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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014

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In Dining Reviews

Sheridan House revives a century-old Cudahy dining and lodging landmark.

In Dining Reviews

Pastry Chef Annie Wegner LeFort dishes up tempting desserts.

In Dining Reviews

The café/bar, which opened in early September, is art nouveau meets comfortable classic.

In Dining Reviews

The South Side lunch crowd has already discovered Sheridan House.

Sheridan House revives Cudahy dining landmark


Heading south on Lake Drive in Cudahy, many people remember the Old Fountain Blue, a popular dining and drinking spot where older friends of mine reminisce about their pre-prom antics in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

After Fountain Blue closed its doors several years ago, local business enthusiast Lee Barczak and his wife Jane Schilz stepped in to return the circa 1911 building to its glory as a boutique hotel and café.

Now named Sheridan House, 5133 S. Lake Dr., an inadvertent throwback to the building's 1920s stint as the Sheridan Hotel, Barczak and Schilz have painstakingly transformed every square inch of what is now a 12-room getaway in what they have coined "Milwaukee Metro's South Side."

The rooms here are classic with a decidedly masculine bend and reflect famous worldly vineyard names, perhaps a nod to the couples' sister business, Sheridan's Finest Wine and Generous Spirits, in the Milwaukee Public Market.

The café, which opened in early September, is art nouveau meets comfortable classic and the menu, with former Sanford and Coquette Café chef Jason Jones at the helm, lends an authoritative twist to all foods ordinary.

Because the café is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, the menu is filled with breakfast and midday selections several steps up from your standard fare.

In the mornings, diners can select from sweet, savory and breakfast sandwich selections including Belgian waffles ($5.95), French toast ($6.75), oatmeal pancakes ($6.50), gourmet omelets ($7.95), Sheridan's spin on either eggs Benedict ("Eggs Sheridan" served on a baguette with ham beneath a red pepper hollandaise: $8.25), or the Egg soufflé du jour ($6.50) which parrots a quiche stuffed within light puff pastry.

The breakfast sandwiches skew epicurean with a sweet apple wood panino ($5.50) replacing a common bacon, egg and cheese compilation, and a stuffed croissant rife with herbed cream cheese and ham ($5.75).

While lunch is served daily, dinners are only on Friday and Saturday evenings and feature fish specials that pleasantly do not include a neighborhood fish fry. Weekend diners can instead expect such delicacies as pan seared trout served with rosemary lemon risotto to find their way onto the special menu in addition to the static soups, salads, sandwiches and gourmet comfort food.

Sandwiches at Sheridan's pair ingredients such as mascarpone and lingonberry sauce with turkey breast on the lingonberry turkey ($7.95) and caramelized apples and orange coriander dressing on the apple wood chicken panino ($8.25). Entrées, too, take a step outside the box of bistro dining, adventurously pairing tomatoes and cashews in a chutney with tamarind glazed shrimp ($14.95), and roasted carrots in a Tahini yogurt sauce abreast a honey glazed roasted chicken ($11.95)

Saturdays and Sundays feature a sophisticated brunch with many of the daily breakfast items, and of course, mimosas, bloody marys, coffee and hot chocolate drinks. The dessert menu here, too, is promising with Annie Wegner LeFort (of Braise on the Go) -- Sheridan's pastry chef -- adding cakes, pastries and novelty desserts to the fledgling restaurant's already expansive menu.

Before the weather turns, the outdoor patio at Sheridan's is a good place for a first visit, featuring a "Ring of Fire" fountain and natural wood burning fire pit. And its Cudahy location makes this perhaps a destination spot for Milwaukeeans or others looking for a new definition of weekend getaway or weekday business travel.


Talkbacks

aspenreunion | June 30, 2012 at 9:02 a.m. (report)

I had a small dinner party of 10 people at Sheridan's last night (06/29/12) on the patio. We waited a good 20 minutes before our waitress came to our table to get our drink orders and that was after my husband went in to the restaurant to say something. Service was extremely slow and I had to complain again. We had to ask for napkins & table settings & menu's..................food was good but service was horrible!!!!!!

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wiscdiner | Aug. 4, 2008 at 11:40 a.m. (report)

Service is very very poor. We have tried to give Sheridan's the benefit of the doubt by going there many times over the past months and still have had extremely poor service the last several times we have been there. Last Sunday we sat for 20 minutes without an acknowledgment from a waitress or a drink order taken. Finally after the 3 tables that were seated AFTER us had been waited on and served drinks did we start to wonder what the heck was going on. :(This very same thing happened a couple of months ago, but we where with friends and waited 30 minutes before being waited on.) This past Sunday the gentleman at the table next to ours, who had been seated 10 minutes AFTER us, mentioned to the waitress that we had been seated first and had not been attended to. She looked at us, raised one eyebrow and walked away! We waited another 10 minutes for either her or another server to come by and finally wait on us, but no one showed or explained that they would be with us shortly. We finally walked out and went downtown to the metro hotel, which by the way offered an extensive brunch menu, fabulous food and top notch service. We will never go back to Sheridan's again or refer it again to our friends. It's a pity because the cafe is very nice and the food, while not outstanding, was usually good.

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suzyqueue | March 30, 2008 at 5:27 p.m. (report)

Delightful stay in their tastefully decorated room. Our room, the bridal suite, even though it was not our wedding, was heavenly. Very plush robes, slippers, and towels provided. Large whirlpool for two and a huge shower as well. Bose radio, plasma TV and fireplace were a plus. For those first timers, coffee and rolls are provided down the hall in the a.m. I was a little disappointed to not have a coffee maker in our room, but was relieved to find it out in the hall. King size bed had plush sheets and comforter and huge down pillows. Breakfast in the dining room was delicious. Would highly recommend the Oolong Cirtron tea. I will definitely stay there again.

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the Kelleys | Jan. 1, 2008 at 10:44 a.m. (report)

Wonderful and Beautiful!!! The rooms in this newly renovated Inn are unique and luxurious. Each room is named and decorated after a different part of the world. We stayed in the Spanish suite, a holiday gift to ourselves, and felt so pampered by the time we left, we decided to return every holiday. The complimentary breakfast was outstanding. Delicious menu and great coffee. The location is nice and quiet for get-aways, easy to find, with a gorgeous park accross the street. We highly recommend Sheridan House!!!!

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narcotic | Nov. 25, 2007 at 7:51 p.m. (report)

HORRIBLE HORRIBLE dining experience! We took a large group there for brunch, after looking up their menu online. The menu looked *amazing*, a long list of wonderful choices. But when we sat down, they gave us a different menu. The real menu has only 4 breakfast choices on it: Eggs and bacon, oatmeal pancakes, one omelette, and steak and eggs. Even worse, they put meatloaf and burgers on the Sunday breakfast menu! Do *not* fall for Sheridan House Cafes bait and switch. Their online menu is a deliberate lie. Worst brunch in the city.

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