Wauwatosa's newest French restaurant, Cafe Grace, opens to the public on Tuesday, July 19 at 11200 W. Burleigh St. at the Mayfair Collection. It’s the fourth and final concept to open among the Bartolotta’s managed restaurants at the mall, and it also happens to be the most refined.
Like a bustling cafe on the streets of Paris, Cafe Grace is designed to be the sort of place where customers linger to enjoy a delicious meal, while spending a relaxing hour or two watching the world go by (check out our preview of the space here).
Begin your meal with snacks like gougeres (pastry puffs filled with Grand Cru fondue) or one of the daily rillettes, tapenade or cervelle de canut – a farmer’s cheese spread with shallots, chives and olive oil – for $4-5 each. Or order up appetizers including a warm mushroom tart with La Clare Farms goat cheese, arugula and sherry vinegar ($11), or steamed mussels with white wine, saffron cream, saucisson and celery root ($14)
Other hors d’oeuvre offerings include chicken liver pate with cherry preserves ($8) and cassolette d’escargot, featuring Burgundy snails sauteed in garlic and herbs and served in a stew of flageolet beans with a topping of crisp pastry ($12).
The more rustic country pork pate is served up with Meaux mustard, cornichons and arugula ($9).
Soups include a classic French onion ($7) and Provencal vegetable served with herb pistou and grated cheese ($7). Or enjoy your choice of salads including simple mixed greens with seasonal vegetables and a herbed vinaigrette ($9); asparagus with smoked salmon, green apples and goat cheese ($11); or salade Lyonnaise with frisee, lardons and mustard-sherry vinaigrette topped with a poached egg and pate croute ($10).
Sandwiches and crepes include a Cafe burger ($14) with grass-fed beef, brie or gruyere, Belgian mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato; the croque madame ($14); a buckwheat crepe filled with Berkshire ham, Grand Cru, fried egg, sauteed mushrooms and arugula ($14); and a crepe with shaved top sirloin, mushrooms, caramelized onions and Swiss chard ($15).
Seafood offerings include poached Gulf shrimp with lemon, cocktail sauce or mayonnaise ($4.50 each, $12 for three; or $17 for six); one-half of a chilled Maine lobster served with Belgian mayonnaise (market price). There are also fresh oysters from the raw bar (priced at $2.50 each, $12 for a half-dozen or two dozen for $24), as well as both small and large seafood towers featuring selections of oysters, shrimp and lobster.
Rotisserie plates include herb and citrus marinated chicken with roasted cauliflowers and potatoes, honey mustard pork loin with braised cabbage and potatoes, top sirloin with shallots and red wine sauce and leg of lamb with braised flageolet beans and cauliflower ($21-28).
There are also classic entrees like steak frites in your choice of cuts (top sirloin or New York strip) served with fries and a choice of brown butter bearnaise, red wine shallot butter or Maitre d’hotel butter ($24/35); braised veal short ribs with mushroom cream sauce ($26); swordfish with olive oil potatoes, Nicoise olive tapenade, French beans and a quail egg ($27); and Coquilles St. Jacques with roasted sea scallops, chickpea cake, Swiss chard, golden raisins and beef jus ($28).
Or treat yourself (and a friend) to charred bone-in ribeye for two, served up with asparagus, cauliflower, mushrooms and brown butter hollandaise for $75. On the vegetarian side, a chickpea cake with braised artichokes, French bean salad and mushrooms is available for $20.
Meanwhile, confited leg of duck is served up with fresh spinach, walnuts and cherry gastrique ($24).
The pan seared skate is pan seared until tender and flaky and topped with lemon-brown butter, caper vinaigrette and asparagus salad with blistered cherry tomatoes ($24).
Desserts include chocolate pots de creme, molten chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, sorbet or classic lemon tart (priced $6-7).
Beginning Tuesday, July 19, hours for Cafe Grace will be Sunday through Thursday from 3 to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 3 to 10 p.m. Lunch service, which will be offered from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., will begin sometime in early August.
Lori Fredrich (Lo) is an eater, writer, wonderer, bon vivante, traveler, cook, gardener and girlwonder. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she has tried to leave many times, but seems to be drawn to this quirky city that smells of beer and alewives.
Some might say that she is a little obsessed with food. Lo would say she is A LOT obsessed with food. After all, she has been cooking, eating and enjoying food for decades and has no plans to retire anytime soon.
Lo's recipes and writing have been featured in a variety of publications including GO: Airtran Inflight Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Cooking Light, Edible Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as on the blog Go Bold with Butter, the web site Wisconsin Cheese Talk, and in the quarterly online magazine Grate. Pair. Share.