The Layton Avenue Porterhouse Restaurant, 800 W. Layton Ave., came under new ownership earlier this year, and subsequently changed its name to J. Roberts Porterhouse.
Updates to the exterior and a basic interior face-lift have given the restaurant a slightly more modern feel, but J. Roberts has retained a similar menu and supper club-type atmosphere.
The largest change is in the premise of the dining experience, which has evolved into a multi-course dining concept with emphasis on value.
J. Roberts offers nightly specials during the week: On Monday crab legs are $20 for a pound; on Tuesday a full rack of ribs is the price of a half rack, $20; On Wednesday 14-oz. porterhouse steaks are $23; On Thursday roast duck half portions are $18; and Friday's fish fry offers a buffet style salad bar, starting at $7. In addition to nightly featured prime rib, each meal comes with a full six courses of food.
Entrees range from $13 for an 8-oz. broiled pork chop to $67 for a large lobster tail, and all include a bread basket, choice of soup of the day, salad, potato, pasta and dessert.
Diners can expect to see selections similar to a standard supper club: steaks, chops, ribs and traditional shrimp and fish offerings with baked potatoes, fries and other standard fare. Not surprisingly, the restaurant touts its porterhouse as a signature dish.
For the six-course selection, J. Roberts has two nightly soup specials, a small dinner salad with multiple dressings, pasta with either garlic butter or marinara sauces and a selection of small homemade cakes and mousses available for their inclusive price.
For diners willing to take a step into something more adventurous than the nightly included offerings, they can opt for a la carte selections like baked French onion soup ($5), spinach salad with hot bacon dressing ($2), Caesar salad ($3), a twice baked potato ($2), or Alfredo sauce ($2) with the pasta.
More sides (mushrooms, asparagus) are also available for $6 or less.
The venue books private parties 365 days a year and offers lunch and dinner buffets and sit-down options. J. Roberts also offers live music and entertainment on select Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
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.