Dogs may be man's best friend, but having a horse show up at your wedding is more likely to impress. Milwaukee Coach and Carriage arranges such romantic gestures with its fleet of well-mannered equines and spacious coaches. Its custom carriage rides wend to and from marriage ceremonies as well as birthday parties, grand openings, and other special events, imbuing passengers’ evenings with timeless flair and romance.
For a more casual trot around the city, Milwaukee Coach and Carriage also leads 30- or 60-minute tours of downtown, rolling past popular landmarks to create a memorable date without getting involved in a high-speed chase. Each carriage holds up to four adults and two children total, though 12-person wagons are available for larger groups.
Inside Sake Tumi's main dining room and private banquet areas, guests sample everything from colorful sashimi to peppered tenderloin. During dinner, the menu is home to a variety of Japanese classics such as sushi rolls, as well as Korean barbecue dishes including beef bulgogi. Midday visitors can order up traditional bento boxes during lunch, which neatly pack soup, salad, and sides alongside various entrees.
The walls of Dick's Pizza and Pleasure gleam brilliant white across three floors interspersed with neon-colored details and enormous anime murals. Hospitality Interiors lauds the first floor's Carrara-marble countertops and "diner-inspired" red vinyl chairs, which give the futuristic space a retro feel. Round windows let patrons peep at coal-fired pizza ovens, where made-from-scratch crusts praised by the Journal Sentinel and Inside Milwaukee attain a golden-brown hue. Toppings benefit from a similar attention to detail. Chefs hand-crush organic tomatoes for sauce, and cure their own ham and sausage in house, procuring produce from local farmers when possible. House-made ingredients also beef up the roster of specialty shakes, which whirl together sweets such as strawberry compote, honey mascarpone, and fudge with vanilla ice cream. During after hours on the weekends, customers saunter up to the second- and third-floor nightclub, done up in the same slick white. There, local DJs spin music as bartenders mix drinks behind candy-colored bars.
After emigrating from Germany, Otto Hermann forged his place in downtown Milwaukee by opening Hermann's Café in 1904. Since then, the eatery has passed from generation to generation, taking the name of Otto's step-daughter's beau-turned-husband Karl Ratzsch and remaining a staple for heaping platters of classic German cuisine. The kitchen's homemade applesauce and fluffy spätzle festoon free-range goose and crackling pork shank, which the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel describes as “[emitting] the most intoxicating, delicious aroma.” The vast dining room's ambiance echoes the Old World cuisine, its chocolate-brown wooden beams and sturdy chandeliers reminiscent of a Bavarian hunting lodge. Ornate antique beer steins store whispered wishes for new pairs of lederhosen, and stained-glass windows cast the vast dining room in a kaleidoscopic glow.
They've got 22 televisions. 22 barstools. The Catch 22 owners' penchant for the number 22 nearly rivals their enthusiasm for all things sports. Nearly. Despite its posh decor—exposed brick walls, loft-style beams, and gleaming wood floors—the downtown space is a sports bar through and through. There’s “not a bad seat in the house,” even the men’s bathroom has a TV, and even that TV has a TV. Revelers with tickets to a game can often grab a free shuttle to a local stadium or arena. Those who stay to watch the match munch a new menu of traditional bar fare with a modern twist, such as hand-cut sweet-potato fries with curry and basil dip, or a burger slider topped with gorgonzola, creole sauce, and caramelized onions. At the full bar that stocks a dozen on-tap brews, 25+ bottled beers, premium liquors, and memory-scrambling “bombs”, patrons wash down savory dinners or toast half-court double plays.
Showcased on the Travel Channel’s Food Paradise for its gargantuan cuts of prime rib, Ward’s House of Prime elevates plates with formidable servings of steak, veal, seafood, and pasta within an elegant, leather-tinged dining room. Chefs slice the signature prime rib in a spectrum of portion sizes ranging from modest 8-ounce morsels to The Al-Mighty Halaka's behemoth 160 ounces. Those who conquer these savory leviathans garner immortalization in Ward’s Hall of Fame, where caricatures of past protein vanquishers smile from behind their trusty steak knives. At the bar, an extensive wine list gilds glasses with varietals hailing from throughout the globe as drinksmiths craft a bevy of inventive cocktails. The dining room’s studded-leather seating flanks tables clad in white linens, and the outdoor patio’s umbrellas keep diners dry during worcestershire storms brought on by their steaks' gravitational forces.
Thai and Indian influences act as the epicurean muses for chefs at Zaafaran, where fresh, healthy ingredients compose exotic entrees. The dinner menu invites guests to strap on their tongues' waders and discover seafood-fraught dishes such as the crab singapore, a stir-fried jumble of lump crab steeped in Singapore-style gravy ($20), or the saag tadka curry, where swells of tumeric yogurt and cream surge across sautéed spinach ($9).