By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Nov 09, 2016 at 11:01 AM

In less than two weeks, the corner of 6th and Bruce will be infused with new energy as the city welcomes Hotel Madrid, the new food and hospitality venue from the folks at Stand Eat Drink Hospitality.

Back in September, we told you a bit of what to expect from both Vermutería 600 and Bodegón, the bar and restaurant located on the first floor of Hotel Madrid (read more here). But you’ll be able to take a look for yourself beginning Tuesday, Nov. 22, when both venues will make their debuts.

In the meantime, we got a sneak peek at some of the features which will make these venues a fabulous new addition to the Milwaukee dining scene.

1. New fashioned Schlitz taps

Attention to detail is a hallmark at Hotel Madrid, where thoughtful design touches pull together the venue's identification with both Spain and Milwaukee. For example, Vermutería 600 features custom wooden tap handles. Fashioned after the iconic Schlitz Malt Liquor bull taps that marked the once-Milwaukee-based brewery's product during the 1970s, the handles also link to tauromaquia (bull fighting), a long-held tradition in Spain.

Taps will include house red and white sangria as well as a house vermouth infused with botanicals including Mediterranean thyme, Spanish saffron and nutmeg and finished with a Spanish white wine. Featured tap beers include Estrella Lager, a selection from Milwaukee Brewing Company, and an Enlightened Brewing Company selection which will be run through a HopRocket infuser to bolster certain flavor components of the beer.

2. Open kitchen

Dining at Hotel Madrid is meant to be an experience. The open kitchen concept is meant to deepen that experience by connecting diners to the culinary action, including the preparation and finishing of dishes. A chef’s table located adjacent to the expo area allows for a more thorough immersion in the gastronomic experience.

3. Beautiful plates

Delightful and unexpected are two words which might describe the atmosphere you’ll find at Bodegón. And that includes the plates from which you’ll be served. White plates are augmented by copper flatware and a variety of creative serving vessels.

As beautiful as they are, the serveware are merely conduits for a menu that promises to offer something for just about everyone. Diners can choose from boards and starters, to pasta, seafood and meats including chicken, pork, lamb and dry aged beef. A vegetarian menu will accommodate diners who wish to supplement proteins with seasonal vegetable-based dishes, as well as those who choose not to eat meat.

Portions are sized so they can function as either full entrees or shared plates, allowing diners to approach their dining experience in an entirely individualized way.

4. Dry aged beef

Thanks to a European style dry aging cabinet, Bodegón will offer a variety of house aged beef cuts, including bone-in rib-eye, T-bone, tomahawk steaks as well as New York strip, bone-in filet, petit filet and porterhouse. Cuts are hand selected from Ney’s Big Sky and Strauss and aged for 21, 31 or 45 days, depending on the individual cut.

5. La Cava

Beneath Bodegón, guests will find La Cava, a wine cave and private events space which houses over 250 international selections with a focus on old world wines from Spain and Europe. Pricing per bottle runs $39 to $2,000, with most under $200.

The collection, which is tended by wine director and certified sommelier Erik Mulberry, currently includes 10 sherries (from bone dry to sweet) as well as a variety of vintages from R. Lopez de Heredia, a 130-year-old winery in Haro, Spain.

Beginning Nov. 22, Bodegón will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 5 to 10 p.m. Vermutería 600 will observe the same kitchen hours, but will offer bar service until close. Reservations will be accepted beginning Friday, Nov. 11 on the Hotel Madrid web site.

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.