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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014

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Wondering where to head before or after your Milwaukee Film Fest viewings? Here is a list for you.
Wondering where to head before or after your Milwaukee Film Fest viewings? Here is a list for you.

Where to eat, drink and be merry around MKE Film Fest locations

I attended last night's opening night of the Milwaukee Film Festival at the Oriental Theater, and as always, it was a spectacular night. The opening night party was held nearby at UWM's Kenilworth Square, so filmgoers didn't have to figure out the best place to grab a drink after, or where to sneak in a snack beforehand. 

The rest of the festival is full of amazing films that Milwaukee Film has curated just for you. Maybe this list of ideas will be helpful before and after visiting one of the theaters. Happy festing!

Oriental Theatre 

1. Von Trier, 2235 N. Farwell Ave.
Located directly across the street from the Oriental Theater, Von Trier is an easy stop pre or post film for a cocktail. The weather is supposed to be spectacular all weekend long -- so grab a pint or two on the patio before heading into the theater. Enjoy the popcorn they supply you with and save a few bucks on buying it in the theater. 

2. Hotel Foster, 2028 E. North Ave. 
Not only is Hotel Foster also very close to the Oriental, they are also part of "Soundtrack at The Hotel Foster" which has live music nightly during the festival. You can see some of my Milwaukee favorites such as Soul Low or Myles Coyne -- AND -- it is free to you with your same-day ticket stub. OnMilwaukee.com is a proud sponsor of this series along with WMSE 91.7FM and Radio Milwaukee. 

3. Allium, 2102 N. Prospect Ave. 
Allium offers up a warm and cozy space within a few blocks of the Oriental. This taste of Europe is the perfect option to grab a cheese plate, prosciutto wrapped dates or a pizza before your movie. The beer, wine and cocktail list is impressive for a place of this size and you may even have a hard time choosing what you'd like to imbibe in. Make sure you allow yourself enough time -- you don't want to rush an experience at Allium. 

Downer Theatre

1. Pizza Man 
Whether you have time for an actual delicious pizza or not, Pizza Man is my top pick for a showing at the Downer. The bar is expansive and …

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Alderaan Coffee is now serving up joe, and lots of goodies, from its recently opened location in the first floor of the Flatiron on Water Street.
Alderaan Coffee is now serving up joe, and lots of goodies, from its recently opened location in the first floor of the Flatiron on Water Street.
A look at the beautiful handmade coffee bar in the newly opened cafe.
A look at the beautiful handmade coffee bar in the newly opened cafe.

First look: Alderaan Coffee

Brothers Daniel and David Neumann quietly opened Alderaan Coffee, 1560 N. Water St., today. Our Lori Fredrich reported this new option would be coming back in November 2013.

Daniel recently moved back to the Milwaukee area from New York -- where his other coffee shops, Upright Coffee, were located in Brooklyn and Manhattan. I stopped by to get a first look at the new space in the Flatiron Building, as well a first coffee. 

The coffee house will feature roasts from around the country as well as local brews. When I stopped by today, the cafe had beans from Anodyne Coffee, Brooklyn Roasting Co. and others. The varieties will change to keep things fresh. 

Alderaan will also brew and bottle its own iced coffee, which you will be able to purchase by the bottle in the "machine." Colectivo's Troubadour Bakery pastries are served. 

Alderaan will also make most of its own syrups -- including lavender and vanilla -- in-house, as well as almond milk. I tried the house special Lavender Latte made with the house-made syrup and it was scrumptious down to the last sip. I was also able to sample the almond milk and have a feeling it will be in demand once folks try it. 

Conveniently located in the first floor of the Flatiron Building at the north end of Downtown, Alderaan should be an easy stop for many on their way to work. 

See you there.  

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Just one of the gin-licious cocktails served last night at AP Bar & Kitchen.
Just one of the gin-licious cocktails served last night at AP Bar & Kitchen. (Photo: Paul Fredrich)

Milwaukee Cocktail Week night one: gin-licious

I recently shared four delicious Milwaukee Cocktail Week events that I wouldn't miss. Last night's schedule wasn't on my must-do -- I've never been a big gin lover -- but lo and behold I ended up attending and had a gin-licious night. 

The evening started off with Aviation Gin Happy Hour at Blue Jacket. You can never go wrong with the crew behind the bar at Blue Jacket. Ira Koplowitz (of Bittercube, who also consults with Blue Jacket) and team listened to me briefly whine about not being a gin fan before asking what I did like in a cocktail before mixing up some tasty libations with Aviation Gin for me to try.

Fruit forward? Spicy? Sweet? Whatever you prefer, I will say just trust them to make you a cocktail you will love. Indulgences at Blue Jacket included a "Riff on a Gimlet" which was my favorite.


Ira Koplowitz mixing up some goodies for us behind the bar at Blue Jacket. Photo: Paul Fredrich

After wrapping up the cocktails at Blue Jacket, I headed just a few blocks west to AP Bar & Kitchen for a four-course cocktail dinner partnered with Hendrick's Gin. After being personally greeted by Justin from AP we were quickly served up a cocktail of Hendrick's, cocchi, aperol, lemon and cava. 

Passed starters for the night included a juniper chicken liver mousse crostini, smoked trout and lamb samosas. 


I could have eaten those smoked trout bites all night long.

A bourbon molasses glazed quail and bacon polenta stuffing pair started out the courses -- paired with a Hendricks, cardamaro, suze cocktail. The petite quail paired nicely with the stuffing though the winner on the plate was the bourbon molasses sauce. 

My aversion to gin long gone, I enjoyed the second course cocktail immensely. The Hendrick's, fino sherry, cucumber and lemon concoction was my favorite of the dinner and was paired with grilled octopus and soba noodles in a oolong tea brodo. 


Photo: Paul Fredrich

Next came a venison course which was rubbed with juniper (an ode to gin, you think?…

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The second annual Brew City Cigar Festival will be held Saturday, Sept. 27 at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino.
The second annual Brew City Cigar Festival will be held Saturday, Sept. 27 at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. (Photo: Brew City Cigar Festival )

Brew City Cigar Festival giveaway

If you are a cigar aficionado and did not attend the first ever Brew City Cigar Festival last year at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, you missed out. 

The 2014 festival will be held Sept. 27 -- once again at Potawatomi -- with a little something for everyone! While you do get access to premium cigars to smoke -- more than $150 in value with your ticket -- there are plenty of options beyond the cigar itself.

Live jazz, unlimited food samples, handcrafted beer, wine and more all await you from companies such as Sprecher Brewing, Great Lakes Distillery, Mason Street Grill, Milwaukee Pretzel Co. and more. 

AND you could be going on us! To snag a set of gold level tickets ($175 per person value) head here and get your entry in. For more information on ticket levels and how to purchase your own smokin' night head here

Good luck!