Bistro Bar 333
For culinary inspiration, chef Michael Downey doesn't look overseas or at the cookbooks of renowned masters. Instead, he imagines rural Wisconsin households—their farms yielding fresh crops and the region's coveted cheeses, their kitchens filling with the spicy aromas of sausage and fresh-caught fish. He then transplants that pastoral nostalgia into a sleek, upscale setting. The result is Bistro Bar 333, a sophisticated slice of the midwest inside the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee.
Keeping with his vision, Michael's menu pays homage to the surrounding landscape. His steaks arrive from Creek Stone Farms, and his walleye and salmon are pulled from the wild rather than dentists' aquariums. Wisconsin cheeses play a heavy role in many plates, from the grilled cheese sandwich with Maple Leaf Farm duck bacon to the pappardelle pasta's mozzarella. This carries through to the bar, where white-cheddar cheese curds complement cocktails made with just-squeezed juices and crisp herbs.