Not long after moving Downtown, I visited Port of Call for lunch and had a good experience. Fast forward a couple years, after interviewing Chef Adam Pawlak, I headed back over to try some items on the new menu. (In related news, Port of Call will begin serving Sunday brunch in May.)
While the dinner menu has been almost entirely overhauled, retaining just a couple perennial favorites, the lunch menu has gotten a lighter makeover, with mostly some new appetizers and a couple salad, sandwich and burger updates.
Because Andy Tarnoff enjoyed his burger last time, and because I was in the mood for one, I had a Wisconsin Burger, which is new to the menu. It’s pretty simple, but hearty.
A half-pound burger on a pretzel bun with bacon, white and mild cheddar, and lettuce, sliced red onion and tomato, served with fries and a pickle for $12. I decided to dig further into the changes by replacing the standard fries with the new truffle fries from the appetizer menu, which you can do for an upcharge.
The burger was more than I could finish, which is saying something, and the blend of cheeses gave it a nice flavor profile. The pretzel bun was a real deal sweetener.
I enjoyed the truffle fries, too. They’re parmesan crusted and doused with truffle oil. But, beware, they’re super pungent. If you like truffle flavor and scent, as I do, you’ll be thrilled. But a truffle-wary dining companion may not be as thrilled. They're served with an herbed cream dip, but I liked them better plain.
Part-way through my meal, Pawlak – knowing I’m a fan of seafood – took it upon himself to whip up some seared scallops for me. This three-sea scallop platter is listed as an appetizer for $13, but it’s quite filling, so you could easily order it with a side salad and be more than satisfied at lunch.
The scallops were perfectly seared and topped with crumbled bacon and microgreens and served atop a spicy horseradish peppercorn sauce.
If you’ve ever tried to get the bacon and the scallops just right when making bacon-wrapped scallops, take a cue from Pawlak, who cooks the bacon separately and piles it on top at plating.
Any fat remaining on the bacon melts into the scallops, he says, making them even more sinfully rich. Hey, it’s not like you’re eating them every day ... though I know I sure could.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Bobby Tanzilo
Published May 28, 2015
The mercury is rising and I'm rolling down the windows and playing some of my favorite summer music. Despite the theme, I do not include the eponymous 1972 Seals & Crofts hit.
Published May 27, 2015
There are some places in town that most everyone has seen from the outside, but that few have actually entered. St. John de Nepomuc rectory, 325 W. Court St., in the Haymarket Square neighborhood is one of those places.
Published May 27, 2015
For the reasons discussed here, I'm convinced that Milwaukee's simmering Haymarket Square area, just north of Downtown, is the city's next hot neighborhood. Here are some more reasons why...
Published May 26, 2015
OK, I admit that I've led you here under (potentially) false pretenses. What I really want is for you, dear readers, to tell me about the best pizzerias in Kenosha.
Published May 22, 2015
Back in 1996, some folks saw the closing of West Allis-West Milwaukee School District's Roosevelt School, 932 S. 60th St., as "inevitable" and that prediction came true later that year. Now, it seems that the demolition of the building might also be inevitable, though nothing has yet been officially decided.
Published May 20, 2015
It's that time of year again. The time when I'm thrilled that my kids are thrilled to sign up for Milwaukee Public Library's Super Reader summer reading program.
Published May 19, 2015
Standing amid the surviving buildings of the old Concordia College, it's easy to imagine what an inviting campus this was back in the day. Low-rise buildings - most of them in that collegiate gothic style that shouts "university" - surrounded the quad on all four sides, creating an intimate, protective environment. These days, most of the buildings survive and they're owned by the Forest County Potawatomi, which has plans to renovate the entire campus.
Published May 18, 2015
Leo Minor is a relatively faint constellation up in the northern sky that comprises an array of 37 distant stars. Closer to home Leo Minor is a nom de bass of local veteran musician Jason Todd. Though this Leo Minor is just one star, it draws on a vast array of musical influences. The latest result of the ongoing project is a white label vinyl 7" 45.
Published May 15, 2015
This morning the folks in the facilities department of the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District were kind enough to give me a tour of a closed school building. As an added bonus, my tour guide offered to show me an interesting school nearby, too. The contrast was striking.
Published May 14, 2015
Adventure Rock will host a groundbreaking next Wednesday for its new East Side location on the corner of Commerce and North.