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The Return of Von Trier

Plus: More Poke for East Side, more pies for Bay View, more beer for Tosa.

By - Feb 14th, 2018 02:22 pm
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Von Trier. Photo by Joey Grihalva.

Von Trier. Photo taken December 18, 2015 by Joey Grihalva.

A collective sigh of relief could be heard in all the traditional corners of Milwaukee when Von Trier owners John and Cindy Sidoff announced in November that the bar would remain its German self (with a few upgrades) rather than becoming — the horror — an upscale cocktail lounge. Von Trier closed on Jan. 27 for renovations, but updates from the establishment’s Facebook page marked the official re-opening.

A post from Feb. 10 reads:

We’re back! We’ll have a limited food menu available tonight for our soft opening; Pretzels with Obatzda, German Sausage Medley, Liverwurst Platr, Brat Burger, Trier Burger, VT Beer Brat, Bavarian Bratwurst, Knackwurst, and Weisswurst. Stay tuned as our full food menu will be launching soon but not until sometime next week. Stop by and check out what we’ve done with the place!

So we’re thinking there should be enough sausage on hand. While another post said Von Trier was also closed on Monday to finish up renovations, the bar and restaurant will in fact be open seven days a week during regular hours from now on, and the German beer will be flowing.

More Poke on the East Side

It was back in December that Urban Milwaukee reported the old Hotch Spot at 1813 E. Kenilworth Pl. would become the location for a new poke restaurant. Fusion Poke WI, inc. has been leasing the space since December and has now posted signs about what’s to come, as Matt Wild of Milwaukee Record (isn’t that a music publication?) details:

…a few hot-pink, hand-drawn signs in the windows are making it official: Fusion Poke is coming to the space, soon.

What can hungry Milwaukeeans expect from the new poke place that will be located immediately across the street from another poke place (FreshFin Poke)? According to the sign, Hawaiian poke bowls, rolled ice cream, fruit smoothies, bubble tea, shaved ice, and, because the East Side abhors a ramen vacuum, ramen noodles. (If you’re unfamiliar with poke—which has been taking Milwaukee by storm since nine months ago—it’s basically raw seafood in a bowl, or “deconstructed sushi.”)

EsterEv+ Dinner Series

A new dinner series will bring a variety of gourmet cuisines to MKE through November. EsterEv+ is a series at the EsterEv restaurant, featuring a different chef each month from March through November. Chefs from around the country will bring 10-course meals to the Third Ward restaurant. Chefs Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite are launching the series, which will begin with Chef Bryan Lee Weaver 0f Nashville’s Butcher & Bee on Tuesday, March 16. The rest of the schedule:

  • April 3 – Chef Brad Day, Tullibee (Minneapolis): Brad Day offers hearth-driven food with a wood-burning oven at the center of his kitchen. His menu at Tullibee offers a hearty smoked vegetables, sharable meats & fish and even offal.
  • May 1 – Chef Ryan McCaskey, Acadia (Chicago): McCaskey offers classic dishes with a Contemporary American twist at his Michelin-starred restaurant, Acadia. Inspired by his time spent in Maine since childhood, Chef Ryan’s cooking style pays homage to the flavors found across that state.
  • June 5 – Chef Zachary Baker, Pizza Man (Milwaukee): With a passion for food and wine, Chef Zak Baker creates homey Italian plates with bold flavors including artfully-made pizzas, fresh pastas and sauces.
  • July 24 – Chef Bill Kim, urbanbelly (Chicago): Born in Seoul, South Korea, Chef Bill Kim brings a fun and funky edge to classic Asian flavor at his Chicago restaurants, urbanbelly and bellyQ. This year, Kim released his cookbook, Korean BBQ: Master Your Grill in Seven Sauces, a casual and practical guide to grilling.
  • August 7 – Chef Justin Aprahamian, Sanford Restaurant (Milwaukee): Aprahamian is the executive chef and owner of Milwaukee’s iconic Sanford Restaurant and pulls inspiration from many local markets throughout the seasons to create dishes showcasing the farmer’s bounty
  • September 4 – Chef Dan Snowden, Bad Hunter (Chicago): At Bad Hunter, Snowden creates veggie-forward cuisine in an inventive way: these are hearty, vegetable-centered dishes that even the biggest meat-tooth will crave.
  • October 2 – Chef Alex Seidel, Fruition (Denver): Seidel offers fine dining flare with none of the fuss at Fruition. He uses seasonally-focused ingredients with each component holding an instrumental place on the dish.

So far, the series is set to close with Chefs Mitch Ciohon and Shay Linkus of Snack Boys on Nov. 6. EsterEv is located within the DanDan restaurant at 360 E. Erie St. in the Third Ward.

Second Rise & Grind Location

A second location for Rise & Grind Cafe is in the works, moving into the current space of Growing Power Cafe and Market at 2737 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr. Owners Baboonie Tatum and Larina Hightower hope to build a sense of community with their endeavor.

Urban Milwaukee’s Isiah Holmes offered this take:

Rise & Grind’s menu ranges a full spectrum of eatery delights, from grits with toast and eggs beside steaming coffee to deli sandwiches dressed with sides. Vegetarian options are also available. The innovation goes beyond the menu, however, delving into the restaurant’s very concept…

Rise & Grind, besides serving tasty meals, will invite local business owners and entrepreneurs to “set up booths, or a table,” Tatum explained. It’s a small piece of a wider push to encourage the growth of local small businesses and revitalization efforts. Tatum adds that they’ll rarely if ever be politically-themed.

The new location will be open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Rise & Grind’s other cafe is located at 6007 N. Teutonia Ave.

SmallPie Cafe Coming to Bay View

A new breakfast and lunch spot will open in Bay View just in time for summer. Valeri Lucks hopes to turn the building at 2504 E. Oklahoma Ave. into a cafe called SmallPie as early as June. Lucks is also a co-owner of HoneyPie Cafe and Palomino.

Holmes and Urban Milwaukee detail her plans:

SmallPie is expected to offer a variety of foods, including savory pasties, sweet and savory croissants, cookies, tea breads and grab-and-go and hot items. And, of course, there will also be pie (both sweet and savory)…

Honeypie is praised by customers for its varied food options, including vegan and vegetarian offerings, but most importantly, pie. The restaurant makes a long list of rotating, made-from-scratch pies, along with cupcakes, cookies, biscuits and muffins. SmallPie will have similar offerings, though with a cozier presentation. The SmallPie location is just 1,000 square-feet according to city records.

The building, built in 1933, sits on an island in the middle of the intersection of E. Oklahoma Ave, S. Delaware Ave. and S. New York Ave. Lucks intends to build an outdoor patio on a portion of the parking lot.

SmallPie’s hours are planned to be daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Grate Modern Mac & Cheese. Again.

The company that owns Milwaukee-area Adobe’s is ready for expansion. The Roaring Fork Restaurant Group is planning a May opening for the second location of Grate Modern Mac & Cheese. The restaurant will be located in Greenfield’s 84South development near South 84th St. and West Layton Ave.

A press release announcing the addition reads:

The new 2,600-square-foot restaurant will feature a dozen gourmet mac and cheese entrees, such as “Buffalo Chicken,” ”Mexican Street Corn” and “ BBQ Pork.” All Grate menu items are crafted from recipes that are developed in-house using only Wisconsin milk, butter and cheese.

Grate features a Woodstone oven on display for guests so they can watch the creation of their mac and cheese entrée from its fresh, grated cheese start to its melted finish in a personal-sized ceramic skillet. The restaurant group worked directly with the chefs at Woodstone to perfect the cooking time and process. Grate is the only mac and cheese restaurant using these premier ovens.

The first Grate Mac & Cheese opened in Menomonee Falls last August. Roaring Fork Restaurant Group is a Milwaukee-based business, which owns and operates 56 Qdoba locations.

Wauwatosa Draft and Vessel

Draft & Vessel (4417 N. Oakland Ave.)  could have a second location heading to Wauwatosa. Owner Nathaniel Davauer plans to use his property at 7479 Harwood Ave., and met with the Wauwatosa Plan Commission on Feb. 12 to make his proposal.

On Milwaukee’s Lori Fredrich reports:

If all goes well, he’d like to take steps to convert the two-story, three-bedroom, two-bath home into a commercial property. He says the new location would be built to capture the rustic, one-of-a-kind interior of the Shorewood location, which was designed and built with reclaimed materials from the family farm.

Davauer says there are numerous pieces which have to come together for the project to come to fruition, including a request to rezone the residential property as well as his ability to obtain a liquor license, a commodity in short supply in Wauwatosa.

Pete’s Pops Opening a Store

After four years of selling frozen pops out of carts around Milwaukee, Pete’s Pops will have a brick-and-mortar venue to conduct business. Owner Pete Cooney plans to open up a storefront and production kitchen at 3801 W. Vliet St. The grand-opening is set for June. Cooney also works as the controller for the Pabst Theater Group.

Journal Sentinel writer Carol Deptolla has the story:

The seasonal store will have a walk-up window for customers to buy paletas, fruit-based frozen pops. Inside, the store will have a couple of counters where customers will be able to stand or sit to eat their pops.

Cooney expects to place colorful benches outside the store for customers, as well…

Cooney hopes the production area will be operational in April or May, in time to ramp up the making of pops for festival and market season. Pete’s Pops carts still will be at outdoor events around metro Milwaukee in the warm weather once the store opens, Cooney said.

Current plans are for the storefront to be open Friday through Sunday.

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