At Mendini’s Restaurant on Main, piled-high platters transport steaming plates of pasta primavera, pan-seared salmon, crusty focaccia toast, and frosty drinks from the full bar to patrons' tables. Chefs dress the pan-seared salmon in honey-chipotle breading pajamas before tucking it into a bed of wild rice under a blanket of béarnaise sauce with a bite-size teddy bear for garnish ($15.95). Forks can tango with tender vegetables and twirl graceful linguine noodles on a plate of pasta primavera drenched in white-wine sauce ($10.95), and the crisp romaine lettuce, crunchy croutons, and creamy dressing of the signature caesar salad ($9.95) stirs feelings of jealousy in the unadorned vines climbing the restaurant walls. Patrons can pull up a barstool along the fully stocked bar to sip from Mendini’s wide selection of wines or to show off their good posture by balancing a stack of martini glasses on their heads.
The Riversite delivers a delectable menu of steaks, seafood, and other classic American dishes in an elegant setting. Guests can pique palates with one of many distinct appetizers, such as ground bison turnovers ($7) or warm asian duck salad ($7). Pan-seared bistro steak served with balsamic glazed onions and fresh tomato sauce ($20) and the char-grilled mahi mahi drizzled with pesto and tomatillo ($18) make for satisfying main events. Hungry herbivores can feast on the grilled flatbread pizza topped with poached pears, caramelized onions, blue cheese, and arugula ($8). The Riversite’s extensive wine list boasts smooth sippables from California, France, and other fine fermented-juice regions.
Epicurean partners Angelo Vasta and Michael W. Major use their heart-and-stomach-spanning passion for cuisine to bring Milwaukee–area diners a stunning slice of The Boot. The dinner menu accounts for all tastes with fresh, authentic dishes such as the manicotti al cinghiale with braised wild boar in chianti wine sauce ($18) or the salmone alla griglia, a garlic- and tomato-tinged meal that pays tribute to its notoriously hard-drinking fish with a drizzle of chardonnay sauce ($22). Pizzas are available for those who only eat circles ($7.50–$9), and an extensive, elegant wine selection offers vinos that, unlike trendy store-bought versions, are not served in a box, fish bowl, or Ziploc bag with a Twizzler straw.
The bar formerly known as Donges Bay Clubhouse took on a new name—Laura’s Donges Bay Clubhouse—to celebrate Laura's 14 years, and it installed outdoor volleyball courts, an outdoor smoking lounge, and brandished a newly revised logo. To make their eatery a fun destination, the staff hosts live entertainment on Saturday nights, car shows once a year, and doesn't correct mispronunciations of "magniloquent." Along with hosting softball, volleyball, kickball, and horseshoe leagues, Laura’s Donges Bay Clubhouse also encourages competition among wings by offering hot, teriyaki, and barbecue varieties. The staff fries seafood during Friday night fish fries by sending walleye, perch, shrimp, and cod into the depths of flavor-imparting oil.
The Good Life Catering imparts inquisitive culinarians of all ages and skill levels with relevant cooking fundamentals. Students arrange their own lesson by referencing the sample menu, which boasts dishes such as pecan-crusted scallops on corn cakes, wild-mushroom-stuffed tenderloin, and smooth chocolate-espresso-mousse layer cake. Though any menu items can be prepared, students are responsible for ingredient costs ($20–$75 extra). With each pivot of the knife, participants embrace the pressure-free learning environment, perfect for asking questions regarding the proper way to trim fat or what to do if a Boy Scout sells you counterfeit teaspoons.
After sharpening his culinary skills in his native Japan at Monsel Ton Ton Restaurant in Tokyo and the five-star Westin Osaka, Chef Yamamoto Lee relocated to Milwaukee, where he now brings nearly 30 years of culinary experience to the kitchen at Midori Fusion. The eatery, which was featured as the Restaurant of the Month by Key Milwaukee, satiates cravings for Japanese cuisine with an extensive menu of appetizers—such as fried bean curd and tempura squid—and traditional entrees, including beef short ribs, tempura shrimp, and salmon teriyaki. Chef Lee also creates more than 70 classic and unique sushi and sashimi options, from a spicy tuna roll to the no-carb roll wrapped in crabmeat and Dr. Atkins' diploma.