Looking for new spots to try? During Dining Month, Lori Fredrich is dishing out must-tries in 20 different dining categories, from brunch to BBQ and everything in between. Here's what she's recommended so far!
It might be getting chillier outside, but there are inevitably at least a few gorgeous days in October that remain truly patio-worthy. So don't give up on the season quite yet.
After all, Milwaukee is home to a throng of amazing patio spaces, from cozy hidden gems and sky-high rooftop oases to beautifully landscaped outdoor dining rooms that offer a blissful retreat from the daily grind. Some are even equipped with elements that assist in extending the season.
Here are five gorgeous spaces that could use a bit more breaking in!
1818 N. Hubbard St., (414) 395-1300
Serving: Regional Greek fare
With an aesthetic inspired by summers in Greece and a menu that conjures thoughts of milder climes, Avli is sure to be a respite for diners all year long. But it's tough to minimize the draw of its spacious bi-level patio which offers unparalleled views of the city skyline.
While seats on the second-floor patio, adjacent to the main dining room, might arguably offer a better view, the expansive lower level is no slouch. Festoon lights, strung above the dining areas, offer an understated ambiance for diners taking advantage of tables with hillside views of Commerce Street or gathering to socialize with drinks and noshes at clusters of soft seating equipped with warming fire tables.
The Bridgewater Modern Grill
2011 S. 1st St., (414) 299-6556
Serving: Woodfired American fare
When The Bridgewater Modern Grill opened last fall, there simply weren't enough gorgeous days left in the season to truly do it justice. So this summer was the first time that curious diners could fully enjoy all 245 feet of the city’s longest riverfront patio, complete with its plentiful seating, river views and outdoor bar.
Eight boat slips installed in August made it easy for boaters on the Kinnickinnic River to stop off for a bite, while the addition of daily brunch service made the patio both a lovely place to begin and end the day.
Now we can just hope that autumnal winds are kept in tow long enough that we can enjoy another few rounds of drinks and dessert in the restaurant's soft seating area, which is well-equipped with fire tables to ward off the evening chill.
The Trade, Autograph Collection
420 W. Juneau Ave., (414) 279-6660
Serving: Italian fare, pizza (dinner, late night, brunch)
While the draw at Il Cervo might be its menu of hand-rolled pasta, freshly stretched mozzarella and handmade sourdough pizza, the ability to at the very top of the Trade Hotel only adds to the experience.
Located nine stories above the city, Il Cervo sports one of the most unique rooftop spaces in the city, featuring a wrap-around terrace that greets diners with beautiful views of Fiserv Forum and the city skyline. With areas to dine al fresco or simply enjoy a before- or after-dinner drink with a view, it's among the many draws that continue to contribute to the draw of Downtown.
2060 N. Humboldt Ave., (414) 272-1745
Serving: Pizza, Italian dishes
The decision to relocate a restaurant is never an easy one. But when – like Pizza Man – you manage to score a well-appointed patio with a riverfront view, there can be definite advantages.
The patio, which seats about 70, offers not only great views of the river and urban landscape, but it has the advantage of being semi-covered with overhead heating to make it more comfortable as the weather grows cooler. Add to that a lounge area with a fire table and you've got a pretty snazzy spot to dine al fresco.
In recent years, Pizza Man been hard at work reclaiming its longtime reputation by bringing back housemade pastas, recommitting to local sourcing and focusing on the guest experience. The addition of a great outdoor space is yet another move in the right direction.
111 E. Kilbourn Ave., 2nd floor, (262) 333-3052
Serving: Snacks, flatbreads, raw bar
Speaking of river views, you can experience a stunning one at Vault, the stunning new cocktail lounge located in the Associated Bank River Center.
The three-season terrace, which accommodates groups both large and small, features a combination of soft seating and tables where guests can eat, drink and socialize while enjoying gorgeous views of the river and local landmarks including Usinger's and Fiserv Forum.
Even better, their menu of snacks, flatbreads and seafood (think oysters, shrimp and ceviche) make it a great stop for happy hour or a light dinner before heading out to any of Milwaukee's Downtown theaters or concert venues.
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.