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

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It's always surprising to see a restaurant close when the food is so good.
It's always surprising to see a restaurant close when the food is so good. (Photo: Whitney Teska)

La Dolce Vita closes

In my line of work, I've seen hundreds of bars, restaurants, small businesses and boutiques open and close.

Of course, I generally don't enjoy reporting on the closure of an independent Milwaukee-based business and it's always extra sad when a restaurant that you know should have made it fails. In this case, I'm referring to LaDolce Vita, the small Moroccan cafe that opened in spring 2009 in a former Cousin's Sub's near the intersection of Farwell and Brady.

Perhaps it was the economy, or maybe it was its quite presence in an otherwise boisterous neighborhood? Either way, the food was top notch, at least when I ate there soon after it opened.

Owner Tarik El Bahmi was born and raised in Casablanca and was passionate about bringing the tastes of his homeland to his new home here in Milwaukee. He even incorporated some of his family's recipes into his menu. Here is an interview I did with him soon after he opened La Dolce Vita.

It's sad to see Milwaukee lose a little hidden gem like this.

 

The soon-to-be-famous Kid, You'll Move Mountains show is set for Friday, Feb. 5 at Lincoln Hall in Chicago.
The soon-to-be-famous Kid, You'll Move Mountains show is set for Friday, Feb. 5 at Lincoln Hall in Chicago.

Kid, You'll Move Mountains scores some air time

Kid, You'll Move Mountains just scored a pretty cool opportunity. Frontman Jim Hanke tells us that the band was recently contacted by the producers of The Travel Channel's new show "The Last Adventure."

The series brings hosts David DiVona and Jan van der Baan III to spotlight one city per episode, picking one area band to hang out with for a few days and document the local culture, food, music and other things that make each of the showcased cities special.

The show was scouting for its Chicago episode and guess which band it wanted to highlight? That's right, former Milwaukeeans Kid, You'll Move Mountains (the members of which now reside in Geneva, Ill.)

And with that, a crew shows up Friday, Feb. 5 to film the band's 10 p.m. show at Chicago's Lincoln Hall. The episode will air later in the year. We'll keep you posted.

 

Cupcakes and beer: a match made in Milwaukee heaven.
Cupcakes and beer: a match made in Milwaukee heaven.

Iron Cupcake welcomes Food Network star judge

The Iron Cupcake: Milwaukee competition keeps gaining momentum here and across the country. Founder Sandy Ploy has franchised her tasty contest to big cities across the country like San Francisco and New York (she's even gone international; there's now an Iron Cupcake: London), which has probably helped her garner attention from the bigwigs at The Food Network.

This month's cupcake challenge asks local bakers to incorporate beer into their batches and Ploy recently announced that Food Network Cake Challenge baker Michelle Garcia will be on hand as a celebrity judge for the event, happening Monday, Jan. 18 at 6 p.m.

Michelle and her husband Vinny own Bleeding Heart Bakery (local, sustainable punk rock pastry) and Smash Cake bakeries in Chicago. Michelle was named American Culinary Federation regional pastry chef of the year in 2006 and has been named chef in focus by the North American Pastry Art and Design.

Their bakery has won many awards, including top 10 bakeries in the nation, top bakery in Chicago by Chicago magazine, multiple green business awards and top bakery by the Small Business Association. Together, they have competed in seven Food Network challenges and have placed in five.

The first Iron Cupcake challenge of 2010 is held in its new location at Moct Bar, 240 E. Pittsburgh Ave. A $7 ticket gets you more mini cupcakes than you'll probably care to consume, discounted drink specials and a chance to win a variety of raffle prizes.

One dollar from every ticket will go to this month's charity, Wisconsin Brewers Club.

Mmmmm ... cupcakes.