She said/she said is a series of rapid reviews written by the intrepid duo, Lori Fredrich (the foodie) and Carolynn Buser (the socialite). Tune in weekly for our latest meanderings on hot spots around town.
Reason for visiting: Happy hour, Monday-Friday, from 4 to 6 p.m.
Specials: Half-off appetizers (at the bar only); $4 Hangar 1 cocktails; $6 craft cocktails and specialty mojitos, $5 classic mojito, margarita, Bloody Mary; seasonal tap beer selection for $6.
Regular Pricing: Appetizers: $5-17; cocktails: $7-13.
Pro Tip: Head back on Wednesdays for live music and half price wine on the terrace patio (through Sept. 23).
Mood: Trocadero is a breath of French air, just a step away from the hustle and bustle of Brady Street. Its quaint interior is the perfect spot to meet friends for brunch. And the patio is an awesome spot to melt away the stress of your day, absorb some vitamin D and grab a pretty decent cocktail.
Go here when:
Lori: Gosh, where do I begin? I haven't been back to Trocadero since it switched ownership earlier this year, and I'm actually pretty sad about that. It was one of my favorite hangouts in the late '90s, when the frites were hot, the cheese plate was the best around and the brunch was something to look forward to on the weekend. The "new" restaurant has nearly all of its old charm, along with a nicely redone version of its previously French-themed menu. So, head back here soon if you remember the old "Troc" and want a really, really nice blast from the past.
You can also head here when you want a great summer spot to sit and wile a few hours away. It still has a great patio, and I think the happy hour has gotten even better than it used to be. My strawberry basil mojito wasn't quite as intense as I'd hoped (strawberries being out of season; I should have known). But, I was enamored of my choice in ordering the Bubbly Blonde, featuring gin, lillet blanc, grapefruit juice, lavender syrup and sparkling wine.
You can also head here when you need a bite of food with your cocktails – because Troc serves it up right. The cheese board was especially impressive with its generous portions of Humboldt Fog, Sartori MontAmore and Garcia Baquero Manchego, along with fig jam, candied walnuts, apples, crackers and warm baguette. The potato croquettes were nice – with a crunchy exterior and fluffy potato interior with artichoke hearts and a bit of Boursin cheese (along with a mustard dipping sauce that was also pretty delicious).
Carolynn: I agree with Lori – I feel the Trocadero of the past is making a comeback. I've enjoyed the bloody marys consistently through out the years but really only stopped in for brunch. I was glad to see a few of my favorites still on the brunch menu.
The happy hour there? Tasty, quaint and quite a steal. I loved the cocktails – and this really is a cocktail forward happy hour menu. The best kind in my book. The cheese board was expansive – and at half off during happy hour – a downright steal. I'll be going back to try the updated charcuterie and seafood boards soon.
Go back for:
Lori: Just go back. Seriously. One look at the menu and I'm all over heading back to sample what remains of the cocktail menu – including the Lower East Side, a more serious drink featuring rye, vermouth, Carpano, Fernet and house simple syrup with a lemon twist. I'd also go back to try out one of the other boards – either the charcuterie or fish – since the cheese board was a stellar pick. Our bill was just under $40, and the two of us had three drinks each and three appetizers to share. Not shabby. Not shabby at all.
Carolynn: I'll be back for another happy hour soon – and it could be one of my new (reborn) favorites. Once the heat of summer is gone the mussels with chorizo and beans will be enjoyed by me through out fall and winter. Please don't take them off the menu! The cassoulet-ish mussels are a sign of the new (or old) Trocadero doing somethings that were classic there a little differently and hopefully a sign of more to come.
Lori: Hold me back, because I'm going to give this one two thumbs up. Maybe even three. Way up. Because I love having my dear old Trocadero back, and their happy hour is one of the happiest I've had in a very long while.
Carolynn: The happiest hour of the day is even better at Trocadero. I'm literally jumping with joy. I think you'll continue to see subtle changes to the menu and I'm excited to see what they will be.
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.