If you happened to dine at Coquette Cafe last Friday, you may have been fortunate enough to order the Provençal fish stew, a one-night special featuring red snapper, little neck clams, Prince Edward Island mussels and Argentinian red langoustine in a broth enriched by white wine, cognac and saffron.
The dish happens to have been one created by Chef Michael Quinn. And it’s slated to be on the inaugural menu for Maison, the restaurant expected to open soon at 5921 W. Vliet St.
Quinn says that, although Maison missed the target of opening before the end of February, things are moving forward. Construction on the restaurant, which has been in process since the beginning of the year, is nearing completion. A few more inspections and some interior tweaking, and the space should be ready to welcome its first diners.
"We’ve already had a really nice reception from the neighborhood," says Quinn. "People stop by nearly every day to see how things are going and tell us they’re looking forward to the new place."
And when the time comes, Quinn and Sous Chef Joe Roethel will be ready to roll out a menu they’ve been working on for the past few months.
A taste of France
Dishes (any of which may still be fine tuned before the restaurant launches) include starters like Burgundy snails (escargot), mussels and selections of cheese and charcuterie. There will also be classic onion soup and Nicoise salad.
In addition to the Provencal stew, entrees (which Quinn says will average in the $18-25 range) will include options like seasonal seared fish with accompaniments like marinated potato and rainbow chard, along with a stone fruit and green peppercorn demi. Classic coq au vin with fingerlings and mushrooms and a smoked and braised lamb shank with rosemary and seasonal vegetables are also likely.
Among the entrees, Quinn notes, they will also feature a dry-aged bone-in ribeye that can be ordered with the customer’s choice of sauces including wild mushroom demi, soubise (creamy onion sauce), red wine sauce or hotel butter, a traditional accompaniment for fish and steak featuring seasoned butter enriched with parsley and lemon.
Meanwhile, Quinn says desserts will include options like sabayon (egg yolk custard enriched with wine) and tarte tatin. He says Maison will also serve a particularly special dessert, which will stand as an homage to Meritage: Chef Jan Kelly’s classic dark chocolate ganache cake.
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.