Changes at this fixture inside the 100 E. Wisconsin building.
Do you remember when John Hawks Pub was on Broadway? Then, you might be sort of, um, old. It opened in there – there was 607 N. Broadway – in 1971, then moved to the 100 East Wisconsin building almost 22 years ago. Last year, Brian Ward – whose Ward’s House of Prime offers prime rib in 8-ounce slabs up to 160-ounce monsters – took over Hawk’s, and as 2011 was coming to a close, he instituted some changes that might make Hawk’s a slightly different experience. How? Well, the menu. Have you started to crave Scotch eggs, shepherd’s pie, pot roast and English curry? The menu now includes these dishes of a, perhaps, British pub nature. The deli inside the restaurant is not new, but they’ve made it more of a self-contained space, where you can order pretty much everything on the menu, for carryout. If you’re looking at your computer screen blankly at the mention of a Scotch egg, here’s a brief descriptor: an egg – hard-boiled, in this case – wrapped in sausage, dipped in bread crumbs and deep-fried. To eat, dip it in mustard first. Then, down the hatch. Serving from 11 a.m. daily. (100 E. Wisconsin Ave., 414-272-3199)
Last night, diners at Meritage were the first to try the restaurant's new winter menu items. (Winter menu? It feels like spring thaw!) Chef/co-owner Jan Kelly has made some creative changes without completely dismantling the menu. A few new incarnations have been added to the appetizer list. The baked goat cheese has been replaced by queso fundito, a poblano pepper creation that incorporates pepper jack and Chihuahua cheeses and house-made lamb chorizo. Kelly is also doing a savory Chinese sausage scone served with cilantro-ginger butter. The Rushing Waters trout entrée is now stuffed with cornbread, leeks, shrimp and fresh herbs, sautéed and served with roasted potatoes and a warm bacon vinaigrette. The chicken entrée has been modified to a wild mushroom-stuffed breast served with wild rice and Brie sauce. If your hunger is not abated by these items, note that Meritage is still offering pan-seared mahi mahi tacos ($11) on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Hours Mon 5-9 p.m.; Tues-Thurs 5-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 5-11 p.m. (5921 W. Vliet St., 414-479-0620)
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