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A Charred Night
Jake's new lounge, Slim's replacement, and Graffito's beginning.
Charred Objective
The new Charred Lounge & Grill inside the long-established Jake’s in Brookfield is described as rustic and elegant, vintage and contemporary. An intriguing dichotomy. Charred, which opened today (Thurs March 31), is focused on affordability. Most items are under $15. There is house-made ricotta gnocchi, yellowfin tuna tartare, and a market-price daily fish special. Also: grilled, barbecue-glazed duck wings; fresh oysters; lobster poutine (the French-Canadian poutine is typically French fries topped with gravy and cheese curds); and the J burger with aged white cheddar on a brioche bun. A bit higher on the price spectrum: braised beef short ribs with mac and cheese fritters ($20) and Australian Wagyu steak with sautéed wild mushroom ragout ($21). It pays to arrive earlier in the evening. Charred’s “refined” Happy Hour offers lots of 5-buck specials – cocktails, wine-by-the-barrel, nightly flatbread, daily oyster selection and more. Happy Hour runs Mon-Fri, 4:30-6 p.m. Charred is open Mon-Sat, from 4 p.m. (21445 W. Gumina Rd., Brookfield, 262-781-7995) 

 
O'Lydia's logo.
Leprechaun Love

Just as I often go by a different name – one of the necessities of being a reviewing restaurants – Linda Sackett has an alternate first name. It’s Lydia, a name her significant other coined for her. Sackett, whose varied work experience includes running the departed Brown Bottle Pub, is the namesake for her Walker’s Point bar/restaurant – O’Lydia’s Pub (in the former Slim McGinn’s). She tells me Slim – who sold his business (but not the name) to Sackett – suggested the moniker “O’Lydia’s.” It does have a certain resonance to it. There’s still some Slim to the menu (check out those nightly specials!), but Sackett put her stamp on that part of the establishment, too. New appetizers include bruschetta (better put, “O’bruschetta”), pineapple shrimp, and Reuben dip. A Cuban, country Western turkey, and “leg o’lamb” are a few of the sandwiches. On Sunday mornings starting at 10 a.m., you can wash down your eggs Benedict or French toast with a Bloody Mary. Peruse the menu in toto here. (338 S. First St., 414-271-7546)

The Feat of Graffito

Baseball fever is generating some heat, even if you’re still scraping ice off your windshield in the morning. Monday (April 4), as you may know, is the Milwaukee Brewers’ home opener. You could celebrate by visiting Ryan Braun’s Graffito (102 N. Water St., 414-727-2888). Or you could check the place out now. Graffito is open. While the 120-seat restaurant was on hiatus for the last few months, the interior was getting a boost. The boldest design component, I hear, is the whimsical Milwaukee-themed art by local painter Fred Kaems. Executive Dominic Zumpano’s Italian menu shows the range and creativity for which this former Umami Moto chef is known. Among the small plates: calamari with Limoncello crème fraîche and roasted red pepper coulis; gnocchi with arrabbiata sauce; and grilled fontina-stuffed shrimp (the shrimp is also wrapped in Guinciale – Italian cured pork cheek), served with pear jam and fennel herb salad ($4-$9). Pastas range from pappardelle with duck ragu and duck prosciutto to “hot wing” ravioli (stuffed with house-made ricotta cheese and topped with braised chicken, hot sauce and Gorgonzola), $13-$15. The “stadium” section, as they’re calling it, will feature soft house-made pretzels with cheddar sauce, prosciutto-dusted fries, and this mouthful – a half-pound burger topped with lardo (Italian cured pork fat), 4-year aged cheddar, speck and tomato jam on a house-baked bun ($7-$12). The “bigger” plates include veal short ribs, pan-seared salmon with lentils and pancetta, and chicken saltimbocca with sage polenta, among other dishes ($16-$23). Hours: Mon-Thurs 4-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 4-9 p.m.; Sun 4-9 p.m. 

Look for more Dish on Dining next week!

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If you spot a restaurant opening or closing, post it on the comments section of my column, or e-mail me directly: ann.christenson@milwaukeemagazine.com




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