By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Oct 05, 2017 at 1:03 PM

Season’s eatings! The weather may be getting colder, but Dining Month on OnMilwaukee is just cooking up, dishing out your winning picks in this year’s Best of Dining poll. Dining Month is brought to you by Fein Brothers, your premier food service equipment and supply dealer in Wisconsin since 1929. Congratulations to all of the winners, and happy eating for all those who voted!

Stella Van Buren, the new modern Italian restaurant located inside the Westin Hotel at 550 N. Van Buren St., is now serving brunch on weekends.

The new offerings, which accommodate both early-risers and leisurely afternoon brunch-goers, are available from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

The menu runs the gamut between sweet and savory items, including lighter dishes like avocado bruschetta with lemon, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts and a poached egg ($10, pictured below) and twists on classics like the Prosciutto Benedict with heirloom tomato, marinated artichoke, basil pesto, ciabatta and hollandaise ($13). 

There’s also Usinger’s Italian Sausage Hash, featuring roasted bell peppers, caramelized onions, vodka cream marinara, smoked mozzarella and a sunny-side up egg ($13) and a brunch burger with fried egg, fontina, tomato jam, balsamic onion, aioli and crispy parmesan potatoes ($16).

A few plates also showcase Stella’s Italian flair, including a country-style chicken parmesan with smoked mozzarella, Italian sausage gravy and a fried egg, as well as cacio e pepe featuring housemade spaghetti tossed with pecorino and parmesan cheeses, toasted black pepper and a poached egg (both $15).

On the sweet side, there are pastries like brown sugar crumb cake ($3), a whiskey caramel roll with salted pecans ($5), tender fried zeppoles served alongside creamy Nutella spread ($4), and pecan praline french toast, topped with Buffalo Trace bourbon maple syrup and vanilla whipped cream.

Beverage options include fresh juices like the Ginger Sunrise featuring carrot, golden beet, orange ginger and turmeric and the Lean Green with kale, apple, spinach, cucumber and lemon ($7 each), as well as variety of brunch cocktails like a specialty Bloody Mary that features Nueske’s bacon washed Wheatley vodka, housemade serrano bloody mix, chili lime-infused sea salt served with a Miller High Life pony chaser ($8), the Cello-mosa with housemade limoncello, citrus and bubbly ($6) and the East Side Spritz with Wheatley vodka, bubbles and house-made raspberry limoncello ($12, pictured above).

Complimentary valet parking is available for Stella Van Buren guests. For more information or to make a reservation, visit

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.