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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

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In Dining

Lagniappe Brasserie's burgandy braised salmon comes with organic Wisconsin potatoes. (PHOTO: Whitney Teska )

In Dining

The zinfandel poached pear with Tahitian vanilla and darkberry sauces. (PHOTO: Whitney Teska )

In Dining

The restaurant is located in a former residence that once housed the famous Steven Wade's Café. (PHOTO: Whitney Teska )

In Dining

Inside, diners will find a cozy and comfortable setting. (PHOTO: Whitney Teska )

In Dining

Chef and owner Andy Tenaglia. (PHOTO: Whitney Teska )

Scouting Report: Lagniappe Brasserie


Five years ago, Lagniappe Brasserie opened its doors in a former New Berlin residence that once housed the famous Steven Wade's Café, to serve up French influenced cuisine.

The restaurant is cute, and not surprisingly, given the building's original intent, homey. Teal blues flood the walls and white-tableclothed tables fill three separate rooms. The dinner menu changes daily and offers choice of soup or salad with most of their moderately priced entrees.

We missed the lettering on the front sign advertising half-priced bottles of wine, so we were doubly pleased to see that our purchase of what we thought was a $28 bottle of wine was adjusted to $14 on our tab.

And while the food at Lagniappe may not be as impressive as at other French restaurants in the area, these types of inclusions and promotions make it a more affordable option for diners who want to dabble in French cuisine.

On a recent scouting visit, our lagniappe arrived in the form of a small square of buffalo quiche, and the soup selections were cream of asparagus or lentil. Priced a la carte, you can sample the soups and salads for $4 to $5, and no appetizer, even if it's escargot en croute or Scottish highland steer carpaccio, runs more than $10.

Main courses on the rotating menu run the gamut from Costa Rican swordfish steak to Amish chicken and osso buco made with beef and buffalo to wild gulf shrimp in crab butter, and most fall in the $16-$25 range, with some more elite nightly selections hovering closer to $30.

For the top tier price, you can expect to see featured items like Kobe beef ribeye or broiled lobster tails. On my visit, Lagniappe also offered an off the menu special of pan fried grouper which quickly sold out on a Wednesday evening before 7 p.m.

Lunches at Lagniappe offer something different with homemade soups, freshly squeezed juices, salads, quiches and "fine dining sandwiches."

The sandwiches showcase out-of-the-ordinary lunch options like a free-range beefalo burger, a handmade frankfurter and California style pulled lamb, all served with choice of tabouleh salad, cottage cheese or gaufrette chips (waffle cut potato chips).

Desserts come with a cake option, homemade sorbet or custard, and a rotating pie, again, all reasonably priced at an average of $5. Notably, Lagniappe also offers an imported and domestic cheese ensemble ($10) for those who care to end their meals with a traditional cheese course rather than something sweet.

Lagniappe is literally translated as "a small gift given a customer by a merchant at purchase," and is oft used in the restaurant industry to denote superb service, or the act of going above and beyond.

At Lagniappe Brasserie, the lagniappe, or as our server said, is "a little something extra" in the form of an amuse bouche (a tiny, bite sized appetizer to awaken the taste buds) for dinner and as something sweet for lunch.


Talkbacks

sbell95 | Oct. 14, 2010 at 6:34 a.m. (report)

Super food! I am so lucky to have sucha a great food spot on my side of town

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lisee | Feb. 2, 2010 at 1:29 p.m. (report)

I am also a very big fan. Amazing food, love the ever changing menus and the use of unusual and locally grown foods. Worth every penny!

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ozricale | Jan. 28, 2010 at 12:45 p.m. (report)

Count me as another big fan of Lagniappe Brasserie! I love this place!

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ActionDan | Jan. 26, 2010 at 9:25 a.m. (report)

I'll open my comment on this article by saying that I am a regular at this establishment, so feel free to call me biased. In fact, I was there for a birthday party of 25+ last night. Andy and Mina bent backwards to make sure it was a more than special night for the guest of honor, including a hand-crafted menu which catered to her favorite elements. With that said... How can Schubert just toss out her one-line critique of the food compared to other local french restaurants without, you know, reviewing the food at Lagniappe? Sure she listed a couple of entrees and their lunch fare, but never once offered any substantive opinion on the dishes that were prepared for her. For those that were expecting a review of the cuisine, the sea scallops and gulf shrimp, pan roasted in a fennel sauvignon broth were exemplary last night. Perfectly adorned with capellini pasta and veg, the flavor, presentation, and portion were beyond reproach. The other options on this specialized bill of fare, which all met with rave reviews, included a New York, and a Florentine of Amish Chicken. Do yourself a favor and try Lagniappe, if you haven't. You'll return for years to come, to be sure.

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college_dave | Jan. 25, 2010 at 10:11 p.m. (report)

I've eaten at Lagiappe alone, with a friend, and as part of a large group. The food, unlike the author seems to believe, was equal or even more impressive than any other french restaurant I've been to. To each is own. The other places don't offer nearly the random daily variety too. Lagniappe is a truely unique, a winner, and very tasty.

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