Swooshing water flows down a creek next to this charming 10-year-old “meat palace” in Hartland’s quaint downtown. Seasonal decorations routinely inhabit the bar and dining room, which also pays homage to our state’s NFL football team. Palmer’s is a supper club that adores steak. The prices are very appealing, and a la carte is rejected in favor of being inclusive.
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This dive (meant in the kindest way) overlooking Pewaukee Lake offers almost no place to stand comfortably when it’s busy, but you stand, awkwardly, near the bar or the wood-accented, nautical-themed dining room, and just hope that someone gets up and leaves soon. It’s all worth this period of limbo. The crust is like a round, uniformly thin piece of lavosh lavished in toppings that improve when you add “super,” as in Super Special. That’s pepperoni and sausage, black olives and onions, green peppers and mushrooms.
A Friday Fish Fry, a Monday and Tuesday custom Surf and Turf option and we’re there. Sip on a “tutti-frutti” in their screened-in patio during summer while listening to live music and sampling some delicious menu options including Louie’s five-star signature filet.
The former Coquette Cafe digs have been transformed by the owners (who also operate the Third Ward’s DanDan). They’ve added a ’70s rock ‘n roll vibe and an untraditional French menu. That includes French onion soup, foie gras torchon, steak frites, duck a l’orange and cassoulet.
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The center of this open, modern space is a wood-burning hearth, used for everything from bread-baking to roasting meats and fish. High marks for shareable menu items like roasted parsnips, sunflower seed risotto and whole chicken with BBQ carrots. Open for Sat-Sun brunch as well.
When I talked with co-owner Miles Borghgraef by phone a few months before Birch + Butcher’s opening – in Barry Mandel’s North End development on Water Street – the carpentry was finished, light fixtures installed and Borghgraef and his crew were christening the wood- burning hearth at the center of his kitchen.
A modern, plant-based take on bar food at the Shorewood’s former Village Pub. The seasonal menu is printed on the chalkboard and includes a Vietnamese po’boy, Thai grilled steak salad and grass-fed burger.
Shorewood bar Cloud Red (4488 N. Oakland Ave.) stops traffic with its chalkboard menu of casual, veggie-heavy plates. Some dishes are seasonally swapped out. But the Bhel Bowl has caught on so well that it’s never leaving the menu.