Downtown Dining Week is in its sixth year as an annual Milwaukee event, featuring special menus at more than 40 area restaurants. Beth Nicols, executive director of Milwaukee Downtown BID #21, says DDW is an invite-only event, and only the best of the best restaurants are asked to participate.
“We strive for excellence in terms of service, in terms of product and in terms of environment,” Nicols says. “We only invite restaurants that we think meet those criteria.”
These seven outstanding restaurants have participated in DDW for six years straight! Here’s why Milwaukee Downtown keeps asking them back.
Café at The Pfister, 424 E. Wisconsin Ave.
This up-scale café located inside Milwaukee’s historic Pfister Hotel serves soups, sandwiches, salads, pastries and Starbucks coffee. It has earned a positive reputation over the years, and is a lovely place to enjoy a nice long lunch break. Entrées on this year’s DDW $10 lunch menu include a grilled salmon salad, hickory smoked pulled pork and chicken tortellini Alfredo.
Coquette Café, 316 N. Milwaukee St.
Another great place to take a long lunch break is this classy French café in the Historic Third Ward. Coquette has been asked back because of its wonderful service and fresh cuisine. Even if you have been there before, the café is now under new management so check back and see if they have added some new dishes this year.
Libiamo Restaurant, 221 W. Galena St.
This Italian restaurant offers both a $10 lunch and $20 dinner menu packed with savory Italian cuisine. It made our blog post about unexpected offerings for its entrée option of a half rack of lamb, and both of its menus present a much-appreciated variety of dishes.
Louise’s, 801 N. Jefferson St.
Louise’s is another Italian restaurant participating in DDW, although this one claims a California influence that sets it apart from the average Italian eatery. Its lunch options are tasty yet simple: soup or salad, Panini of the day or smoked turkey sandwich and a freshly baked brownie or cookie for dessert. Its dinner options take it up a notch with hearty entrées and tiramisu or gelato for dessert.
Osteria del Mondo, 1028 E. Juneau Ave.
Osteria only offers a $30 dinner menu, but it is a great price for a meal typically valued at $47. Its Italian food differs a bit from the Libiamo and Louise’s choices, and this year the restaurant is offering a specially-priced wine menu paired with the entrées. DDW sure hasn’t been lacking Italian options.
Swig, 217 N. Broadway.
Speaking of wine, Swig has ditched its desserts to offer you a complimentary glass of wine with its $20 dinner menu this year. Its $10 lunch menu is also missing dessert, but diners receive soup, salad and a sandwich with their meal. With swimsuit season approaching, who needs dessert, anyway?
Zarletti, 741 N. Milwaukee St.
This year, Zarletti made the jump from the $20 to the $30 price point for their DDW dinner menu (http://www.milwaukeedowntown.com/media/mediafile_attachments/00/570-zarlettidinner.pdf). But for all you money-conscious diners out there, the restaurant made the switch so it could feature more of its signature items, and the meal is still a deal compared to its $40 value. If that is still not enough to tempt you, check out its $10 lunch menu instead.