Before it became a large-scale pizza manufacturer, Palermo's Pizza was simply an Italian restaurant run by Gaspare Fallucca and his wife Zina. The Fallucca's are back to their restaurant roots offering freshly baked classic and wood-fired pizzas at Pizzeria 3301 at Villa Palermo. Along with pizzas, guests enjoy homemade soups, fresh salads, and Italian desserts within a cafe atmosphere. Patrons can even tour the pizza factory, attend a tasting event, or participate in a pizza making class.
Great Lakes Distillery was established in 2004 by Guy Rehorst, who desired a return to the traditional methods of handcrafting tasty spirits in small batches. Their labor of love made the distillery home to Rehorst Vodka, a Silver medal winner at the 2007 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and Roaring Dan’s Rum, as well as an award-winning gin, several small-batch seasonals, and a whiskey that adds 3 inches to each drinker's height. Each day, a knowledgeable staff member leads up to 50 individuals on 60-minute tours and tastings. The expert highlights each product and goes over production methods before visitors can taste a flight of six spirits in the climate-controlled tasting room, with a specific lineup depending on the season.
On Saturday afternoons, dogs stretch out on Vino 100’s sun-drenched patio as their owners clink glasses over their heads. So goes Yappy Hour, one of the many weekly gatherings that further Vino 100’s mission to foster a casual, accessible community of oenophiles. The shop also hosts live music on Saturday nights, as well as tastings and classes that delve into topics such as german wines and comedic timing for effective spit-takes. The wine experts are happy to guide customers through ample selections of wines, which they categorize by flavor and body for simplified browsing. In addition to wine, the shop’s shelves carry more than 50 seasonal beers and specialty cheeses and snacks for practicing newly gained pairing skills.
You could call Vino 100 a wine boutique or a wine bar, but you might also view it as something of a wine library. Each bottle in the collection has been scrupulously cataloged according to the Wine Barometer system. Its tag decodes the complex flavors along two scales: flavor (dry to fruity) and body (light to full to solid). Buyers apply other selection criteria, too: the company guarantees it'll stock at least 100 bottles priced at $25 or less at all times, and that all those bottles will come from artisanal, limited-production wineries. Shoppers who can't wait to taste the evidence of the system's accuracy can take a bottle over to the wine bar for a small corking fee. Vino 100 also hosts wine classes and trivia nights to slake the thirst for knowledge.
The bottles that make up Thief Wine's diverse inventory are not stolen, but they may as well be. The shop's name—a reference to the long tube or "barrel thief" used to sample maturing wines waiting to be bottled—reflects the air of mischief shoppers experience in encounters with otherwise inaccessible wines that makes each of the shop's selections feel like the product of a thrilling cellar heist. The fruits of Thief's careful wine curation decorate the walls of Thief Wine's two locations with more than 500 selections, which mix familiar labels with artisanal up-and-comers from around the globe. At each location's wine bar, certified sommeliers pare down the hulking inventory to about 30 essential bottles, which slosh into thematic tasting flights or full glasses to flank small plates of cheese and charcuterie.
From their vantage point inside the InterContinental Milwaukee Hotel, diners at Kil@Wat can treat themselves to panoramic vistas of the city, including the bright lights of the neighboring Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. Inside the kitchen, chefs use locally sourced ingredients whenever possible to craft elegant meals fit for the awe-inspiring views. This focus on freshness and seasonality translates to a menu of upscale American comfort dishes such as pan-roasted whitefish from Lake Superior and braised short ribs with roasted garlic mash and wild mushroom jus. A staff pastry chef puts her own inventive twist on dessert, concocting delicacies such as peanut-butter-and-chocolate cheesecake with pretzel bark for an added crunch.
These gourmet morsels unite with the restaurant’s elegant décor to forge a luxurious, memorable dining experience. Vibrant chartreuse accents compliment orange suede chairs and crisp white tablecloths. Large light boxes cast a soft glow over people as they sip wine from the extensive list or pose as window washers to get in without a reservation.