Beer has never been my drink of choice (hear that, Wild Turkey?), and I don’t know anything about craft beers. If I have three beers a year, you could say I am on a real binge. So it was with more than a little curiosity and trepidation that my wife and I went to dinner at the Milwaukee Beer Bistro.
Imagine my surprise then when I had a great dinner, including the best Brussels sprouts I have ever had. And I mean by a big margin.
The bistro, located at 2730 N. Humboldt Blvd., in the space formerly occupied by Rio West Cantina, features small plates at very reasonable prices. The menu was put together by head chef Carson Wolfmeyer, his assistant chef Brandon Julien and owner Russ Davis.
"It was a lot of trial and error," Wolfmeyer said. "Beer is part of everything we prepare, and it took some time to get it right. Sometimes a beer just didn’t taste right with what it was prepared with."
No matter how many tries it took, they have obviously been successful by creating a diverse menu where anyone could find something tempting.
But back to those sprouts.
I am not a maniac when it comes to them, but I’ve always enjoyed the dish. These came after being braised in sorghum ale and then tossed in a seasoned brown butter. They were tender with a slightly charred surface. And I don't think it requires reiterating ... but they were delicious.
The sprout dish was created by Julien, a young chef making his mark in the city.
"He’s a terrific young chef, and he learns fast," Wolfmeyer said.
I paired my sprouts with stout-braised barbecue short ribs that were tender and covered with a homemade barbecue sauce. The nice thing about it was that the sauce didn’t overwhelm the taste of the short ribs.
My wife had a very interesting shrimp carbonara tortilla pizza. It was a large flour tortilla with cherry tomatoes, spinach, marinated artichoke hearts, plump shrimp and mozzarella cheese. It was a real light and delicious dish.
The bistro is open for brunch on weekends and also serves lunch on beer-infused rolls they bake themselves.
"That was the hardest thing for us," Wolfmeyer said. "None of us are bakers so it was a lot of trial and error before we got the rolls perfect."
One thing they obviously don’t have to work on, however, are the Brussels sprouts.
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 Dave Begel
Published Nov. 20, 2014
Scott Walker has until Feb. 19 to decide whether to approve a casino in Kenosha. But that facility would clearly have an impact on Milwaukee's Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, and that would certainly be an added hardship for hundreds of charities in the city.
Published Nov. 18, 2014
In the 121st meeting between the two programs, fireworks are the rule, rather than the exception between the Wisconsin Badgers and Marquette Golden Eagles.
Published Nov. 16, 2014
"Frankenstein" has all of the intensity and drama you'd expect from the creation of a monster, but the pace is relentless and that can wear you out. It would have been helpful to have a little bit of room to breathe and sit back in your seat.
Published Nov. 15, 2014
A. J. Gurney's play is supposed to poke fun at the rich, big business and big religion, but it falls apart in an avalanche of trite liberal talking points. Next Act deserves and normally delivers much better.
Published Nov. 14, 2014
When winter hits local television news stations go nuts with the kind of advice we've heard over and over again. Who doesn't know that you ought to slow down if the roads are covered with snow and ice?
Published Nov. 14, 2014
"The Lion King" has sold out on Broadway for almost 15 years, and they've brought that caliber show to the Milwaukee Theatre. It's a spectacular pageant that's wonderful for the entire family.
Published Nov. 13, 2014
The shooting of Laylah Petersen is just one more cry for Milwaukee to stand up and face the problems that are part of the root causes of this kind of violence.
Published Nov. 11, 2014
We are rapidly approaching the season of glad tidings and if you are a sports fan in Wisconsin it is just possible that all of our holiday season wishes may be on the verge of coming true. Talk about good news for sports fans in this area. We have a Thanksgiving bounty that threatens to overflow our basket.
Published Nov. 10, 2014
When you set out to tell the story of a man, there are at least two ways to go about it. One is to focus on something sensational, some single aspect of the man's life and build your story around it. This approach is exploitive and rarely captures the story you hope to tell. The other way to to do it honestly, upfront with everything. That's the kind of honesty that fuels the remounting of "Liberace!" which opened over the weekend at the Milwaukee Rep.
Published Nov. 9, 2014
When you produce a farce, you want to come out with high energy and get the audience laughing in the early going so that they are used to it and will laugh along the rest of the night. Unfortunately, Soulstice Theatre's production of "Moon Over Buffalo" doesn't get going until there are only about five minutes left in the play. By then, the urge to laugh has left on a train to nowhere, and it's hard to get into the mood after all this falderal.