Bavette Is Back Open! Now in a Stylish New Storefront

The restaurant is settling into its new digs.

Can I hear a collective sound of enthusiasm? Bavette La Boucherie – the Third Ward butcher shop/restaurant – has opened in its new location (217 N. Broadway), just a few blocks from its original home base (330 E. Menomonee St.). 

Karen Bell, Bavette La Boucherie; Photo by Tom Grimm

Owner Karen Bell, a finalist this year  for a James Beard Award in the category Best Chef: Midwest, closed the old spot in late March to move and settle into the new one, a handsome storefront with exposed brick and beams and more space both for seating and cooking. (It formerly housed the small plates restaurant Swig, which closed in 2018 after 15 years.) If you liked sitting at the counter watching the butcher at work, you’re able to do that here too. Across from the long line of counter seating is a long row of banquette-style seating. 


 

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The menu has a longed-for familiarity, from the roasted cauliflower salad and pork belly banh mi to the grass-fed beef chili to the chocolate chip potato chip cookie (my God, that cookie). New dishes are knitted in cohesively. Sandwiches  include the Cuban with pressed ham and bacon (featured in a recent roundup of great sandwiches), a seared steak with truffled mushoom duxelle, fried chicken sliders, BBQ pork with cabbage-apple slaw, and roast pork with tamarind BBQ, soy green beans, apricots and almonds  ($13.25-$14.50). Plates include Polish sausage with smoked paprika aioli, fingerling potatoes, cabbage and apple; fettuccine with lamb sausage puttanesca; and halibut and scallop quenelles with saffron broth, cranberry beans, cured ham and mushrooms ($16-$28). 

One change: The restaurant’s popular Wednesday Burger Night – the patty grilled and smothered with toppings that change each week – has not returned. But Bell has added a burger to the menu (again, with rotating toppings), so “every night is burger night,” she says. 

Oh, hey, and the retail section – small at the Menomonee Street address – has grown, to include home goods, as well as wines and spirits, cooking and cocktailing “elements” and the ingredients to complete a cheese and charcuterie board.

Hours: Tues-Thurs 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m. 

Read more about Bell in our Chefs Roundtable feature, the cover story for our March 2022 issue.

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Ann Christenson has covered dining for Milwaukee Magazine since 1997. She was raised on a diet of casseroles that started with a pound of ground beef and a can of Campbell's soup. Feel free to share any casserole recipes with her.