Award-Winning Steak House | Classic Surf 'n' Turf | Live Entertainment | Californian Wines | Supper-Club Decor
When to Go: Try to plan your dinner for a Friday night around 8 p.m. That’s when musicians hit the adjoining Alley Cat Lounge stage, playing everything from oldies and jazz to modern rock and R&B.
Inside Tip: Show up hungry. All meals come with a salad, relish tray, and sourdough bread with butter and honey. A side of butter-sauteéd mushrooms also accompanies every steak.
Media Mentions: Over the years, 5 O’Clock has drawn national attention. The Travel Channel featured it on the program Steak Paradise, Saveur magazine named it one of the best steak houses in the country, and Travel + Leisure said it has a "Mad Men vibe."
Behind the Name: According to the restaurant's lore, the steak house got its name from an alarm clock that would ring every day at 5 p.m., alerting customers that it was time for a free drink.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Tour the Tripoli Shrine Center (3000 W. Wisconsin Avenue), a replica of the Taj Mahal and a member of the National Register of Historic Places.
After: If the entertainment at the Alley Cat Lounge isn't to your taste, head over to The Coffee House (631 N. 19th Street), which offers acoustic music and poetry performances.
Most of Wild Flour's loaves are crafted with traditional old-world European techniques, which exclude fat, oil, sugar, eggs, dairy, and preservatives and replace them with high-quality flours. Artisan favorites, such as the olive rosemary and cranberry walnut, complement any meal, while health-conscious selections such as the whole-grain flax-seed bread and the multigrain sourdough will allow nutrition-minded architects to nosh guilt free. Each of Wild Flour's four cozy stores serves hot lunch daily, with a rotating soup selection that pours the likes of Catalina chicken, cream of potato with bacon, and tomato red-pepper bisque alongside hot grilled sandwiches such as the zipper (ham, salami, provolone, tomato, onion, jalapeños, and mayo, $5.50) and the hot vegetarian (marinated eggplant, red peppers, portobello mushrooms, and pesto sauce, $4.90). Cold deli classics also sashay out of the kitchen, including egg salad ($4.90) and chicken salad ($5.50) and a wide selection of salads (starting at $3.25).
As one of the first churrascarias in the United States, Rodizio Grill acquainted Americans with extraordinary dining traditions from Brazil, where founder Ivan Utrera was born. One such custom was making desserts of flan and chocolate cake from scratch. Another was flame-grilling meats on a rotisserie while applying a delectable mix of seasonings and sauces. But most impressive was the style in which the meats were served—skewered on three-foot spikes, carried to each table, and thinly carved by the attending gaucho.
That unique culinary experience has made Rodizio Grill a destination for adventurous—or merely hungry—diners since its first location opened in 1995. Guests inform their waiter of how well they'd like their meat cooked, then enjoy unlimited servings of more than one dozen proteins, including steak, chicken, pork, and fish. Picanha, or top sirloin, remains a crowd favorite, but the menu also features Brazilian sausages, bacon-wrapped turkey breast, and even grilled chicken hearts. The full Rodizio dinner provides access to all of these savory options, as well as the gourmet salad bar stocked with sides such as fresh salads, vegetables, black bean stew, and whipped potatoes. And, for those seeking sweeter slices, glazed and grilled pineapple arrives pinned upon the sword with which it was justly slain.
Every day, Breadsmith kneads and breeds made-from-scratch breads, honoring the practices of centuries-old French bakers. The delectable dough sculptures receive the royal treatment, with all delicate yeast bubbles bursting inside of a 6-ton stone-hearth oven. The oven's sweltering heat creates a cushy crust for American-style breads. In the presence of lightning-quick steam injections, European-style breads take on a crisp, crumb-dressed outer core. April's daily bread offerings range from $3.65 to $7.50 a loaf and include french baguettes ($3.65), pepperjack sourdough ($7.50), country buttertop ($5.05), raisin cinnamon ($5.55), and apple pie bread ($6.70). Use today's Groupon to fill up the family with lusciously leavened loaves fresh from the oven—or wait for them to go stale and then wield them as harpoons during the next potato-soup hunt.
Jennifer Nowicki really loves produce; she's named her third restaurant Verduras, the Spanish word for vegetables. The completely vegetarian menu employs ingredients such as grapefruit, beets, and teriyaki-infused carrots to insulate sandwiches, salads, and soups, many of which are also vegan or gluten free. However, the ever-shifting curls of steam that tickle the hardwood floors, exposed rafters, and large windows hint at Verduras' primary focus: teas from all across the globe. Beneath the ivory-hued exposed bricks, white, green, rooibos, and local Rishi teas steep in hot water, filling mugs with the flavors of wild rose, hibiscus, or chai. The floral aromas of darjeeling fill the air as patrons gaze at the art on the walls, rendered in crisp black and white like a zebra’s yearbook page.
At Milwaukee Cupcake Company, visitors can appease sweet-tooth flare-ups with a variety of delectable cupcakes crafted from scratch and high-quality, pure ingredients. Fusing Wisconsin butter, Madagascar vanilla, and Callebaut Belgian cocoa and chocolate, these cupcakes pack a flavorful wallop into a pint-sized form. Patrons can pick up a box of palate-percolating cupcakes such as the chocolate and coconut Fox Points, salted caramel and pecan Tosas, cookie dough South Siders, and green-tea and crystallized ginger Rishi Matchas. Additionally, Milwaukee Cupcake Company offers a new flavor every week (this week's flavor is piña colada) and gluten-free options for those who suffer from gluten allergies or gluten-induced nightmares involving professional baseball players singing Frank Sinatra songs.