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Our lovebird-approved list of romantic restaurants for date night.

Bacchus

925 E. Wells St., 414-765-1166
American Nouveau
Square lines, leather booths and an elegant bar define this Cudahy Tower space, a sure bet for foie gras, sea scallops and the Chef’s Cut for Two. $$$-$$$$


Key

$ Entrées $10 & under
$$ Entrées $11-$17
$$$ Entrées $18-$24
$$$$ Entrées $25+


Balzac Wine Bar

1716 N. Arlington Pl., 414-755-0099
American Nouveau, Small Plates
Walker’s Point and Bay View may be known for small plates, but the East Side offers this casual, low-lit venue just off Brady Street. $$

Bodegón

Hotel Madrid, 600 S. Sixth St., 414-488-9146
American Nouveau
Think of this high-end restaurant and adjacent bar as restored old Cream City brick building meets Ernest Hemingway-esque hunting lodge. The house dry-aged steaks are a menu highlight. $$$$

Braise Restaurant

1101 S. Second St., 414-212-8843
American Nouveau
Seasonal cuisine incorporating local foods is the mantra of this beautifully restored occupant of Walker’s Point’s “Restaurant Row.” The steamed pork buns are a must. Also offers hands-on cooking classes. $$-$$$



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Ristorante Bartolotta dal 1993

7616 W. State St., Wauwatosa, 414-771-7910
Italian
The old family photos and unpretentious dining room make diners feel at home. Head chef Juan Urbieta keeps folks coming back for his classic Italian fare. $$$-$$$$

Twisted Willow

308 N. Franklin St., Port Washington, 262-268-7600
American Nouveau 
The menu at this restaurant located in a renovated 1855 building uses ingredients from Twisted Willow Farm. Plates range from “almost famous” meatloaf to Asian BBQ Atlantic salmon. L (Fri-Sun) $$-$$$



Buckley’s Restaurant and Bar

801 N. Cass St., 414-277-1111
American Nouveau
Diversity is the name of the menu game here, with creations ranging from a lobster roll to pumpkin risotto. Newly renovated. $$-$$$

Carnevor

718 N. Milwaukee St., 414-223-2200
Steak
The SURG-owned, high-tier steakhouse is a splurge experience. The menu offers decadences such as Mangalitsa ravioli, lobster mac and cheese, and the “reserve cuts.” $$$-$$$$

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Centro Cafe

808 E. Center St., 414-455-3751
Italian
The owners furnished this storefront with a salvaged marble-top bar and old church pew seating. The affordable menu offers simple pasta, app and pizza preparations. Favorites: pan-fried gnocchi, and penne with salsiccia. $$-$$$

Crazy Water

839 S. Second St., 414-645-2606
American Nouveau
The Walker’s Point resto has a rapt audience that finds nothing crazy about the chorizo-stuffed dates, parsley-crusted halibut and braised short ribs. $$$

Eddie Martini’s

8612 Watertown Plank Rd., Wauwatosa, 414-771-6680
Steak
The place for that prime Kobe tomahawk ribeye you’ve always wanted to try. A solid choice for a filet, NY strip or even ahi tuna. $$$-$$$$

Harbor House

550 N. Harbor Dr., 414-395-4900
Seafood
Like sitting in an upscale fish house in New England. Windows on three sides present a stellar view of Lake Michigan. The oyster bar and caviar service are highlights. Buffet-style Sunday brunch. $$$-$$$$

Lake Park Bistro

3133 E. Newberry Blvd., 414-962-6300
French
Bartolotta-owned and set in historic Lake Park Pavilion, LPB has the decorative elements of a French farmhouse. $$$-$$$$

Meraki

939 S. Second St., 414-897-7230
American Nouveau
Inventive, flexible place to dine a la carte from Bar Bites entree menus, or order the (great deal) Chef’s Tasting Menu. $-$$$$

Milwaukee ChopHouse

633 N. Fifth St., 414-226-2467
Steak 
The wedge salad, twice-baked potato and NY strip are served in a suitcoat-appropriate room of dark wood and leather furniture, and waitstaff who scrape the crumbs off the table. $$$-$$$$

SALA

2613 E. Hampshire St., 414-964-2611
Italian 
Casual spot near UW-Milwaukee. Start with the baked goat cheese in tomato-basil sauce, follow with chicken Marsala. Valet parking. $$-$$$

Sanford Restaurant

1547 N. Jackson St., 414-276-9608
American Nouveau
Founded by James Beard Award-winning chef Sanford D’Amato; owned by JBA winner Justin Aprahamian. Unsurpassed for service and food. The global cuisine incorporates products from a long list of Wisconsin farms. Dessert is compulsory. $$$-$$$$

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Santino’s Little Italy

352 E. Stewart St. 414-897-7367
Pizza, Italian
Cozy Italian restaurants in Brooklyn inspired the owners to create their own “little Italy” within four walls. Specialties include the bocce ball (meatball), fried calamari, pasta carbonara and any of the pizzas baked in resto’s Forno Bravo wood-burning oven. $$

Stella Van Buren

Westin Hotel, 550 N. Van Buren St., 414-847-5622
Italian, Steak
This polished hotel restaurant strives to impress with its bourbon list and dinner menu of steaks and house-made pastas. $$$-$$$$

Strange Town

2101 N. Prospect Ave., 414-885-0404
Vegan
Warm, European-vibed spot for genuinely inspiring plant-based food and wines from naturally operated vineyards. Frequent menu changes. Highlights: Sicilian pizza and any salad. $$

Tess

2499 N. Bartlett Ave., 414-964-8377
American Nouveau
The intimate dining room is a cozy setting to explore Tess’ globe-trotting menu that includes San Francisco cioppino to pepita-crusted Baja seabass. $$$-$$$$

Third Coast Provisions

724 N. Milwaukee St., 414-323-7434
Seafood
Elegant multi-level place for fresh, char-grilled and fried oysters; lake fish; and seafood. Don’t miss: lobster potholes, char-grilled oysters, whole fish of the day. $$$$

Three Brothers Bar & Restaurant

2414 S. St. Clair St., 414-481-7530.
Serbian
The Bay View institution still has a Schlitz brewery globe over the building – a piece of historic MKE in an old-world bubble. Order: cevapcici (sausage), burek, chicken paprikash. Cash only. $$$


‘Tables for Two’ appears in the February 2019 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop or find the issue on newsstands, starting Jan. 28.

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