By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Oct 21, 2013 at 11:02 AM

For the seventh straight year, October is Dining Month on, presented by the restaurants of Potawatomi. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2013."

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 the 10th annual Lombardi Food & Wine Experience, a Halloween event for wine lovers, a pear dessert to raise money for Walnut Way, a Veteran’s Day dinner at the Milwaukee Art Museum, and sushi specials at Umami Moto.

10th annual Lombardi Food & Wine Experience
Maybe you caught Bobby Tanzilo’s interview this past week with James Beard Award winner and Michelin Red "M"-rated chef Rick Tramonto of Tru in Chicago. If you did, you probably noted that Tramonto has a fondness for the Cream City.

Apparently, he’s also the generous type, and he’ll be joining the fight against cancer at the Lombardi Food & Wine Experience on Nov. 8-9 and Nov. 22. And that’s no small deal.

For ten years now, the Lombardi Food & Wine Experience has attracted internationally recognized chefs and winemakers to participate in their annual Experience, which supports research and patient care at Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic locations at Aurora Health Care facilities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

During the past decade, the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation has raised more than $1 million to fight cancer in eastern Wisconsin.

This year, it will continue its work by offering three delicious events:

  • The Food & Wine Tasting Galakicking off Friday, Nov. 8, at 6:30 p.m. at The Pfister Hotel, will feature delicacies prepared by 20 regional restaurants paired with tastings from 35 vineyards, a selection of craft beers and an artfully crafted European market display of artisanal cheeses, meats, vegetables and desserts. Tickets for the Food & Wine Tasting Gala are $95 per person; $110 after Oct. 25.
  • The Celebrity Chef & Wine Dinner, Saturday, Nov. 9, 6 p.m. at the Milwaukee Athletic Club, will feature a multi-course meal prepared by Chef Tramonto and paired with wines from Chamisal Vineyards’ winemaker Fintan du Fresne. Tickets for the Celebrity Chef and Wine Dinner are $250 per person.
  • The Connoisseur Room, a luxurious event for wine enthusiasts, will be held Saturday, Nov. 22, at the InterContinental Milwaukee. The evening features premiere tastings from vintners and private collections paired with delicious food provided by Kil@wat restaurant. Tickets for the Connoisseur Room are $100 before Nov. 15, and $125 beginning Nov. 15.

For more information or to register for any of the events visit

A Cult Wine Lovers’ Halloween Release
For a wickedly good time this Halloween, creep on over to Mason Street Grill as it hosts the annual release soiree for the celebrated Orin Swift Cellars "The Prisoner" 2012.

This highly sought after California boutique wine comprised of dense & spicy Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Sirah, Syrah, Charbono and Grenache, is set free from the cellar every Oct. 31. It is a "repeat offender" on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 wines of the year, often garnering top scores each vintage.

This year, at the stroke of 7 p.m., samples of the new vintage will be poured from magnums for all witnesses to sip and savor along with passed hors d’oeuvres, compliments of Chef Mark Weber and Wirtz Beverage. Bottles of the 2012 vintage will also be available that evening for purchase.

Pear Dessert to Benefit Walnut Way
Earlier this month, the headquarters for Walnut Way, a revitalized community on Milwaukee’s North Side, experienced a fire that significantly damaged the organization’s main building.

Among the many setbacks that came with the fire, the group suddenly had 75 pounds of ripe pears it had grown and could no longer preserve as planned.

The Bartolotta Restaurants will put those pears to good use this month in a dessert created by Chef Nick Wirth at Bacchus, and all proceeds from the sale of the dessert will be donated back to Walnut Way.

The baked pear and almond tart is served with fresh raspberries, raspberry sauce and crème fraiche and sells for $10. It will be featured on Bacchus’ menu through the end of October. Bacchus is open for dinner Monday through Saturday each week.

Learn more about Walnut Way at  

Milwaukee Food for Thought to Raise Funds for Veteran’s for Peace
Join Food For Thought – Milwaukee at the Milwaukee Art Museum on Monday, Nov. 11 for a delicious Veterans Day "Art Americana" themed six course wine dinner. 

Courses will be designed by Paul Zerkel and Lisa Kirkpatrick of Odd Duck, Thi Cao of Buckley’s Restaurant and Bar, Justin Aprahamian of Sanford, Gil Petrovic of Prodigal, Jennifer Grundy of Dalena: Hand Crafted Desserts, Nell Benton of The National Café, and Micah Kaufman of the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Café Calatrava.

Tickets are $100 per person and can be purchased online at:

All proceeds from the dinner will go to support Veterans For Peace, Inc. (VFP), a non-profit educational and humanitarian organization dedicated to the abolition of war. The organization seeks to end the wars and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and promote peace, and obtain justice for veterans and victims of war. For more information visit

Partake in Sushi Madness
Craving sushi?  We’ve got a solution.

How about special prices on rolls at Umami Moto, 722 N. Milwaukee St., every Monday and Thursday evening?

Choose from $5 Milwaukee Street, spicy crab, and shrimp tempura rolls; $6 vegetable tempura, unagi, and New York rolls; $7 Alaskan, scallop, and California rolls; $8 avocado shrimp and spicy tuna rolls; and six additional rolls, including crispy shrimp and white tiger rolls for just $9.

Or maybe you prefer a weekend sushi affair?

If so, try their reverse happy hour from 9 p.m. to close on Fridays and Saturdays. Specials include $10 specialty rolls, $4 SURG mixers, and $4 20-ounce beer.

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.