By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Jun 05, 2020 at 2:45 PM

There’s a new restaurant on its way to Wauwatosa later this summer, which promises Scandinavian-inspired fare paired with a dose of Midwestern charm.

As we reported last week, Eldr+Rime is slated to open in the new Renaissance Milwaukee hotel at 2300 N. Mayfair Rd. in August.

Today, Concord Hospitality Enterprises and HKS Holdings LLC, in collaboration with the Fifty/50 Restaurant Group, announced that the restaurant will be led by Executive Chef Gary Baca, a Chicago-based chef with over 20 years of experience.

The restaurant will feature a menu of New American cuisine with nods to both Scandinavian flavors and traditions. And the restaurant will begin service with several safety guidelines, in accordance with local directives and recommendations.

Plans for the new 6800 square foot modern dining destination include a spacious, socially-distanced dining room, a full-service bar and seating that flanks an open kitchen. The restaurant will also boast two private dining rooms and an outdoor patio.

On the menu

Eldr+Rime, a name which means "Fire and Ice" will focus on grilling over live fire, wood oven roasting and composed chilled seafood from its raw bar to create a seasonal menu of thoughtfully prepared items including familiar dishes like steaks, fresh fish and hearty grains. There will also be items like Swedish meatball sliders, venison tartare, Nordic rye flatbread, pork schnitzel and Dover sole.

Meanwhile, the restaurant’s beverage program will include Scandinavian-inspired drinks and craft cocktails – like the Birch Sour, Scandinavian gin and tonic, and with nod to the Wisconsin classic, the Gufa Old Fashioned. Guests will also be able to enjoy a sommelier-curated wine list from regions around the world.

"We are so excited to bring this concept to the Milwaukee area," noted Baca in a release about the opening. "My goal is that our guests feel like they are eating outdoors, enjoying the season both with the ambiance and with our food, year-round.

"I believe my job as a chef is to practice restraint and stay out of my own way in order to allow amazing ingredients to shine," he adds. "I want to present the elegant simplicity of Nordic cuisine to our guests, supported by our indigenous roots with a twist and Midwestern comfort."

Simple comfort

In turn, the interior of the restaurant, which was designed by Simeone Deary Design Group pays homage to nature with rustic elements and an emphasis on simple, well-crafted Scandinavian design.

The facade will evoke images of a modern barn filled with large wooden tables, chairs and benches complemented by warm tones of light birch and oak wood. Fireplaces will evoke a cozy feel, while a large bay window will provide a view of the land outside.

All of this will be set against a palette of blues and warm reds with a backdrop of textures including knit sweaters, tile and greenery to enhance the mood.

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.