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).
The Allgauer’s menu offers a delicious twist on American comfort food. Courteous servers at the Milwaukee location cover tables in classic American fare such as an Angus NY strip steak layered in roasted portabella, blue-cheese gratin, Yukon mashed potatoes, and fresh spinach ($27) and potato-crusted salmon resting beside sautéed green beans and stone-ground mustard ($20). Press a jumbo button mushroom against your palate and savor its rich roasted-garlic, ham, and blue-cheese insides ($7 in Milwaukee), or crunch a jumbo crab cake with marinated peppers, arugula, bacon, and mustard ($12). A virgin shrimp cocktail ($10) spices up the evening without dampening driving abilities.
Before emigrating to the US, chef Aomjai Nueakaew perfected her brand of Thai cuisine in Bangkok’s Thai President Hotel. Now, at Jow Nai Fouquet, Nueakaew pays homage to her Southeast-Asian roots with a menu of stir-fries, noodle dishes, and a seafood green curry that Express Milwaukee heralds as “truly exceptional.” Another of the recipes on the menu—an "aromatic rice dish" with "slow-cooked pork and a garlicky secret sauce"—comes from Nueakaew's aunt, who runs a café south of Bangkok, according to [On Milwaukee] (http://www.onmilwaukee.com/dining/articles/jownaifouquet12.html?viewall=1).
Warm, natural-wood tones blend with contemporary design in the restaurant's interior. A bar painted with circuit-like designs serves up Thai beers and mai tais, and angular blue shapes bedeck a polished wood bench.