It’s open. Roux Brothers is really open (W61 N497 Washington Ave., 262-377-8800). John Smurawa served his first meals last Friday, debuting half of the menu at this Cajun/Creole restaurant (which began its life in a tiny storefront on Capitol and Oakland in Shorewood). The full menu will start up next week. And brunch. This weekend will hopefully be the kickoff to beignets and cups of hot Joe. If you decide to have a Roux meal this week, there’s a lot of Cajun to experience even though the complete menu isn’t out. For example: fried gator with Wicked Jezebel sauce, Louisiana barbecued nachos, fried green tomatoes with Creole sauce, Muffaletta sandwich, jambalaya, chicken andouille gumbo, crawfish étouffée, red beans and rice, and chocolate bread pudding. That’s just a start. Roux’s hours: Tues-Thurs 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Taste the Tea
I still think about the Nestea plunge. Do you remember the commercials? A scorchingly hot day; a sweaty someone falls backwards, fully clothed, into a swimming pool while drinking a glass of iced tea – Nestea. The epitome of refreshing. No offense to Nestea, but it won’t be on the menu at Anaba Tea Room, the site of a tea tasting next week (June 13, 2-4 p.m.). (Anaba lives in the lower quarters of The Garden Room, 2107 E. Capitol Dr.) Milwaukee’s Rishi Tea will handle the beverages. Rishi’s iced teas are on the tasting list. Anaba chef Gregg Des Rosier will whip up some things in the kitchen – most likely, some baked goods incorporating tea. Des Rosier is going to the World Tea Expo in Atlanta this weekend and says he may return with some surprises…. A few more specifics about the Anaba tasting: Cost is $7 per person, and you must sign up and pay in advance. Call 963-9510.
Crazy in Walker’s Point
Sporting a new menu these days is the only restaurant in Milwaukee – the only restaurant I can think of – that’s a little bit crazy. “Crazy” in name only. Okay, this thread is silly. Let me get to the point. Crazy Water, helmed by the ever-talented Peggy Magister, has a new summer menu (839 S. Second St., 645-2606). Perfectly in keeping with the Crazy theme – which is modern, worldly takes on fish, steak, chicken, pork, etc. Magister and I chatted a bit about it over the phone the other day. If you’re a Crazy regular, you won’t feel like she’s pulled the rug out from under you. The roasted beet salad remains. The lemon-parsley crusted halibut and hanger steak au poivre are still in the house. New entrées: veal scaloppini with Gruyère-potato gratin, coriander-crusted lamb tenderloin and crispy potato cake, Provençal fish stew, and chicken mole stuffed poblano with Spanish rice ($18-$29). The little wraparound patio – seating for 24 – is open, too.
Out With the Old Spice
The ultimate Father’s Day gift? Imagine The Dad wielding kitchen tongs behind a teppanyaki griddle in a Downtown restaurant. That’s worth a few digital photos at least. Benihana Japanese restaurant is offering this something-different gift (850 N. Plankinton Ave., 270-0890). I ate teppanyaki style at a restaurant recently (not Benihana) and wow, those griddles built onto the table are hot. With his spatula, the teppanyaki cook was trying to flip shrimp across the table into my nephews’ mouths. That was a vision. Benihana’s “chef school” includes a two-hour teppanyaki cooking lesson, lunch during that lesson, a chef’s hat and then the pièce de résistance – dinner for four at Benihana. And not just any dinner for four. Dad will be cooking it (date to be determined during the training session). The whole production – the lesson to dinner cooked by Dad – costs $100. Lessons: June 23 and June 30, 12-2 p.m. Come on, this gift beats soap on a rope.
Can’t get enough dining? I chat about restaurants every week with Jane Matenaer and Kidd O’Shea on “The Mix.” Listen between 8 and 9 a.m. on Thursday, June 14. That’s 99.1 WMYX-FM.
And check out our Events Editor Julie Sensat Waldren’s picks for the best events in arts and entertainment on This Weekend.