15 Nov

First of all, I will start by saying that the chef at Hinterland is a three time James Beard Award nominee, so you know already that this is considered one of the finer eating establishments in Milwaukee.

And it is very good. In fact most of what we had was quite delicious. The presentation was beautiful and the service was impeccable.

That said, you will need to enjoy menu options that are a little more out of the ordinary. They position the food as “bold flavors with uncommon pairings”, and I think that is extremely accurate.

For example, they really like their organs. Veal heart carpaccio, veal sweetbreads, chicken livers and duck hearts were on the menu as appetizers. They also like the more unusual ingredients. Like Matsutake mushrooms that are only grown on Japanese cedar trees.

The combinations are very interesting. We had scrapple – it was superb. It is a family recipe from Pennsylvania. They managed to take fried pork parts and cornmeal and make it pretty yummy with a slow-cooked egg on top and drizzled with bourbon-barrel maple syrup. And the Brussels sprouts in a squash puree with gnocchi were divine.

But, there were a few disappointments. The house made summer sausage was fairly bland. As was the Oregon gorgonzola cheese soufflé. They weren’t “bad”, just not much flavor. And unfortunately the braised short ribs were super tough.

The menu changes all the time so don’t expect to see all these items on the menu if you go. I probably won’t go running back any time soon because I personally prefer other types of food, but, I would definitely recommend it so you can form your own opinion. And, I’d definitely put in on the list if you have friends or family coming in from out of town. No one can think Milwaukee does not have a good dining scene in this town if they experience Hinterland.

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