Birch + Butcher, 459 E. Pleasant St., has officially launched brunch service on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The restaurant, which specializes in fare cooked over an open wood-fired hearth, hosted its first test brunch last weekend. The vibe in the restaurant was casual and fun, complete with whimsical additions like menus printed with adult food-themed puzzles and quizzes delivered to each table alongside a glass filled with colored pencils.
Similar to the restaurant’s dinner offerings, its brunch menu features a combination of smaller items, which can be ordered in various combinations, as well as larger more traditional plates. For those who enjoy sharing, the menu lends itself well to the creation of a customized multi-person brunch buffet of sorts.
Among snackable options and sides are items like housemade bagels served with cream cheese ($3), unctuous skillet bacon ($5, wet-cured by Underground Meats in Madison), marinated beets with yogurt and dill ($8) and baked goods like banana bread ($2), cherry muffins ($2). Additions for future brunches will include items like roasted potatoes, sprouted grain avocado toast and additional plates featuring bacon.
Inventive plates include cassoulet with duck and pork served with a poached egg ($14), a savory topped waffle served with trout roe and creme fraiche ($12) and olive biscuits with charcuterie gravy ($12). There will also be coffee roasted pork with yellow grits ($15) and scrambled eggs with kimchi ($6).
Meanwhile, a filling plate of steak and eggs features a generous portion of tender, sliced wood-fired steak topped with buttery hollandaise sauce and served with roasted potatoes, toast and a petite serving of beef tartare ($16).
Internationally inspired options include housemade na’an bread topped with chorizo, 'nduja and a poached egg and served with herbed ricotta cheese ($10).
On the slightly sweeter side, there is tamarind yogurt with nut granola ($6), grain porridge ($9) and chocolate bread served with a topping of whipped chevre and apricot preserves ($8).
Of course, no brunch is complete without brunch cocktails, and Birch + Butcher offers a fine selection including classics like the mimosa ($6, choice of orange or grapefruit), Bloody Mary ($8, choice of vodka, gin, tequila, Scotch or aquavit) served with a chaser of Like Minds Birch + Butcher dry hopped saison, a corpse reviver ($8) and a salty dog made with gin or vodka ($8).
Other options include Irish coffee ($8), Sbagliato campari with sweet vermouth and sparkling wine ($8) along with a nice selection of craft brews including the Like Minds Saison ($5), Company Brewing’s Platinum Barnacle Oyster Gose ($7), Solemn Oath Butterfly Flashmob Belgian IPA ($5) and Evil Twin’s Mexican Biscotti Cake Break Imperial Stout ($10). Non alcoholic options include coffee and espresso-based drinks, juices and a variety of regular and herbal teas (all priced $3-5).
Reservations for Birch + Butcher’s brunch are highly recommended and can be made online at birchandbutcher.com.
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.