By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Mar 02, 2023 at 1:31 PM

Do you love to geek out about great food? Are you open to a new way of exploring the fresh, locally sourced cuisine at Tre Rivali, 200 N. Broadway?

Belly up to the Chef’s Counter, an eight course culinary experience designed to delight diners with innovative nouvelle-inspired dishes. 

The Chef’s Counter is led by Executive Chef Brian Cripps, an industry veteran whose career has included work with the renowned Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn in San Francisco as well as Spruce, a venue which garnered its first Michelin star during his tenure. Cripps has also had the pleasure of working alongside chefs including Ludo Lefevbre and Simon Dolinky.

Cripps, who joined The Outsider as the temporary acting chef in 2021, swiftly fell in love with the Cream City and decided to lay down his roots in Milwaukee by accepting the role of Tre Revali’s Executive Chef.

What to expect

During his Chef’s Counter experiences, Cripps shares his creativity with guests through  inventive dishes that incorporate indulgent ingredients while highlighting fresh, seasonal ingredients from local purveyors. 

“After a year of experimenting in the Tre Rivali kitchen, now feels like the right time to take things to a whole new realm of creative exploration,” says Cripps. “In many ways I feel like Tre Rivali is my home, and the Chef’s Counter is an invitation to my own personal dinner party.”

The Chef's Counter takes place on the first Thursday of each month and begins at 6.45 p.m. with an aperitif in Tre Rivali’s salon, followed by eight courses at the restaurant’s six-seat horseshoe bar ($140 per person, plus optional wine pairings). Over the course of the intimate dinner, Cripps shares his insights and inspiration for the evening’s dishes while allowing guests to commune and engage in conversation. 

Meanwhile, each Thursday night menu departs from Tre Rivali’s usual Mediterranean fare, offering a glimpse into Cripp’s tenure cooking in Michelin-starred kitchens like Spruce (San Francisco) and Trois Mec (Los Angeles), as well as his knack for storytelling through food. 

During the cooler months, guests can look forward to indulgent ingredients such as caviar, foie gras, Wagyu, and king crab leg throughout the weekly rotating menus. Meanwhile, spring menus will make full use of early season crops like fava beans, peas, and asparagus. 

Recommendations from expert purveyors’ recommendations have led Cripps to showcase dishes like Kampachi, a sustainably farmed and sashimi-grade fish from Hawaii introduced to him by his go-to fishmonger.

“My favorite part of the Chef’s Counter is being able to share the stories and techniques behind each course while ‘nerding out’ with other people who appreciate cooking as much as I do,” says Cripps.

The Chef’s Counter at Tre Rivali is offered the first Thursday of the month beginning at 6:45 p.m. Reservations are highly encouraged and can be made online at OpenTable.

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.