Want to smell like Clooney? Swim like Phelps? It's all here in this week's edition of OnMilwaukee.com Recommends.
Cedar Crest Brownie Sundae – Festival season is finally back. No matter what fest (be it Polish, German, Summer, or other) I always make it a point to stop by the Cedar Crest vendor across from the Miller Lite Oasis. As much as I love the ethnically relevant festival food, sometimes you just want a hunk of brownie smothered in vanilla ice cream, doused in hot fudge, topped with whipped cream. And who doesn’t love a hometown ice cream company like Cedar Crest? – Colleen Jurkiewicz
2012 Alandra Rose and Vinha da Defesa Rose – Although the color of grignolino – a wine I love – hints at rose, I – like many of you – tend to shun the pink stuff. That's thanks to bland memories of even blander wine-coolerish white zinfandel. But these two wines from Portugal's Herdade do Esporão have challenged my prejudices. The Alandra, a blend of Aragones, Syrah and Touriga Nacional, is the lighter of the two in terms of flavor and body – though both wines pack 13.5 percent ABV – and goes down easy. It's a good place to start, but its sister, Vinha da Defesa, made from Aragones and Syrah, is more intense. A deeper pink, Defesa is fruity with a hint of mint and a long, refined finish and though at $15 it's a bigger investment than the $7 Alandra, it's worth it. – Bobby Tanzilo
David Schultz Aquatic Center – Summer and water and kids is a combination full of everything that a parent could want. But options are limited in Milwaukee, especially when there are problems with Lake Michigan. Well, the David Schultz Aquatic Center at Lincoln Park is an oasis in the heart of the city that should not be missed. Let's be honest here. One of the fears that some parents have about public pools is that it will not be safe, that rowdy behavior will ruin things. I've been to Lincoln Park several times with my grandchildren and it's as well ordered as a military march on parade day. The lifeguards (and they are all over the place) are firm without being overbearing. Take two running steps and you'll hear a voice booming through megaphones, bringing you to a halt. Get even a little bit rough in the water and welcome to the sideline. And, maybe I'm the odd one here, when I see little white kids playing alongside little black kids and nobody is afraid or being bullied, it does my heart good. I think it also does my grandkids good. – Dave Begel
Creed Green Irish Tweed – Do you want to smell like George Clooney on Oscar night? It’ll cost you a pretty penny, but you can do it. Creed’s 1985 masterpiece, Green Irish Tweed, is supposedly the signature scent of many of Hollywood’s leading men, and it’s easy to see why. The cologne is a classic Fougre: rich, fresh and sporty – but that doesn’t quite do it justice. With top notes of iris and lemon verbena, middle notes including violet leaves and base notes of ambergris (basically, whale mucus) and sandalwood, GIT is frequently imitated but never reproduced. Counterfeits are rampant, and the decant I already had in my possession only smelled a little like the tiny, hand-poured sample Creed sent me. A poor man’s version of GIT is Cool Water, but don’t let that sway you; the real deal can’t be copied from this legendary French fragrance house that once made cologne for Napoleon. At Creed’s official web site, this stuff costs $155 an ounce, but you know what? It smells like money. And Clooney. That’s a lot to spend on a blind buy, but you won’t likely find a store in Wisconsin that sells it, so you’ll have to trust me (unless you want to visit Neiman Marcus in Chicago). Save your Green Irish Tweed for power meetings, special occasions ... and maybe Oscar Night, too. – Andy Tarnoff
Alaskan king crab Benedict at Zak’s Cafe – I really didn’t think I was an "eggs Benedict" person until my dining companion ordered this dish at Zak's Cafe, 231 S. 2nd St., and I annoyingly over-sampled his brunch. It was absolutely too delicious not to have a second and third (OK, maybe even a fourth) "taste" and I will definitely order it for myself next time. The dish features a poached egg, generous portion of crab and a tarragon hollandaise sauce on an English muffin. The side potatoes are very good, too, although my favorite are still at the Plaza Cafe, 1007 N. Cass St. – Molly Snyder