Beach-goers stave off direct sun exposure by hunkering under Bradford Beach Cabana Company's signature cabanas, or basking in the shade of rented beach umbrellas. The purveyor's cushioned lounge chairs fit comfortably beneath their shady structures, and a team of food-service attendants is on hand to ferry snacks to beach-goers who would otherwise have to infiltrate seagull potlucks. On breaks from lounging, adventurers can take to the waves in rented water gear, paddling touring kayaks or balancing atop standup paddleboards on the clear lake waters.
Chefs at Dick's Pizza and Pleasure work a coal-fired oven to forge a menu of pies that fills the futuristic lounge with enticing aromas. Burning at temperatures in excess of 700 degrees, the oven yields crisp, light crusts, which serve as ideal canvasses for guest-designed pizzas crowned with local produce and toppings such as roasted mushrooms, gorgonzola, and white anchovies ($9+). The house-cured-sausage pizza flaunts red onion, mozzarella, pecorino cheese, and organic tomatoes crushed by hand ($13). Shavings of black-truffle mushrooms embellish the top of the White and Black pizza ($15), along with house-made white sauce and fontina, mozzarella, parmesan, and burrata cheese. Dick's kitchen dispenses cold alcoholic or virgin milkshakes such as the Acapulco Gold, a blend of vanilla ice cream, Kahlua, Nutella, house-made caramel, and chocolate-covered espresso beans ($8), while the seasonal cocktail menu makes use of fresh fruits and top-shelf liquors to fuel revelry without saving up yard clippings to bribe a satyr.
Fire on Water’s name conjures a mental image of pizzas, cocktails, and beer floating together on a blazing lake. The flame-licked menu sizzles with a diverse lineup of pies that range from simple and elegant margherita pizzas topped with tomatoes, sweet basil, and mozzarella to the eclectic Southwestern, a combination of pulled pork, pineapple, and barbecue sauce. In addition to pizzas, the kitchen also dispenses loaded nachos, boneless chicken wings, and wonton-wrapped mozzarella sticks with more cheese than a selfish mousetrap. Each day of the week brings a new drink special to the bar, which houses more than 50 kinds of beer and a lengthy selection of liquors to be hoisted toward weekly events and live music.
Milwaukee Ale House echoes with notes of live music and the laughter of pub goers, but the building is also the site of serious work. Beyond a pair of glass doors, the pub's stainless steel fermentation tanks bubble with Milwaukee Brewing Company's creations. When they're ready, these beers make the short leap from brew room to bar tap, forming a beverage selection that Esquire described as, "plentiful and tasty, complementing the top-notch food."
The menu sports a convenient pairing chart that helps diners match prime rib, pulled-pork sandwiches, and spicy beef-and-chorizo burgers to house brews. Ideal with chicken, Louie's Demise exudes the smooth maltiness of a typical amber ale but with a balanced kick of Perle and Tettnanger hops, A meat-and-potatoes porter, the Admiral Stache ages for one month in bourbon barrels, lending a toasty vanilla flavor to subtle notes of milk chocolate and dried fruit.
Situated in the heart of the Historic Third Ward, Milwaukee Ale House's century-old building provides the main dining room and patio areas with waterside views of the Milwaukee River. The pub's decor exudes its own historic charm with exposed brick, a scattering of empty wooden barrels, and vintage beer signs. When live bands aren't performing, focus turns back to the bar area, where the taps form an ornate centerpiece built to resemble a copper-topped wooden vat. Around the vat hang white mugs belonging to members of the Mug Club and office workers who "got lost" during their coffee break.