The window signs are up, and Chefs Michael Engel and Rachael Karr are preparing for a Sept. 1 opening of the new Downtown location of Pastiche in the Hotel Metro.
The excitement was tangible when we talked to both chefs in the hotel lounge today about their plans.
"We're really ready for it to be officially ours, " says Karr, who has been training staff at Metro in preparation for the opening since late June. Most personnel, she says, have stayed on from the hotel, and Pastiche staff are being integrated into the fold. New hires include Chef de Cuisine Taylor Bogardus, formerly of Mangia in Kenosha.
The dinner menu at Pastiche at the Metro will be modeled after the menu at the former Bay View location.
Breakfast will include Pastiche's take on classics like buttermilk pancakes made from a recipe Engel gleaned during his apprenticeship at the Milwaukee Club and bread pudding French toast like the kind Engel served at The Legend at Brandybrook, along with crepes and a variety of egg dishes.
"We'll also do a European-style continental breakfast bar," notes Engel, "with homemade pastries, cheeses, coffee, juice and tea ... like you'd find in a Parisian hotel."
Lunch, which will be designed to be quick and easy, will focus on soup, sandwiches and salads along with items like duck leg confit potato salad with olives.
The lounge will feature a happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m., featuring drink specials and various tapas from the Tapas Tuesday Karr hosted at Pastiche in Bay View.
Engel says the decor will be a work in progress, with a transformation of the space taking place throughout the coming weeks. Part of the plan, however, is to bring back more of the art that was commissioned by Madame Kuony when the hotel first opened.
Pastiche at the Metro will be open for breakfast daily from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.; daily lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and dinner Sunday through Wednesday from 4 to 10 p.m. and Thursday through Sunday from 4 p.m. to midnight.
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.