For a city of its size, Milwaukee can more than hold its own when it comes to outstanding cuisine. From elegant restaurants to little holes in the wall, you'd be hard-pressed to run out of dining options in Brew City. But for the most romantic dining escapes, check out these gems that are perfect for a romantic night out.
1751 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 897-7022
The intimate space blends the earthy with the contemporary, reflecting Ardent’s approach to cuisine. The mood evokes both comfort and casual which complements the simplicity of the ingredients and accommodates intimate conversation.
179 W. Wisconsin Ave., Pewaukee
Whether you're in the moods for cocktails and shared plates or deliciously comforting entrees and a bottle of wine, you'll find it at Artisan 179. The cozy dining room offers the ambiance of a fireplace along with lovely views of Pewaukee Lake.
925 E. Wells St., (414) 765-1166
The newly renovated Bacchus provides a sleek, stylish dining experience just inside the historic Cudahy Tower. On the menu, you'll find creative, yet accessible fare at its most exquisite with an emphasis on seafood, handmade pastas and meats, along with an amazing, award-winning wine list.
1716 N. Arlington Pl., (414) 755-0099
This Brady Street restaurant specializes in tapas and an impressive selection of wine in a dimly lit, comfortable and intimate environment. The mood here is mellow, and the staff is friendly and extremely helpful should you or your date have any questions about the five-page wine list.
Bodegón at Hotel Madrid
600 S. 6th St., (414) 488-9146
There's plenty to love about the rustic, yet refined, Spanish-style dining you'll experience at Bodegón. Whether you opt for well-prepared meats like Iberian acorn fed pork or a selection of tasting plates to share, it's definitely the sort of place where you can be assured to impress your date. On the beverage side you'll find an impressive Spanish wine selection and top notch cocktails, along with delectable sippers like their housemade vermouth.
1101 S. 2nd St., (414) 212-8843
Braise, a perennial favorite for those looking for delicious fare created from fresh, local ingredients. The ever-rotating menu is often globally inspired, with plenty of options for sharing or enjoying solo. Bring that special someone for dinner and savor a truly passionate meal.
801 N. Cass St., (414) 277-1111
Despite its recent expansion, Buckley's, on the Lower East Side, is still one of the most charming spots near Downtown. The food is better than ever and the neighborhood is perfect for an after-dinner stroll, if the weather cooperates.
6030 W North Ave., (414) 312-8968
If you're looking for a truly special experience with your special someone, Ca'Lucchenzo serves it up in spades, from its intimate mood lighting to its menu of "Lady and the Tramp" worthy pasta dishes.
808 E. Center St., (414) 455-3751
This small, intimate Italian restaurant, located in the heart of Riverwest, is perfect for couples looking for an evening of well-made pasta, deliciously simple desserts and maybe a sip of amaro to finish. It's quaint and cozy and it seems there's always something new to try on their menu.
Dream Dance Steakhouse
1721 W. Canal St., (414) 847-7883
Located in Potawatomi Bingo Casino, the recently reimagined Dream Dance Steak delivers contemporary romantic dining with inventive appetizers, top quality steaks and seafood options and luscious desserts. Always rated among the city's top restaurants, both its atmosphere and menu make it worthy of another special night out.
8612 W. Watertown Plank Rd., Wauwatosa, (414) 771-6680
This 1940s-style steakhouse with a modern flair has been one of the city's most popular restaurants for years. And there's reason for that. After all, great food, wine and the sounds of Sinatra are a winning combination.
550 N. Harbor Dr., (414) 395-4900
Seafood is an aphrodisiac and the clean lines, attentive service, delicious seafood and one of the most stunning view in Milwaukee only enhance the effect.
125 E. National Ave., (414) 389-0125
It doesn't get much more romantic than sharing food. The tapas style menu at La Merenda lets you do just that, offering a long list of international tapas for you and your sweetie to split. Tasty wines and fruit-filled sangria rank the drinks just as good as the food.
Lake Park Bistro
3133 E. Newberry Blvd., (414) 962-6300
Transplant the Bartolotta family magic to the Lake Park Pavilion and you've got the recipe for a memorable evening. After all, the French are famous for delicious cuisine that's bound to incite a few loving glances. The dramatic views of Lake Michigan don't hurt, either.
430 S. 2nd St., (414) 897-0747
There's an earthy beauty in the simplicity of the decor at Morel. It belies the kitchen's dedication to well constructed dishes that rely on the freshness of local ingredients to make them shine. The menu – which features treasures like housemade pappardalle or freshly made gnudi, along with beautifully prepared meats and vegetables – changes frequently, making it all the more lovely for a repeat visit.
2352 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 763-5881
Still one of the city's favorite destination restaurants, Bay View's Odd Duck offers a stellar menu of globally inspired plates, many of which change daily. It's the perfect place to explore new flavors while sharing the experience with someone you love.
The Pasta Tree
1503 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 276-8867
This is a romantic restaurant where it's pretty darn hard not to get cozy. Closely placed tables and settings make The Pasta Tree a pure pleasure. Homemade pasta and more than 30 sauces make it a spot where you'll always find something delicious to enjoy.
1547 N. Jackson St., (414) 276-9608
What happens when you put one of the nation's best chefs in a building that was once his family's grocery store? The result is what many consider the best restaurant in the state of Wisconsin. If you're serious about food and wine, it's mandatory must-try. Go all out and order the chef's tasting menu; your significant other will love you even more for it.
2499 N. Bartlett Ave., (414) 964-8377
Although by no means devoid of restaurants, the East Side's "left bank" (just east of the Milwaukee River) has a shy but formidable little gal called Tess. The cozy dining room seats 30, and the flicker of dozens of candles, pomegranate walls and a large backyard patio will be a terrific place to dine come summer. Until then, Tess is a warm and relaxing getaway that's close to all the East Side action.
Third Coast Provisions
724 N. Milwaukee St., (414) 323-7434
There aren't many contemporary restaurants that boast the elegance found at Third Coast Provisions. The well appointed dining room is beautifully designed and the sumptuous seafood menu is filled with indulgences like rich lobster potholes, surf and turf and aphrodisiacal options like fresh oysters served on the half-shell.
1801 S. 3rd St., (414) 837-5950
If you're looking for cozy and casual, look no further than Triskele's. This Walker's Point-area hidden gem is an intimate dinner destination worth finding. Its menu is cozy, too, featuring a small – but varied – selection of seasonal meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes perfect for pairing and sharing.