By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Jan 06, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Even if you're paying close attention, it's sometimes difficult to keep up with the latest in food news here in Milwaukee. So, in addition to the new developments coming to Tosa, here's a taste of what's new and notable – including restaurant closings for Monday, Jan. 6, Wisconsin’s Feast of Talent, featuring Chefs Justin Carlisle and Dave Swanson, an author event with Stacey Ballis and Lobsterpalooza at Harbor House.

Wisconsin Feast of Talent features Carlisle, Swanson
Take the time for a last minute foodie getaway by heading up to the American Club in Kohler next weekend for a very special dinner featuring some of Wisconsin’s best chefs.

Saturday, Jan. 11, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in The Great Bays Ballroom at the American Club, you’ll have the unique opportunity to experience a five-course dinner with wine pairings from the best chefs in the state, including David Swanson from Braise, Justin Carlisle of Ardent, Dan Bonanno of Pig in a Fur Coat in Madison, John Bauer of Hotel Red in Madison and the team from the Kitchens of Kohler.

The menu will include foie gras mousse, braised celeriac with trout roe, tea smoked chicken and "crumpets," Black Earth Farms short ribs and a passion fruit sorbet milk chocolate tart with salted citrus ganache.

Dinner is $125 per person and does not include tax and gratuity. Dress code is semi-formal; jacket required. Event is available only to overnight guests of The American Club or Inn on Woodlake. Discounted room rates are available for guests of this evening's event.  For more information and reservations, please call (877) 713-4705.

Restaurants close Jan 6 due to cold snap

Call before you head out for lunch or dinner on this frigid day, as a number of restaurants have announced that they will be closed on Monday, Jan. 6 due to the extremely cold temperatures.

Here’s a list of restaurants that have said they won't open today:

  • ALL Bartolotta's restaurants (including Bacchus, Harbor House, Joey Gerard's, Lake Park Bistro, Mr. B's, Pizzeria Piccola, Ristorante Bartolotta, Rumpus Room)
  • AJ Bombers, 1247 N. Water St.
  • Antigua, 5823 W. Burnham St.
  • Birdie's Cafe, 4110 W. Martin Dr.
  • Black Sheep, 216 S. 2nd St.
  • Cafe Perrin, 5901 W. Vliet St.
  • Carnevor, 724 N. Milwaukee St.
  • Cubanitas, 728 N. Milwaukee St.
  • Distil, 722 N. Milwaukee St.
  • Hom Woodfired Grill, 17800 W. Bluemound
  • La Merenda, 125 E. National Ave.
  • Le Reve Patisserie and Café, 7610 Harwood Ave.
  • Maders, 1037 N. Old World Third St.
  • Melthouse Bistro, 1857 E. Kenilworth Pl.
  • North Star American Bistro, 4518 N. Oakland Ave.
  • Pizza Man, 2597 N. Downer Ave.
  • Smoke Shack, 332 N. Milwaukee St.
  • Swig, 217 N. Broadway
  • Umami Moto, 718 N. Milwaukee St.
  • Water Buffalo, 249 N. Water St.
  • Wolf Peach, 1818 N. Hubbard St.

Fuel Café has announced it will be open, but will close at 5 p.m.  Colectivo Cafes will all close at 5 p.m. Stone Creek Cafes will close at 6 p.m.

Restaurants that have committed to staying open include Balzac, Bel Air Cantina (both locations will offer Burrito Monday), Iron Horse Hotel (offering special $3 margaritas all day) and The Packing House.

"Out to Lunch" at Boelter
It’s true. Chicago chick-lit author Stacey Ballis’ latest dose of foodie fiction will make food lovers laugh and cry. But it will also make them very, very hungry. "Out to Lunch" is Ballis's new novel – for fans of Jen Lancaster and Jennifer Weiner – that explores best friends, true love and the joy of food.

On Thursday, Jan. 16 at 6 p.m., join Ballis at Boelter Superstore, 4200 N. Port Washington Rd., for a reading from her new novel and a cooking demonstration featuring recipes from the book.

Autographed copies of "Out to Lunch" will be available to purchase on-site from Boswell Book Company.

Dream Dance Celebrates the white truffle
White truffles are a delicacy held in high regard throughout the world. Harvested almost exclusively from the Piedmont region in Italy, the truffle cannot be commercially grown, therefore limiting supply and driving up the cost upwards of $1,600 per pound. To celebrate the elusive tuber, Dream Dance Steak at Potawatomi Bingo Casino will host a special five-course white truffle dinner on Tuesday, Jan. 14.

Chef Matt Baier of Dream Dance Steak and his culinary team will treat guests to an exclusive menu where the white truffle is at the forefront of every dish, including dessert. The delicate earthy flavor of truffles will be showcased in dishes such as seared sea scallop with truffle mascarpone couscous; truffle risotto served with poached egg and black pepper bacon; veal strip loin topped with freshly shaved truffles, porcini veal demi-glace and arugula pesto; and airy chocolate cake paired with roasted strawberries, pink peppercorns and white truffle ice cream.

"The white truffle is incredibly rare and therefore, high in demand," said Chef Matt Baier. "I’m thrilled to have an opportunity to showcase the savory and complex flavors of the truffle. It’s an experience I know our guests will remember for years to come."

Four of the five succulent courses will be paired with wine selected by Dream Dance Steak General Manager and Sommelier Bryan Schmidt.

Seating is limited. Doors open at 6 p.m. with dinner service at 6:30 p.m. The event is $150 per person, gratuity not included.

For more information about Dream Dance Steak’s white truffle dinner, or to make reservations, call (414) 847-7883 or visit

January means Lobsterpalooza at Harbor House
If you love lobster, now is the time to visit Harbor House, 550 N. Harbor Dr. The restaurant is celebrating everyone’s favorite crustacean through Jan. 31.

Enjoy daily lunch and dinner specials, including lobster ravioli with porcini mushrooms, brown butter, tarragon and lemon zest, lobster fricassee with vegetables, beech mushrooms and brandy cream, and classic Lobster Thermidor.  In addition, there will be specials on whole lobsters, surf and turf, and more.

On Saturday, Jan. 18 from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. you’ll also have the option to join Chef Zach Espinosa at Harbor House to learn how to choose, cook and serve lobster at home. Watch a demonstration, learn some of his best tips and sample the finished product. Plus enjoy a free appetizer when you stay for dinner after class.  Class is $35 per person.

For more information, or to make reservations, call (414) 395-4900.

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.