By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Aug 25, 2014 at 10:03 AM

Transport yourself to western Europe with upcoming events showcasing the charm of 1920s Paris and rare beers from Central Waters and Préaris Brewery.

La Fête du Cercle d’Or

Sunday, Sept. 7 marks the annual La Fête du Cercle d’Or, the Alliance Française de Milwaukee’s largest annual fundraiser.

This year’s theme, Les Années Folles, focuses on the spirit of 1920’s Paris, a time when artists like Gertrude Stein, Josephine Baker, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec roamed Parisian streets and culture favored locations like Les Folies Bergere, the infamous cabaret music theater.

The event, which will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. at 2727 E. Newberry Blvd. in a historic Gothic mansion – the first of many homes constructed on the Shorewood boulevard, will feature a silent auction and  food and drink prepared by Lagniappe Brasserie, Lake Park Bistro and Chef Elizabeth Crawford.

Lake Park Bistro will present baguettes with au saumon fume (moked salmon with capers, red onion, and crème fraiche, paté de poulet (chicken liver mousse logs) as well as a vegetable platter with dips, cheese, crackers and grapes.

Lagniappe Brasserie will serve  toast a la tapenade, rillet de porc Duroc, and surprise de concombre.

Chef Elizabeth Crawford will provide Marquese au chocolat for dessert.

Meanwhile, Boone & Crocket will serve up a signature cocktail -- Delice du soir – which features gin, champagne, lime juice, simple syrup, raspberry liquor, and a sprig of mint. 

Guests are encouraged to exhibit their joie de vivre by wearing a touch of red to mark the occasion.

Tickets, which are $140 per person, can be purchased online. Attendance is limited. For more information, contact Valerie Hofmaier at or by calling (414) 964-3855.

A very special beer dinner

On Wednesday, Sept 17, The Rumpus Room, Central Waters, and Artisanal Imports will be presenting a dinner unlike any other featuring the owners of two prominent breweries located oceans apart from one another.

Anello Mollica, owner of Central Waters, as well as Andy DeWilde, of the up-and-coming Préaris Brewery in Oedelem, Belgium, will also be present at the dinner.

While Central Waters might be a household name, Préaris is a brewery beer lovers ought to get to know. After winning the recognition as top "homebrew" in Belgium in 2011, Préaris has gone on to win awards in major European craft beer competitions and was named the 2013 "Best New Brewer" in Belgium by The brewery is now known for combining traditional Belgian styles with innovative ingredients and techniques reminiscent of the American craft beer scene.

The dinner will feature several rare beers, including an experimental sour beer brewed by Central Waters, their 2014 World Beer Cup Gold Medal-winning anniversary beer 16, and Prearis Quadrupel and Saison. Here’s a peek at the menu.

  • Course one: Nduja, parmesan and arugula crostini with special Préaris Belgian sour
  • Course two: Spinach salad with warm bacon dressing and blue cheese served with Call Me Ol’ Fashion American Strong Ale
  • Course three: Char-grilled marinated baby octopus with salt cured olives and feta served with Hop Rise IPA 
  • Course four: Dry rubbed center cut pork rib chop with oven roasted sweet potato, apples, onions, cider and Dijon butter sauce with Octoberfest Marzen-style Lager
  • Course five: Flourless chocolate cake with raspberry and guajillo pepper coulis with Sixteen – American Double Imperial Stout, aged in 21-year-old bourbon barrels

The dinner is priced at $59 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations can be made by calling The Rumpus Room at (414) 292-0100.  

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

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.