So, we're off this week, Alex and I. He from his school year at Victory School for the Gifted and Talented, 222 W. Henry Ave., and myself from my full-time job, hoping the rain will hold so we can spend a day or two at the Humboldt Park wading pool, or if we're feeling a bit more adventurous, the swimming pool at Wilson Park (who can beat entertainment under $3 for the day?) Wednesday will be the Art Museum since they offer free Wednesday admission for Milwaukee County residents and he loves the sculptures and the colorful paintings.
In the interim, though, with a semi-rainy day, we swung by Izumi's, 2150 N. Prospect Ave., to grab some lunch. And I must say, who knew chopsticks could be so much fun?
We ordered a bento box chicken cutlet lunch for him and some sushi for me, and while we sat, he played with the chopsticks. I have never seen a five-year-old so peacefully entertained in a restaurant before.
Our server brought a special set of chopsticks for him that they had created from two regular chopsticks, a carefully rolled chopstick paper wrapper and a rubber band. Another server carefully broke two chopsticks in half to create mini chopsticks for him to try as well, but Alex much preferred the rubber-banded version, which worked like a mini wooden tongs.
He quietly, carefully and very neatly maneuvered single ice cubes from his apple juice glass into a water glass, and then moved them to a miso soup bowl. By the time he was finished and his bento box had arrived, he was deft enough with the chopsticks to be able to move single grains of rice to his mouth.
I was so pleased to see him enjoy his first experience at a Japanese restaurant so very much, and also very pleased with the servers taking the time to accommodate the needs of a small child in a decidedly adult restaurant.
We are so blessed in Milwaukee with restaurants that will allow us to take our children there and try new things.
Amy L. Schubert is a 15-year veteran of the hospitality industry and has worked in every aspect of bar and restaurant operations. A graduate of Marquette University (B.A.-Writing Intensive English, 1997) and UW-Milwaukee (M.A.-Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Writing, 2001), Amy still occasionally moonlights as a guest bartender and she mixes a mean martini.
The restaurant business seems to be in Amy’s blood, and she prides herself in researching and experimenting with culinary combinations and cooking techniques in her own kitchen as well as in friends’ restaurants. Both she and her husband, Scott, are avid cooks and “wine heads,” and love to entertain friends, family and neighbors as frequently as possible.
Amy and Scott live with their boys, Alex and Nick, in Bay View, where they are all very active in the community. Amy finds great pleasure in sharing her knowledge and passions for food and writing in her contributions to OnMilwaukee.com.