Between the years of 1904 and 1944, the Greek Revival–style mansion that now holds Eric's Porter - Haus was home to former Waukesha mayor Isaac Lain. Today, it's a bustling supper club where servers make the rounds to multiple dining rooms, one of which is equipped with a fireplace lined with fresh cookies for Santa. Chef Chris prepares Old World specialties such as black forest schnitzel made with natural range-fed veal. Another specialty is steak; tender filet mignon sizzles alongside 24-ounce porterhouse cuts. Bottles imported from Germany, Australia, Italy, Spain, and California also make appearances on the wine list.
Pacific Bistro leads diners through a whirlwind tour of Asia with a menu loaded with hibachi, sushi, and traditional Thai, Laotian, Vietnamese, and Chinese dishes. Begin Eastward adventures by pairing a crab rangoon ($7) starter or edamame ($4) with a libation from the full bar and a field trip permission slip signed by the president. Once tummies are prepped, diners can choose their own adventure with a la carte sushi ($4–$8 for two pieces) or hand the reins to a licensed knife wielder for a carefully diced teriyaki chicken hibachi dinner ($18). Or furnish tables with sumptuous entrees such as pad thai noodles ($12 for chicken, pork, or beef; $14 for shrimp), crispy duck ($25), and mango curry ($14 for chicken, pork, or beef; $16 for shrimp). Meanwhile, diapered diners can use highchairs as a launching pad for launching shrimp tempura ($8) grenades and tossing fried rice ($6–$7) confetti at newlywed birds.
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.
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.
Molly Cool?s Seafood Tavern overlooks the Milwaukee River so guests can enjoy a spectacular view. However, the menu reaches far beyond freshwater fish. It?s chock-full of treats harvested from the oceans, including north atlantic salmon and mussels culled from around Prince Edward Island.
In addition to serving an extensive dinner menu that offers everything from king-crab legs to mussels, Molly Cool?s also features scallop BLTs, Seared Ahi Tuna Salad, or Lobster Roll for lunch. In addition to seafood, the restaurant boasts a wide selection of chicken, pasta, and steak, as well as a children's menu. Weekends also include a new brunch menu that features seafood biscuits & gravy and Kentucky hot blond served open-faced. Private rooms are available for parties of 20-200, or guests can take advantage of the outdoor seating and live music.
In an interview with Andrew Zimmern of the Travel Channel, the owner of Solly's Grille divulged the secret of making his famous butter burger. That secret is simple: all you need are "two products that come from that fabulous cow." The first is sirloin, delivered daily to the restaurant by a local butcher. The second is a generous dollop of butter from a Wisconsin creamery. The butter is slathered onto the top bun, where it melts with house-made stewed onions and seared beef to create a decadent sandwich beloved by the state and America at-large. As evidence of the burger's popularity, Solly's Grille has been featured multiple times by the national media, including USA Today, the film and book Hamburger America by George Motz, Food Network Magazine, and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain's hit series No Reservations.
All that fame is even more impressive considering that the recipe for Solly's butter burger is more than 78 years old. Kenneth "Solly" Salmon founded the restaurant in 1936, and its menu still reflects these classic roots. The cherry pie is homemade with Door County cherries, complementing the roster of time-honored breakfasts and other great sandwiches. That's not to say that Solly's has resisted progress, however. Its fries, onion rings, and hand-breaded Alaskan Cod get their crispiness from cholesterol-free oil, and veggie burgers and gluten-free buns are available for those with dietary restrictions.