This Exciting New Downtown Restaurant Opens Next Week

Lupi & Iris comes from James Beard Award-winning chef Adam Siegel.

Adam Siegel’s new Downtown restaurant, Lupi & Iris, has a long-awaited opening date – Tuesday, May 17, with dinner service from 5-9 p.m. Occupying 10,500-square-feet inside the 7Seventy7 Building (777 N. Van Buren St.), the new spot pays culinary homage to the cuisines of the French and Italian Rivieras.

Siegel and his business partner, architect and developer Michael DeMichele, have spent the last year focused on bringing this project to fruition.

“When we say we focused on every detail, we’re being literal. It took us months to select our table setting of china, glassware and silverware. The pieces we chose are 100% unique to Lupi & Iris,” says Siegel, formerly executive chef for The Bartolotta Restaurants, in a press release.

Rendering courtesy of Lupi & Iris Restaurant

 

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When I spoke to Siegel a few months ago, he kept a lid on interior details. But I now know these tidbits: the 84-seat dining room includes upholstered teal leather chairs imported from Italy. Walnut paneling and upholstered walls frame both the main dining area and two private rooms. The flooring is oak, with an alternative design inlay. The open ceiling is marked by undulating waves of custom acoustic baffles and chandeliers.

There’s also an 18-seat horseshoe-shaped zinc bar with walnut paneling and inlaid brass accents. The bar area features an elevated lounge with upholstered banquette in burnt-orange leather. Behind the bar is a glass-enclosed, temperature-controlled walk-in wine vault holding 200 bottles and featuring an end-grain teak island for decanting and tasting.

As for the kitchen, it’s open-concept, with an eight-seat chef’s counter bordered by three workstations, giving diners a lot of cool culinary scenery to take in.

Adam Siegel and Michael DeMichele; Photo courtesy of Lupi & Iris Restaurant

The patio – expected to open in June (weather dependent) – seats 60.

Siegel also shared some specific menu items: 

  • Pissaladiere, a grilled flatbread with tomato, roasted red onions, Nicoise olive tapenade, white anchovy and herbs
  • Mussels and clams, steamed in white wine, garlic and chili with cherry tomato, saucisson, oregano and white beans
  • Soupe au pistou, a Provencal vegetable soup with lentils and classic Provencal herb puree
  • Asparagus salad with a fried egg, mushrooms, sherry vinaigrette and garlic toast
  • Trofie al pesto – twisted pasta quills with Genovese pesto, string beans, potato and fresh Parmigiano
  • Daube de ravioli, which is Provencal style braised beef-filled ravioli with wine, chard and tomato
  • Corzetti pasta coins with creamy walnut sauce, parmesan and marjoram
  • Seafood stew – fresh scallops, clams, mussels, lobster and fish in a spicy white wine-tomato broth with sweet herbs
  • Mediterranean sea bass with artichokes barigoule, basil and tomato baked in parchment
  • Grilled lamb chops with classic ratatouille, pistou and black olive puree
  • Roasted veal chop with grilled broccolini, caramelized anchovy-garlic, herbs and fingerling potato
  • Bouillabaisse, the traditional fish soup of Marseille with saffron, tomato and white wine. Stewed seafood with potatoes, fennel and herbs served with rouille (a sauce similar to aoili) and grilled bread.
  • Bistecca, 44-ounce porterhouse roasted with garlic and herbs; served with persillade sauce and roasted vegetables

Siegel calls the menu “a reflection of my years of experience as a chef. Throughout my career, I’ve worked for Italian, French and Spanish chefs. I’ve worked in France and lived and worked in Italy. All of those influences can be found in the menu I created. I’m doing cuisine that I love and I’m looking forward to sharing Lupi & Iris with the city that I love.” 

More specifics: Hours will begin with dinner Mon-Thurs 5-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 5-10 p.m.; Sun 5-9 p.m. Lunch will be added in mid-June and brunch, in late-June. Reservations can be made here or by calling 414-293-9090.

 

 

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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.