The distance from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, to anywhere in Germany is vast, to say the least, and includes a trip over the Atlantic Ocean. But Schwefel's Restaurant—plopped right in between Madison and Milwaukee—cuts out lengthy travels and potential run-ins with hang-gliding sea monsters. Inside Schwefel's, the scents of sauerbraten and wiener schnitzel float amid cherry-red tablecloths in the understated dining area. Familiar American dishes, such as lobster and prime rib, share table space with German house specialties, such as the beef rouladen, a fusion of rolled beef, pickle, bacon, and onion. Regardless of the food's origin, Schwefel's makes each dish from scratch—right down to the soups and dressings. Though Schwefel's Restaurant is no stranger to formal dinners, a more casual bar area entertains patrons with arcade games and sports broadcasts.
In 1957, Chuck’s Supper Club suffered its first fire. The second would come 10 years later as a blaze that completely demolished the building. The twice-rebuilt eatery then operated without incident until closing in 2000, lying dormant for 10 years before it became Burke’s Lakeside Restaurant and Bar. The restaurant’s owners renovated its interior, decking the walls in dark cherry accents and building a stone fireplace as the room’s centerpiece and an alternative entrance for hungry chimney sweeps. Inside the banquet room, a hardwood dance floor sprawls in front of a live-music stage, and outside, a wraparound deck overlooks the shores of Silver Lake.
At the bar, servers pour more than 17 wines and 10 draft beers. In the kitchen, chefs blend regional American recipes to craft dishes such as grilled 16-ounce steaks, Pabst Blue Ribbon–braised ribs, and cast-iron-seared salmon with avocado relish and jalapeño corn. They also design their own takes on international dishes such as shepherd’s pie, and lobster and shrimp wontons.
More than 50 wines at Wine Maniacs on the River stand at attention to be served by the glass or bottle. The bistro updates its food menu quarterly with dishes that celebrate the seasons and complement its complex varietals, using gourmet ingredients such as Wisconsin artisan cheeses. Small plates make creative use of such ingredients, with options that may include calamari spaghetti or duck-confit tacos ornamented, like a scarecrow's frankfurter, with corn relish.
Nice weather draws diners outdoors onto the patio overlooking the Milwaukee River, where they can sip while admiring the Water Street Bridge and views of the city from the 5th Ward. Guests can also stock up on their favorite elixirs at the establishment's retail shop, which sells wines by the case.
Spitfire Pub & Grill hums with the sounds of trivia questions and live music from local bands and artists on open-mic nights. Amid the lively atmosphere, guests swig local beers and wine while devouring hot-dog sliders, fish 'n' chips, and shredded-beef flatbread with a smoky barbecue glaze. They relax at hardwood tables inside or beneath the blue umbrellas dotting the expansive outdoor patio, which plays host to numerous flat-screen TVs broadcasting the Brewers game or an intense staring competition.
Cuisine Type: Pub-style food, Irish classics, and American food
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 11?25
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Home of the best reuben!
Alcohol: Full bar
Delivery / Take-out Available: Takeout only
Outdoor Seating: Yes
What?s the best reaction you?ve ever gotten from a customer?
"The is the best reuben I have ever had!"
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
We will be opening for breakfast on Sundays starting at 9 a.m.
Are there any dishes on the menu you consider to be a hidden gem?not necessarily the most popular, but surprisingly delicious?
We promote our Irish dishes because they are great, but we also have a broasted chicken dinner that will blow your mind.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
Our menu is traditional pub fare, with some Irish influences. A variety of selections to fill any appetite.
A colonial-style brick mansion with two stories of picturesque wraparound porches and balconies greets visitors as they approach Tony & Mia's. Once inside, they’re met by the smell of pizzas, pastas, risottos, and steaks along with the approachable familiarity of homestyle Italian meals. Framed prints of famous Renaissance paintings fill the walls. And the warm glow of antique chandeliers evokes memories of sharing a Thanksgiving meal at the grandparents' farmhouse, or perhaps of stealing the neighbor's chandelier.
Head Chef Camille DiNicola wills into existence stone-baked, mozzarella-topped pizzas, slow-braised beef ravioli, and marinated Cornish hens. Her husband⎯manager Randy Piering⎯ensures the comfort and satisfaction of each guest. Diners relax with glasses of fine Italian wine and small plates as they listen to professional crooners sing Sinatra standards, or gather on the lawn to watch the expert spheroid-flinging of the neighborhood bocce league.