It sure seemed weird seeing a pizza oven at Abu’s Jerusalem of the Gold (1978 N. Farwell Ave.). Chicken shawerma pizza? I’ll admit it was tasty. But the Middle Eastern menu, as I saw it in late 2009, had been drastically cut back. The long-running Mediterranean restaurant moved to its East Side home in the late ’70s, and now that corner space is empty. Dark. A for-lease sign in the window. The phone number disconnected. Abu’s. I have a friend who arrived at Abu’s for a falafel sandwich in the ’80s only to find that a belt she had lost months earlier was being used as a curtain sash in the restaurant. Abu’s was one of those strange places. Sad, really.
|Smyth restaurant at the Iron Horse Hotel.
Photo by John Cizmas
Dining comes in several forms at the Iron Horse Hotel (500 W. Florida St.). The restaurant Smyth, the bar Branded, and outdoor patio The Yard. There’s also the Lobby Lounge and the Library (where they serve breakfast). On Jan. 23, the hotel will begin serving brunch, featuring “elaborate” made-to-order items and a Breakfast Cocktail Cart. Bigger news is in the form of a person – executive chef Jesse Wilder. The Wisconsin native (who has an extensive background in hotel dining) is overseeing all the food and beverage operations for the Iron Horse. That will include hiring a chef de cuisine for Smyth and, at some point, collaborating on a new menu. Opening chef Tom Schultz no longer works for the hotel. For now, the Smyth menu remains the same.
Honey of a Meal
If I were thinking of my belly, I wouldn’t be sitting here, banging away at my keyboard, while diners are filing into Bay View’s Honeypie (2643 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., 414-489-7437) for the nightly specials. They are not to be confused with pork fries, the Davenport, or the pasty of the day. Which you can get any day. Chef Adam Lucks and his kitchen mates are preparing two dishes for the next several nights that should resonate this time of year – pan-roasted pork tenderloin (from Elkhorn’s Wilson Farms) with shaved Brussels sprouts salad, gratin potatoes and mustard vinaigrette ($17); and beef tenderloin medallions with red wine and Hook’s Creamery Paradise Blue reduction, apples, Swiss chard and gratin potatoes ($19). The two specials start this evening (Thursday). There’s also a prixe fixe menu running tonight (again, Thursday) through Saturday ($45). You will feast on the following: baked scallops with Gruyère cheese sauce and breadcrumbs; duck confit salad with Sweetwater Organics sprouts; and rack of lamb with white bean and slab-bacon cassoulet, sautéed Swiss chard and roasted shallot dressing.
Look for more Dish on Dining soon.…
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