If you’ve been waiting for the opening of Press au Marche, the new European style market cafe from the owners of Press Waffles, we have good news. The cafe officially opened to the public today, Tuesday, Sept. 3.
Press au Marche, located just inside the Marshall Building at 207 E. Buffalo St., is a new counter service cafe operated by Aaron Rosko and Emily Thomas, which serves a menu of simple, fresh items from freshly pressed liège waffles (plain or with a choice of seasonal toppings) to housemade soups, salads and baguette sandwiches.
On the beverage side, there’s Anodyne coffee and espresso, Rishi hot and iced teas and a variety of beverages including sparkling water and a few locally bottled beverages.
Take a peek
The cozy cafe is bright and welcoming and designed to emulate a small Euro-style market. Angular countertops are balanced by rounded glass grab-and go cases.
Black and white tile is met with splashes of jadite green. And geometric patterns are balanced by feminine, floral elements like the wall covering on the east wall.
It's a look and feel punctuated by elevated finishes like marble countertops, cheerful painted millwork and white subway tile paired with sculptured glass pendant lighting and retro hexagonal mosaic floor tile.
The Southern wall features shelving showcasing a variety of locally made products along with Press merchandise including T-shirts, market totes, money pouches and bags of custom roasted Press Waffle blend Anodyne coffee. And watch for new Press Waffle scented candles (they smell fantastic!) made by local candle-maker White Yeti in the weeks ahead.
Beside the service counter there is seating for between eight to 10 guests at round tables equipped with both banquette and stool seating. Additional seating for about 10 will also be provided in the lobby just outside the cafe.
New menu offerings
In the morning from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., Press au Marche features an assortment of pearl sugar-studded made-to-order liege waffles with toppings including powdered sugar, nutella and speculoos ($5-6) along with custom combinations like housemade lemon curd, blueberry and whipped cream (pictured, $8.50) or honeyed goat cheese and chutney ($7.50) and a rotating featured waffle of the moment.
For those looking to take waffles home, plain waffles are also available for $5 each or as a breakfast box featuring four waffles for $18. Toppings can be purchased a la carte as well.
After 11 a.m., guests can also purchase items from a menu of baguette sandwiches, market salads and soups created for Press in collaboration with Justin Schneider, a chef whose experience includes work with Bartolotta Restaurants, Gracious Catering and Firefly Urban Bar & Grill.
Among the sandwiches are tasty vegetarian options including soft Tribeca Ovens baguette topped with roasted tomatoes, Saxon gouda, arugula and garlic thyme oil ($7); strawberries, brie and basil ($7) or marinated beets, chevre, arugula and rosemary walnuts ($8).
There’s also pastrami with pickled stone fruit and cracked pepper mayo ($8); ham with orange marmalade and honey clove butter ($8) or brie, bacon, apricot jam and arugula ($9).
Mustard scallion chicken salad featuring tender pieces of lightly dressed poached chicken jazzed up with crisp celery, scallions, romaine lettuce and the sweet pop of mild chutney ($8).
Soups will include one staple option: rustic tomato soup served alongside slices of baguette and a distinctively delicious honey clove butter ($4 per cup; $7 per bowl).
There will also be a soup du jour, which will change on a regular basis.
Meanwhile, market salads include meal-portioned options like Nicoise salad with potatoes, haricot verts, hard cooked egg, tomato, olives and shallot dijon vinaigrette ($9) and a delicious Mediterranean take on Panzanella salad with arugula, croutons, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, kalamata olives and a basil and red wine vinaigrette ($8).
Side salads include potato salad with dill and chive sour cream ($4) and curried cauliflower with garbanzo beans, golden raisins and Greek yogurt ($5).
There’s also refreshing orzo salad with feta, red onions, cucumbers and a lemon vinaigrette ($4).
The grab and go case also includes items like yogurt, fresh fruit and packaged chips for purchase.
Press au Marche is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Starting Oct. 19 (after the Press Waffle truck’s farmers market season has ended), hours will be expanded to include Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Lori Fredrich (Lo) is an eater, writer, wonderer, bon vivante, traveler, cook, gardener and girlwonder. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she has tried to leave many times, but seems to be drawn to this quirky city that smells of beer and alewives.
Some might say that she is a little obsessed with food. Lo would say she is A LOT obsessed with food. After all, she has been cooking, eating and enjoying food for decades and has no plans to retire anytime soon.
Lo's recipes and writing have been featured in a variety of publications including GO: Airtran Inflight Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Cooking Light, Edible Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as on the blog Go Bold with Butter, the web site Wisconsin Cheese Talk, and in the quarterly online magazine Grate. Pair. Share.