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Cheese and Pigs
A grilled cheese bistro-to-come and a movement that pays respect to the pig.
Big Cheese
Every time I leave Beans & Barley, I see it – the new mixed-used building on the corner of Kenilworth and Prospect. One of the soon-to-open occupants in that structure is Melthouse Bistro. Have you heard that grilled cheese is one of the trends of 2011? This restaurant, slated to open in mid-November, promises to be good to our dairy heritage. Essential bistro components are Wisconsin cheeses and local artisan breads. The dinner menu (which will be served from 4 p.m.) will feature grilled cheese sandwich sliders and other small plates. The offered beers and wines will presumably enhance the cheese-eating experience. Looking for more? The menu will also have freshly made soups, salads and side dishes (a "signature" coleslaw). Melthouse Bistro will serve lunch, as well. But you’ll have to hold your cheese-loving horses until November. (1857 E. Kenilworth Pl., Suite D)

Power of the Pig

If you’re used to reading my column, you know I don’t mention Madison very often. But this is important. Well, it’s cool. At the end of October, some swine aficionados are holding an event – in our capital city – called Slow Pig. This is an homage to the pig and its many attributes. (And believe me, there are many.) Celeb chefs like L’Etoile’s Tory Miller and Sanford’s Justin Aprahamian will get all combative in a whole hog competition judged by the public. Milwaukee’s Bolzano Artisan Meats will do a charcuterie school demo. Also: five bartenders will be rivals in a competition to determine the best punch to, as they say, pair with a pig. I like their alliteration. Event date: Oct. 30, 4-10 p.m. Location: Madison Club (5 E. Wilson St., Madison). Tickets: $100. The website has some super-cute photos of pigs!

Racing Toward a Rumpus
There’s a lot of rumpus-ing going on in the next few weeks, in anticipation of Bartolotta Restaurant Group’s The Rumpus Room (1030 N. Water St.), expected to open on October 11. What I mean by "rumpus-ing" is preview dinners. The gastropub-to-be is doing some pre-opening dinners before the big hoo-ha opening on the 11th. I don't do preview dinners (because of my incognito self) but I will share menu details once I have them.

Quarter-Century Fox
1987. Margaret Thatcher was prime minister of England, and kids like me were listening to Bon Jovi’s "Livin’ On a Prayer." (Confession: I really wasn’t a Bon Jovi fan.) That was also the year Water Street Brewery came into being. Water Street Brewery is almost 25 years old? Amazing and true. In honor of its impending silver birthday, the interior of this brewery-bar-restaurant has been spruced up. For me, Water Street Brewery is about wood furniture and copper brewing kettles. That has not changed. To freshen things up, they’ve rebuilt the bar and booths, and added new wood awnings. There’s more to come, too. When next I write about it, this joint will have an expanded menu, including small plates and new dinner specials. (1101 N. Water St., 414-272-1195)

Look for Dish on Dining on Tuesdays and Thursdays!

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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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