c. 1880

26 May

I love it when a new restaurant opens in Milwaukee and it is really good. And you want to strongly encourage your friends to try it!

c. 1880 is in Walker’s Point in the old Olive Pit space on 1st Street. Yet another new entrant for our dining scene that specializes in locally sourced ingredients and promises an ever-changing menu based on what is in season.

They’ve done a nice job updating the space. It is warm and inviting and the décor has old photos and very cool lighting throughout. There is a very great little area in the back that has about 4-5 small tables near a little fireplace that would be the perfect place to have a small groups of friends get together for dinner.

The bar area is nice. They have some very interesting cocktails on the menu and I understand they hired the bartender from DISTIL who specializes in creating very unique selections. As for me I stuck with vino. It is a short list, but a really nice one. I tried a Gruner Veltliner which is one of my favorites and it was really really good and reasonably priced.

And most importantly, the food was delicious. My jumbo lump crab salad with avocados and pink grapefruit was simply spectacular. C. had veal. I had lamb. They sous vide all their meats so both were very tender and juicy. Both had fabulous sauces that were the perfect amount and made the meal. In particular, my lamb was on a morel mushroom puree which I could have eaten by the spoonful if they had it on the menu! We would opt not have the foie gras again. It was ok, but not great. And when they ask you if you’d like a warm roll before dinner, pass. Not worth it. Save your room for dessert and have the Watchamacallit and anything else they have to offer. I don’t like pepper of any form and C. had a torte-like dessert with strawberry, honey, basil and black pepper and even I thought it was delicious. Oh and get coffee. They make it at your table on those old Chemex coffee brewers.

We will be going back again soon to sample more items from the menu. Updates to come!

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