By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Dec 16, 2013 at 1:04 PM Photography:

Even if you're paying close attention, it's sometimes difficult to keep up with the latest in food news here in Milwaukee. So here's a taste of what's new and notable – including news about the new Ward’s House of Prime in Delafield,  the opening of Roman Candle Pizzeria in Whitefish Bay, a pre-New Year’s Eve wine dinner at c.1880 and a second anniversary celebration for Braise Restaurant.

Wards House of Prime to open in Lake Country
The new Delafield location for Ward’s House of Prime, at 515 Wells St. in the former site of Tony & Mia’s, is preparing for opening later this month, according to owner Brian Ward, who also owns John Hawk’s Pub Downtown.

The building, which is owned by Jason Steiner of Ace Properties Delafield and Steinergroup, has undergone a fairly extensive remodel. The first floor has been opened up to provide both a bar and high table top dining. The upstairs will function as a more conventional tablecloth-style dining room. Both floors will retain their original, but renovated, fireplaces.

The menu will focus on fine quality meats, with prime rib the specialty of the house. Entree prices will range from $19. There will be an 8-ounce prime rib available for $26, along with larger cuts of meat in the $30 and $40 price range. Entrees will include soup, salad and potato.

The restaurant, which has been recognized by the television series "Food Paradise" for having some of the best large cuts of meat in America, will also offer its signature 40-ounce steak or prime rib at the Delafield location. Consume the full portion, which will set you back about $60, and your name will be mounted on the Ward’s Wall of Fame.

The Delafield location will be open for preview dinners beginning Monday, Dec. 16 and running through Thursday, Dec. 19 from 5 to 8 p.m. Interested diners can contact the Downtown location at (414) 223-0135 to make reservations. Very limited seating is available.  

Cafe Vocar opens in Riverwest
Things don’t always move quickly in the restaurant business. Guys like Michael Vocar know this all too well.  I first told you about Café Vocar last June, when Vocar hoped to have his place up and running by the end of July.

But, as things go, construction on the restaurant space in Riverwest was delayed. 

But, at long last, Cafe Vocar, 932 E. Wright St., will open its doors to the public on Friday, December 20th.

Stop by beginning at 5 p.m. to enjoy Eastern European and American comfort foods like goulash and schnitzel.

According to Vocar, the Cafe will start off slowly, opening for dinner on weekends in December and January. Hours will be Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. and Sundays from 5 to 10 p.m.

Roman Candle Pizza opens in Whitefish Bay
After months of planning and renovation, The Roman Candle Pizzeria opened quietly on Thursday, Dec. 12. The restaurant, which is located in Whitefish Bay at 133 E. Silver Spring Dr., resides in the former home of Peabody's Interiors and most recently Honquest Furniture.

Roman Candle pizza is made from scratch using 50 local ingredients, including grass-fed beef, multiple types of pepperoni and unique offerings like beets, corn and candied walnuts. One of their best-selling Madison pies is the Pestoral, topped with pesto, feta, mozzarella, artichoke hearts, roasted red pepper, Kalamata olives and Roma tomatoes.  It also features house made salads, breadsticks and baked pasta dishes.  Check out the full menu at

c.1880 features pre-New Year’s Eve Wine Dinner
Wine lovers should be sure to clear their calendars for Monday, Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. when Chef Thomas Hauck of c.1880, 1100 S. 1st St., will present a special wine dinner featuring hand-selected wines from two of America's most historic and recognized wineries: Chateau Montelena and Mount Eden Vineyards.

The dinner will feature three amuse bouche offerings, featuring caviar, bay scallops and oysters, along with four additional courses.

Additional courses will feature crab paired with fennel, persimmon and honey, duck with maple, parsnips, plums, and beets, venison with watercress, cranberry and celeriac, and a dessert course highlighting the flavors of orange, honey and spices.

Established in 1882, Chateau Montelena is among the Napa Valley's most historic wineries. In 1976 Chateau Montelena put California on the forefront of world-class-winemaking when in a blind tasting members of the French wine press selected Montelena's Chardonnay as the top rated wine over four white Burgundies and six California Chardonnays.

Mount Eden Vineyards produce the oldest lineage of estate bottled Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in North America, from a single vineyard high in California's Santa Cruz Mountains planted in 1943 by Martin Ray. So hallowed is Mount Eden's fruit, that cuttings from the vineyard are now used as plant material for wineries throughout California. In most vintages fewer than 1,000 cases of the Pinot Noir are produced.

The dinner is $150 per person, including wine. Reservations can be made online at or by calling (414) 431-9271.

Braise Restaurant celebrates two years
It’s difficult to believe, but on Saturday, Dec. 21 Braise Restaurant is celebrating its second anniversary.  It seems like only yesterday that the restaurant opened at 1101 S. 2nd Street, serving dishes like kohlrabi curry, seared duck breast and veal chops with mushroom ragu and gnocchi.

The restaurant, which features an intimate bar, two community dining tables, a brick oven and a food bar where guests can take a seat to watch the chefs at work, recently finished up a remodel which adds 30 additional seats, city views and a small kitchen on their second floor – a gorgeous space featuring reclaimed wood flooring and detail, along with a bird’s eye view of the restaurant’s rooftop garden space.

On Dec. 21, beginning at 5 p.m., guests are invited to stop by before or after dinner to visit the brand new second floor lounge. Complimentary snacks and beverages will be available.

Braise has also announced that the restaurant will be closed on the following dates during the holidays: Dec. 22-25, 29 & 30 and Jan. 1-6.

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.