Iron Horse Hotel Opening New Restaurant

Former Smythe restaurant will become Ash, with preparations using "fire and smoke."

By - Jun 13th, 2019 12:26 pm
Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite, as captured by photographer Kevin Miyazaki, at The Iron Horse Hotel.

Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite, as captured by photographer Kevin Miyazaki, at The Iron Horse Hotel.

The Iron Horse Hotel has announced the name and concept of the new restaurant that will take the place of the former Smyth, which closed in May.

Through their hospitality business, JVR Group, chefs Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite plan to bring their new restaurant, dubbed Ash, to the Iron Horse Hotel in August.

The concept’s name is meant to be “an homage to the fiery hearth that is the heart and soul of the restaurant’s concept,” according to a press release.

“The thought behind Ash was to create a simple, seasonal, American menu — highlighted by the use of fire and smoke,” says Jacobs. “Hearth cooking allows for the full use of fire. From slow cooking in embers to smoking and finally charring over an open flame, hearth cooking creates an enhanced flavor in everything from meats to vegetables.”

In April, the Iron Horse announced that Jacobs and Van Rite would be the creative forces behind the hotel’s food and beverage program. According to the duo, dishes found on the hotel’s current menus “give a few hints” at the new establishment’s fare. Dishes such as the seasonal salads and the roasted cauliflower and venison tartare foreshadow what’s to come at Ash.

“From the beginning of time people have gathered around a fire for food, conversation and warmth,” says Jacobs. “We want guests to feel the same way when they gather at Ash. Warm, familial, at home. It’s genuinely Milwaukee.”

Owner Tim Dixon will lead renovations to the space throughout the summer. The finished product will emphasize a hearth in the dining space. “It’s theater as much as dining,” Dixon says. “People want to feel part of the experience and this new space brings cooking to the forefront.”

Jacobs and Van Rite are also the proprietors of DanDan (117 N. Jefferson St.), EsterEv (360 E. Erie St.) and Faunteroy (316 N. Milwaukee St.), and also ran the former Batches.

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