With a background brewing beer, Jim Wirsching-Neuser was immediately interested when his wife suggested that they create a wine with which to toast at their wedding in 2001. More than a decade later, the two have refined their winemaking processes and recipes to create an impressive selection of varietals using juices from wine grapes produced around the globe. Inside their tasting room, guests sample pours from each of the house-made wines, a selection which may vary according to the season and the sommelier’s ability to juggle. The elixirs may include a faintly tart blueberry pinot noir, dry Tuscan chianti, and Johannesburg riesling, which bursts with fruity notes before breaking through into a smooth dryness.
Located in the historic Hoffman House, Tello's Grille and Cafe crafts a dizzying array of edible offerings, from American-style hot dogs and hamburgers to Mexican classics such as tacos and burritos. The sprawling menu is the confectionary result of owner Angel Tello's experiences cooking in a mix of Mexican and U.S. eateries; it includes a mouthwatering mountain of breakfast, lunch, and dinner fare. Traverse the meaty crevices of the carne a la tampiquena, a grilled-and-spiced skirt steak resting nestled in the gooey arms of a cheese enchilada ($14.95), or the mucho burger, crowned with grilled poblano peppers, mushrooms, onions, swiss cheese, and avocado ($7.95). A selection of imported and domestic beers ($2–$7) and wines ($4.50–$6.50 per glass) punctuates orders of homemade baklava ($2.95) and mid-meal checkbook balancings.
Amid a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, Beanies doles out daily made chips and fresh salsa while serving dishes from a menu replete with contemporary Mexican cuisine. Choose from an array of aperitivos, tostadas, ensaladas, soups, tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and fajitas; the restaurant is known for its Mexican chili, which it claims was voted #1 in the "Hot in the Harbor" chili cook-off. Choose a bowl of the spicy, chickeny goodness ($4.95) or debate about what made the dinosaurs extinct with a selection from the cantina. Adventurous patrons or monkeys who miss the gentle rocking of a palm tree in the wind can take a booze cruise on Beanies' big tree-swing while sipping a margarita, cerveza, or seltzer water.
Attentive diners will notice a few things missing from Taste of Africa’s meals—wheat, barley, and rye. The naturally gluten-free entrees also eschew dairy products, relying instead on tomato sauce or egg to thicken their sauces and stews. One such specialty stew, red red, blends fried plantains and baked beans; another mild option, pili-pili, combines cabbage, meat, and red beans to create an African-style chili. Traditional African spices ignite other meals, from plates of grilled goat to tilapia fillets. Not to be outdone, vegetarian dishes such as saffron or coconut rice soak up swells of the eatery’s signature sauces, which are flavored with unsweetened peanut butter or egusi spice. Diners can also take home glass jars of these sauces to share with whatever friends they have left after the glue stick incident.
In addition to the authentically prepared cuisine on the menu, Taste of Africa sells gifts handmade by African artisans. Every $15 spent on the collection of clothing, jewelry, and raw shea butter provides a meal for a child in a Congolese or Senegalese orphanage.
Milwaukee Ale House echoes with notes of live music and the laughter of pub goers, but the building is also the site of serious work. Beyond a pair of glass doors, the pub's stainless steel fermentation tanks bubble with Milwaukee Brewing Company's creations. When they're ready, these beers make the short leap from brew room to bar tap, forming a beverage selection that Esquire described as, "plentiful and tasty, complementing the top-notch food."
The menu sports a convenient pairing chart that helps diners match prime rib, pulled-pork sandwiches, and spicy beef-and-chorizo burgers to house brews. Ideal with chicken, Louie's Demise exudes the smooth maltiness of a typical amber ale but with a balanced kick of Perle and Tettnanger hops, A meat-and-potatoes porter, the Admiral Stache ages for one month in bourbon barrels, lending a toasty vanilla flavor to subtle notes of milk chocolate and dried fruit.
Situated in the heart of the Historic Third Ward, Milwaukee Ale House's century-old building provides the main dining room and patio areas with waterside views of the Milwaukee River. The pub's decor exudes its own historic charm with exposed brick, a scattering of empty wooden barrels, and vintage beer signs. When live bands aren't performing, focus turns back to the bar area, where the taps form an ornate centerpiece built to resemble a copper-topped wooden vat. Around the vat hang white mugs belonging to members of the Mug Club and office workers who "got lost" during their coffee break.
Pino Piroso dedicated himself to founding a distinctive, Roman-style pizzeria, saying that "after years of hard work, we knew we had built something very special." His lauded chain eventually grew to include franchises in six states and two countries outside of the United States. Despite their geographic separation, each location has the same stringent standards for their ingredients and their Exit-sign locations. No kitchen stores pizza fixings in a freezer—instead, the cooks begin every morning by stirring sauces, kneading dough, and dicing fresh seasonal toppings from local farms. The circular or rectangular pies can support as many as 33 of these familiar and nontraditional toppings, such as goat cheese, sweet corn, and roasted chicken.