Market as well as the other buildings on the site by visiting the website.

MOD Pizza was founded in 2008 by Scott and Ally Svenson, according to the restaurant chain’s website. In addition to pizzas with a variety of toppings and sauces, they also serve salads, cinnamon and garlic strips, hand-spun milkshakes, house-made iced teas and lemonades, draft beer and wine.

The Milwaukee Business Journal writes that the building on Oakland will be the second location for the pizza chain. MOD Pizza’s first location in Wisconsin, as the Business Journal writes, will be in the planned retail-restaurant development at Highway 50 and 94th Ave. in Pleasant Prairie. The Corner Bakery Café will be joining MOD Pizza at that location.


A word about Wisconsin: it has a strong Norwegian heritage, overshadowed by its German traditions. But Milwaukee never had a large Norwegian population.

But it will now have a bar serving Norwegian and Scandinavian food, and on N. Old World 3rd St., no less, with the Wagnerian monikor of Valhalla, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Ken and Melissa McNulty, who also own the nearby Wisconsin Cheese Mart and Uber Tap Room, plan to open the bar at 1111 N. Old World 3rd St. in spring of next year.

Yes the couple certainly sounds Irish but Melissa McNulty will be tapping into her family’s Norwegian heritage for the menu, which includes open-faced sandwiches called smorrebrod. The dishes will be modern and include local ingredients. Sorry, “No lutefisk,” she told the newspaper.

Kelly Cramer, the new tavern’s general manager who also handles marketing for the Wisconsin Cheese Mart, told the newspaper that the new place will offer traditional Scandinavian drinks including beers, hard ciders and a vodka-like spirit flavored with dill or other herbs, spices and fruits known as aquavit.

Development is already underway on the exterior and interior of the building to better fit the Scandinavian modern design and outdoorsy feel. The tavern will also have a beer garden complete with TVs for watching sports.

Fun fact: Valhalla is said to be home to Heiðrún, a goat that eats the buds of the tree Læraðr and produces mead from her teats for Einherjar, those who have died in battle, to enjoy. Mead from her teats? We’ll be very disappointed if this drink is not served at Valhalla.

Milwaukee Art Museum’s Café Calatrava

We reported in early October that Jason Gorman, previously of Potawatomi Hotel and Casino, the Iron Horse Hotel and Kenosha’s Maniga Wine Bar, is going to be the new executive chef at the museum’s Calatrava Café. And now, after the museum’s $34 million dollar renovation – which you can read our coverage of over here – Gorman is ready to show off his reimagining of the restaurant’s menu.

OMC reports that Gorman is using ingredients from local purveyors such as Pinehold Gardens in Oak Creek, Maple Creek Farms, Pin Oak Farms, Jen Her Family Farm and Sassy Cow Creamery. He’s also making his own focaccia, flatbreads and fresh pasta in house.

For appetizers, you can enjoy sweet potato hummus ($7), butternut squash soup with sage and smoked paprika ($6) and roasted mushrooms served over polenta with hazelnut gremolata ($11). Entrees include a flatbread with sopressata, sweet onion, Pomodoro sauce and fior di late mozzarella ($15), Rushing Waters Trout with smashed German butterball potatoes with charred carrots and an Italian lemon-based sauce known as salmoriglio ($16), a sandwich with milk-braised pork shoulder and provolone with pickled mustard seeds and fennel slaw ($12) and Strauss veal meatballs with creamy polenta with wild mushrooms and gravy ($15). Rounding things off is dessert with options such as dark chocolate espresso mousse pie with Purple Door espresso ice cream, graham cracker crust and sea salt caramel ($8) and a warm Nutella and banana sandwich on brioche sautéed with butter and topped with candied hazelnuts and huckleberry sauce ($7).

Aspiring foodies can get their Instagram accounts fired up at the restaurant from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, with a special brunch menu every Sunday.

In other news, the coffee shop in the southeast corner of Windhover Hall is also getting a reimagining with sandwiches made to order, new salads and bread and bakery products from Rocket Baby Bakery.

The Museum will also be holding a holiday brunch in Windhover Hall on Dec. 13th with seatings at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The brunch is $55 per person or $40 for museum members as well as $15 for kids age 7-12 and free for children 6 or younger.

Iron Grate BBQ Co.

We first reported on Iron Grate BBQ Co. when they announced that they would open sometime in November at 4177 S. Howell Ave. along with Hawthorne Coffee Roasters. According to OnMilwaukee, the restaurant just announced an opening day of Dec. 4th.

The restaurant is specializing in — what else? — barbequed meats. One restaurant specialty is the “Milwaukee rib”: a three-inch-thick cut of pork rib with the belly meat attached. Other options include beef brisket, pulled pork and smoked hot links along with baked beans and smoked tomato macaroni and cheese as side dishes. $13 will get you the house special of one meat and three sides for $15, with two meats and three sides for $23 and three meats and three sides for $30. You can also purchase meats separately from $11 to $16 per pound as well as sides for $5 a pint or $8 a quart. Come hungry.

Hours are Friday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (or until they run out of meat). Dine-in and carry-out are available.

Now Closing: Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Oakland Avenue

Five Guys Burgers and Fries at 2907 N. Oakland Ave. is closing after Nov. 30th, the Five Guys district manager confirmed via telephone to Onmilwaukee.com. Does this mean the East Side no longer eats hamburgers? Or too much competition from Oakland Gyros across the street?

The restaurant’s Oakland location has been open since 2009, serving made-to-order burgers using fresh, never frozen ground beef along with hand-cut fries made from Idaho potatoes and cooked in 100 percent peanut oil. And yet the people stayed away.

A location on E. Ogden Ave. closed two years ago. This leaves an entire city without a Five Guys. But the chain can still be found outside the Milwaukee city limits, at Bayshore Town Center and Mayfair, still making fries with 100 percent peanut oil. The national chain is also looking at Racine and Oak Creek for possible expansions.

Will you miss Five Guys on Oakland? Let us know in the comment section below.

3 thoughts on “Now Serving: Eat Thanksgiving on Hyatt’s 20th Floor”

  1. M says:

    I will miss Five Guys fries. Best anywhere.

    Not sure why they could not make it. Lots of competition in this area–and many students. Are they eating fewer burgers and more ethnic cuisine and subs?

  2. JT says:

    The price point was just a little higher than the nearby competition. Lots of students on limited budgets (UWM, Riverside High) might just not have been willing or able to pay a dollar more for lunch, even if it was higher quality. I have it from a good source that a lot of students have started eating from food pantries, since the economic downturn.

  3. Simply put, Five Guys Burgers & Fries is over-priced. People in Milwaukee, even college students, know when prices are inflated. We are always searching for good value for our hard-earned (or parent-supplied) dollar. Not surprised Five Guys couldn’t survive near a college campus

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us