Sweet Frog’s frozen-yogurt flavors go beyond the norm. In addition to cookies ‘n’ cream and greek yogurt with honey, the lineup of 75 varieties includes maple-bacon donut, cake batter, and dulce de leche. Patrons can sprinkle on toppings such as fresh fruit and candies, then savor their confetti’d confections in the lime-green-and-pink restaurant. Smiling frogs and funky white hanging lamps give the stores an air of fun, but founder Derek Cha is interested in giving more than that to the community; through Sweet Frog, he sponsors children in need and dispatches frog mascots to those who need encouragement.
Paciugo specializes in sub-zero refreshment that contains 70% less fat than ice cream, thus making it 130% more justified to eat consecutive pints of the frigid stuff. A dessert that meets the FDA's standards for healthful foods, Paciugo's Turin recipes employ fresh and all-natural ingredients to craft the perfect scoops of sweet sustenance. The gelaterie's menu ushers taste buds toward small (piccolo) cups ($3.74) with three scoops and up to three different flavors, such as black raspberry, amaretto chocolate chip, chocolate black-cherry swirl, black-pepper olive oil, Mediterranean sea-salt caramel, chocolate orange saffron, and many more. The medio size includes four scoops and up to four different flavors ($4.60,), or opt for the grande ($5.35) for extra-empty stomach cavities. Each of Paciugo's rich, creamy delights is made from whole milk, soy, or water so that a suitable flavor can match with any dietary need, unless you're allergic to joy.
Simma's Bakery has been a Milwaukee staple for 30 years, and its decadent desserts have shared more laughter and tears than a soap opera about birthday clowns. The mom-and-pop shop was founded by Simma Yundov, a woman who immigrated with her husband and two children to the United States from Russia in 1979. She built the bakery from the ground up, making a name for herself and touching the lives of countless people. After her death more than a decade ago, Simma's daughter carried on her mother's work and recently passed the brûlée torch to Mark and Peggy Carollo, who, Veil magazine, have years of experience in the family-run bakery business. Today, the walls are covered with awards and recognitions—tributes to Simma's legacy. The bakery was named one of the The Knot's Best of Weddings 2013 vendors, a top Wedding Cake Designer in the Shepherd Express Best of Milwaukee 2012 awards, and has been a winner or finalist in CityVoter's Best Cakes category for six years running. The shop has also been voted the Best Place to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth in 2012 by both the editors and readers of M magazine.
Those allergic to cute better bring an EpiPen if they're going to One Way. Exposed brick, low-key tunes, hanging lamps, and rotating artwork by local creative types give the place a chill charm easily inhaled or absorbed along with treats such as morning French toast ($6.75) and strawberry crêpes dolloped with whipped cream and dusted with powdered sugar ($6.25). There's plenty of more substantial fare too, such as the café's famous homemade meatloaf sandwich topped with almond barbecue chutney ($6.75) and the Asian broccoli slaw with cabbage, carrot, peas, noodles, and cashews.
Patrick Murphy fell in love with French cuisine without even leaving American soil. In fact, he barely left the Midwest. Ever since his apprenticeship with award-winning chef Sanford D'Amato, Patrick's been dedicated to crafting French cuisine with gigs at Coquette Cafe in Milwaukee and Café Boulud in New York City. At Le Rêve, he draws on those experiences, using seasonal ingredients to craft his own take on French classics. Cooking for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, he whips up everything from crepes with mushroom, gruyère, and basted egg to pan-bagnat sandwiches with grilled chicken and roasted-caper aioli.
For Carol Deptolla of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "It's not a trip to Le Rêve without one of the intricate pastries for dessert." Pastry chef Abelardo Guadarrama whips up these sweet treats, which range from tarts filled with housemade caramel sauce and chocolate ganache to gluten- and nut-free options such as crème brûlée. Along with housemade breads and croissants, daily and seasonal desserts fill the tempting glass display inside Le Rêve's dining room.
"Milwaukee, rolled in a sweet topping of Paris chic." That's how Milwaukee Magazine describes Le Rêve's interior, which aptly mirrors the two geographic influences of Chef Patrick. A former bank, the more than 100-year-old building sports classic café touches such as a terrazzo floor, exposed brick, and leather banquettes. To top it off, bartenders serve wine, spirits, and cocktails from behind a zinc-topped bar, which supplies 700% of your daily zinc intake with just one quick lick.