By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Mar 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM

223 N. Water St., (414) 539-4980
Modern Indian fare

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If there's a restaurant that's stolen my heart over the past year, it's Saffron. The restaurant itself is gorgeous, the service is fantastic and the food is like nothing else in the city. It's fresh. It's modern. But it still pays full homage to the traditional flavors and techniques that make Indian fare so incredible.

In fact, the timing to make a first (or returning) trip to Saffron is near perfect. They've just rolled out a new menu of options, including an impressive number dishes that I've yet to try.  And yet – based on multiple experiences since they opened – it's easy for me to say: just go and order whatever sounds good. You're likely to be delighted.

The new menu offers much in the way of culinary adventure. Start off with offerings like a duck seekh kebab with pickled onions and apricot chutney. Or venture into incredible sounding fusion dishes like soft shell crab bao buns which incorporates flavors like Sriracha and pickled chilies.

New offerings that look like they're certain to amaze include sea bass alleppey curry featuring green apple caviar, green mango, coconut and lemon rice; and oak-smoked lamb chops cooked in their tandoor oven.

If you'd prefer to stick with familiar staples, don't miss their butter chicken; it's beautifully constructed with nuanced flavors I've not typically found in the dish around town. I'd say the same for the lamb biryani, which offers up just the right amount of expected spiciness. Be sure to round things out with a portion of dal makhani, simple, yet masterfully cooked black lentils which beg to be eaten alongside their fantastic na'an.

While you're there, be sure to try one of their remarkable cocktails (or zero proof options), many of which are infused with Indian botanicals.

While you can generally pop in for lunch (I love sitting in the congenial bar area), reservations are recommended for dinner.

[View their current menu online]

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.