A generation ago, many Brewers players looking for in-season housing sought refuge in quiet southwestern suburbs like Greendale, Hales Corners and Muskego. Those places were convenient to the ballpark and airport and populated with other players, which made it to bring families together for cookouts, play dates, zoo trips, etc.
Chris Capuano is a Downtown kind of guy.
The 28-year-old left-hander, currently on the 15-day disabled list with a groin strain, has lived Downtown since he arrived in Milwaukee before the 2004 season.
"I like living Downtown," said Capuano, who lives in a condo near Lake Michigan and often does errands on his Segway scooter. "I'm single and I don't cook a lot, so I like to be near a lot of different restaurants and the night spots. And, I really like being near the lake."
We spoke to Capuano last year about the closing of Prospect Mall, which was his one of his favorite spots to watch movies. At the time, he listed Sol Fire as one of his favorite restaurants. With Sol Fire closed, and soon to be replaced at 2014 N. Farwell Ave. by Pepe's Pink Taco, we decided to ask Chris to list his five favorite Milwaukee restaurants.
"There are so many good ones, I may have a tough time picking five," he said. "But, I'll give it a try."
Here, in no particular order, is Capuano's list:
Roots: "I've been there for dinner a couple times and I liked it. I think I had lamb once. Their menu changes a lot, because it's all seasonal. And, they've got good mojitos."
Bacchus: "I enjoy Bacchus, and it's right down the road from my place. I can Segway there."
Carnevor: "That's a solid spot on Milwaukee Street."
Mo's Steakhouse: "I'd probably be remiss if I didn't mention Mo's. A lot of people bag on it, but I always have a good meal when I go there. I had swordfish the other day, and it was delicious. To me, Mo's is always solid. It almost seems like people want to get sick of it. They want to knock it for some reason. But, I've always had good experiences there."
Lake Park Bistro: "They've got French cuisine there and I like the setting. I think I had sea bass that was really good."
Capuano laughed when we pointed out that his list omitted several traditional favorites of major-league players, who tend to favor upscale chains like P.F Changs, Cheesecake Factor and the Capital Grille.
He admitted that most visiting players would not venture to one of his favorite spots on an off-night. "Guys tend to go places where they know what they're getting," he said. "Most of them would probably rather go to Benihana."
One renowned local restaurant Capuano has not visited yet: Sanford. "I'd like to try it," he said.
Asked if his family and friends are surprised by Milwaukee's culinary choices, Capuano said, "People are surprised by Milwaukee in general; the restaurants; the museums; the lake. Pretty much everything about the city surprises them."
Downtown dwellers shouldn't be surprised to see a major-league pitcher zip past them on a Segway. Although the personal scooters are becoming more common in bigger cities, they aren't exactly a fixture in Milwaukee.
"I'm the only one getting yelled at," Capuano said. "People just yell "Segway!" really loud or they'll say "Nerd!" or "Nerd alert!"
"People just don't understand. When I talk to people, I say "If you don't ride one, you don't understand how cool it is."
Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at OnMilwaukee.com. Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.