Milwaukee's Brady Street has had a steady rotation of eateries and taverns over the years, with some constants -- the Nomad World Pub, Cempazuchi, and Hi-Hat -- and other rotating doors that have housed Vinifera, Watermark, Club 728, and Konohana, and are now the homes of a new generation of restaurants -- Balzac, Casablanca, and Bosley on Brady, respectively.
Bosley on Brady (815 E. Brady Street), in the former Konohana site, is the creation of proprietor Michele Green and Chef Peter Carew, who make a successful sweep at bringing a hint of the Florida Keys to the East side of Brew town. The décor here has maintained its crisp, clean feel, with myriad windows giving the space an open, airy feel and new warmer paint tones on the walls. In the summer months of Milwaukee, this location may even allow diners to imagine they are breathing in the warm Floridian sunshine and ocean breezes as they nibble ceviche martinis (shrimp, scallops, key lime juice and confetti peppers with mango, $9) and passion salads (baby greens, goat cheese, mango, almonds, and berries, $9).
A recent visit to Bosley on Brady was an enjoyable experience from beginning to end with impeccable yet fun service, and fresh, unique food that make this spot a definite must-try in Milwaukee. Our server, a gentleman named "Sharky," was friendly, knowledgeable, professional and fun -- the perfect combination for an upscale casual establishment like Bosley. After supplying us with a basket of fresh bread and herbed butter, he eased us into the daily tapas special of the evening (the original small Spanish plates that have launched the recent trend in "small plate dining," $9), which, on our visit, included a beautiful and delicious plating of spicy shrimp, figs, an antipasti-type salad, stuffed mushroom caps, and tiny stuffed eggplants. We were especially impressed with the mixture and complexity of flavors and tiny individual mini entrees on this platter, which change daily. Chef Carew obviously takes great pride in his specials.
For entrées, we sampled the Florida grouper ($24) and seafood symphony ($20). Both dishes were distinctively prepared and perfectly cooked, and true to the Key West influence, carried hints of mango and fresh lime. The grouper was positioned over delicate potato pancakes and cooked to flaky perfection. Each corner of the plate held a tiny mound of mango-lime salsa, which, when combined with the fish, gave the dish a lovely clean spicy and sweet flavor. The seafood symphony again was a most impressive daily special, which contained superb seared scallops, shrimp, and tempura battered perch.
For an excellent finish, the classic Floridian dessert of key lime pie ($6) was brilliant in texture and flavor with the perfect balance of sweet and tart.
Perhaps the most intriguing and impressive thing about Bosley is that both the menu and Web site welcome diners with special dietary restrictions or vegan diets to request a special selection prepared to order for dinner. It is infrequent that restaurants welcome substitutions, let alone invite them. This type of adaptability and the obvious attention to detail in both food and service sets Bosley apart from its competition and makes it one of the better restaurants in our midst.
Bosley on Brady is open Monday through Thursday, 5-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 5-11 p.m. Vegetarian, vegan, and dietary friendly dishes available. The phone number is (414) 727-7975 and the Web site is bosleyonbrady.com.