Franco-American The French street festival Bastille Days is taking the Cathedral Square area by storm right now. I’m looking at a list of food vendors, and I must say that most of them don’t look very French. Alliance Française de Milwaukee will have its beignet stand, and one vendor, Café de France, at least sounds […]
The French street festival Bastille Days is
taking the Cathedral Square area by storm right now. I’m looking at a list of
food vendors, and I must say that most of them don’t look very French. Alliance
Française de Milwaukee will have its beignet stand, and one vendor, Café de
France, at least sounds French. The rest aren’t French at all. For example: Brew
City, Buca di Beppo, Charcoal Grill, Crawdaddy’s, Crème and Crepe Café (the only
thing French is the name), Flannery’s, J.T. Bones Bar-B-Q, Mader’s German
Restaurant, Ouzo Café (Greek), Pacific Orient (Chinese) and Rudy’s Mexican.
Thees festival zeems more American than French to me.
East Side Fete
Pierre Briere’s East Side French restaurant
Elliot’s Bistro is not a Bastille Days vendor this year. He plans
festivities at the bistro. The whole weekend (July 13-16), diners will receive a
free dessert – mousse au chocolat, cherries jubilee, crème brûlée, et cetera –
if they’ve ordered an entrée. I don’t know the French national anthem, but I’m
thinking about learning it. Sing the anthem on Friday night (historically is the
day in 1789 when peasants stormed the Bastille prison in Paris, starting the
French Revolution) and you’ll get a free glass of champagne. When you’re not
serenading the crowd inside Elliot’s, someone else will be. Briere has arranged
for a violinist and guitarist to perform Thursday through Saturday evenings.
The second Monsoon Wok & Lounge is open
(17800 W. Blue Mound Rd., a.k.a, Brookfield Plaza). Owner Johnny V told me
earlier this summer about the certified master chef he hired to hone the
Asian-fusion menu. Ken Arnone is one of fewer than 80 such chefs in the nation.
The new location (its sister is on Jefferson Street Downtown) has several
physical attributes: a three-story atrium, waterfalls, a torch-lit patio,
fireplaces and a couple of semi-private dining rooms. The menu is quite a
medley: lettuce wraps, steamed dumplings, sushi rolls, kung pao chicken,
Shanghai scallops, four peppercorn-crusted ahi tuna, teriyaki steak and “hot
rocks” (diners cook their food on a 700-degree granite rock). Liquid nourishment
includes the expected puns – Monfusion and Cosmonsoon. Hours: Sun-Thurs 11
a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Prices: $11-$18 for entrées. 262-782-SAKE.
As you may have heard, former Sanford chef David
Swanson is no longer opening a restaurant in the Third Ward space behind
Blush Beauty on Water and Buffalo streets. (Swig’s Joe and Angie Sorge are
opening a restaurant they’re calling, aptly, Water Buffalo.) Swanson says he’s
still looking for a space for his concept, Braise. In the meantime, he’s running
a traveling cooking school called Braise on the Go. The demo classes are
taught at a working Wisconsin farm. Swanson, a supporter of the Slow Food
movement, teaches the classes in a tent, and students get a tour of the farm.
The next class is this Sunday, July 16 (1 p.m.), at Hedgerow Farm in Fredonia.
The theme is “Summer Entertaining” (appetizers and drinks). Cost runs $60-$70
per class. See www.braiseculinaryschool.com for details.
Can’t get enough dining? I chat about restaurants every Friday with Jane
Matenaer and Kidd O’Shea on “The Mix.” Listen between 8 and 9 a.m. on July 21.
That’s 99.1 WMYX-FM.
And check out our calendar editor Julie Sensat Waldren’s picks for the best
events in arts and entertainment on This