It's time for Dining Month, presented by Deer District and its spooky Halloween-themed alter ego, Fear District. Throughout the month of October, we'll be serving up fun and fascinating content about all things food. The signature dish, however, is our 2019 Best of Dining poll, with winners getting dished out all month long. Get hungry, Milwaukee!
Dream Dance Steakhouse, located inside the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, officially opened to the public on Tuesday, Oct. 1. The opening comes on the heels of a near four-month closure to accommodate a dramatic $1.8 million remodel.
Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Director of Food & Beverage Donald Sally says that the renovation was strategically planned to align with the addition of the second Potawatomi hotel tower, which includes the Ember Salon & Spa as well as a new ground-level state-of-the-art pastry kitchen.
The work was completed with the assistance of both the Cunningham Group and Gilbane Building Company in anticipation of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, during which Potawatomi will play host to the New York delegation.
The restaurant, which is located on the ground floor of the casino, now showcases new signage and a visibly transformed entrance featuring antiqued glass window panels that offer a glimpse into the restaurant bar.
Step inside the reimagined restaurant and it’s virtually impossible to miss the changes, which include an expanded bar area showcasing a gold textured bar with a white marble top, a flat screen TV that doubles as a mirror when not in use and comfortable red bar stools.
The capacity of the bar has been nearly doubled, featuring seating for 16 at the bar itself, plus an additional 14 at high-top tables.
A glass archway filled with 712 bottles of wine connects the bar to the main dining area. The impressive bottle collection pays a nod to the restaurant’s notable wine program, says Dream Dance Steakhouse Manager Mick Laughran, which has been adjusted from its formerly international scope to focus more intently on domestic offerings fitting of an American steakhouse. That includes an increased investment in selections, including notable California cabernets.
In the dining room itself, you’ll find a cozy, modern vibe that embraces a steakhouse feel along with creature comforts.
"We’ve removed the tablecloths," notes Sally. "And we’ve really created a dining area that has a certain softness and elegance to it that we didn’t have before."
That includes modern abstract art, large modern booths and comfortable soft seating that invites guests to linger and enjoy their meals.
"Ultimately, we really wanted to present an improved experience for guests," says Sally. "In fact, one of the goals was to decrease dining time, which is something our guests have requested. Thanks to the new layout and systems, we’ve been able to reduce the average dinner service to about an hour and 15 minutes."
Dream Dance Steak House is open Tuesday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. The bar is open Tuesday through Saturday beginning at 4 p.m.
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.