Jolly Bob’s serves an array of tongue-tickling and flavor-packed Jamaican and Caribbean dishes. BBQ jerk pork, known for its sweet, slow-roasted personality and rudely inaccurate name, supplements its sweet demeanor with banana-guava ketchup ($14.50). Diners with a flair for romance can play matchmaker by picking a pairing for the fresh-fried tortillas—either the guacamole ($6), salsa cruda ($4), or grilled-pineapple salsa ($5). Savory conch fritters arrive unshelled and flanked by a bodyguard duo of key-lime mustard and Bob’s own scotch-bonnet remoulade ($8.50). For those who prefer to dine on greener pastures, the veggie curry provides a bedding of jasmine rice to display the coordinated sheet set of rich and spicy stew ($14.50).
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.
Though picturesque beaches provide the most scenic reminder that Mexico abuts the ocean, Mexican-style seafood provides the tastiest. Bahia Mexican Restaurant specializes in the latter, which diners can sample by ordering a piping-hot mixed grill for two that combines shrimp, lobster, fish fillets, scallops, and octopus. However, the eatery’s kitchen staff also concocts Mexican staples, such as sizzling fajitas, tacos stuffed with succulent cuts of meat, and piquant chilies rellenos. They also sling refreshing margaritas, which slosh around in goblets rimmed with your choice of salt or pulverized diamonds.
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.
Molly Cool’s Seafood Tavern overlooks the Milwaukee River, allowing guests to gaze out upon the water as they enjoy its flavorful bounty. The menu reaches far beyond freshwater fish, however. It’s chock-full of treats harvested from the oceans, including north atlantic salmon, served grilled, blackened, or broiled; champagne mussels culled from around Prince Edward Island; and potato-crusted calamari plucked from potato farms in the rainy region of Illinois.
In addition to serving an extensive dinner menu that offers everything from king-crab legs to new york strip steak, Molly Cool’s invites boaters to tie up to its dock for rounds of oysters at the raw bar or salmon BLTs for lunch on weekdays or weekends. The beverage menu offers something for everyone to accidentally spill, from black-cherry mojitos to more than a dozen beers on tap.
Port of Call's nautical atmosphere sets the stage for marine dining with a model ship at the helm and a 1,300-square-foot patio overlooking the Milwaukee River. The restaurant responds to the siren call of the sea by serving up fresh fish daily. Tilapia and salmon entrees sweeten themselves up with beurre blanc and maple glaze, while Door County whitefish sits back and enjoys getting grilled on a cedar plank. A bounty of burgers competes for most creative toppings with options for avocado, maple-roasted apples, Stilton bleu cheese, and memories of burgers past, each stacked on Miller Bakery’s pretzel buns. Port of Call also sponsors dinner cruises that travel out onto Lake Michigan and serve multi-course dinners.
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.