More Choices for Breakfast, Pizza and Polynesian, Plus Rebooting the Ambassador Hotel
New in Milwaukee
This month in dining, the Ambassador Hotel revamps its drinking and dining options, a combined breakfast spot and art gallery opens in north Bay View and a new style of pizza comes to Milwaukee.
1758 N. Water St.
Located in the former Trocadero space, DiModa Pizza serves up Roman-style pies. They’re baked in a wood-fired oven from Wood Stone Ovens in Washington state. The crust is thicker and chewier than the Neopolitan-style pizzas that have been springing up all over the city lately. There are nine specialty pizzas to choose from, like the Bacon, Egg & Fig ($14) and the Devil’s Own ($14) with ’Nduja sausage, pickled peppers, giardiniera and smoked provolone. The menu also includes nine pastas, like a 12-layer lasagna Bolognese ($15), numerous starters, sandwiches and entrées. Brunch is available, as well as a dog menu for pups who accompany their humans on the patio.
The Love Shack
106 W. Seeboth St.
Polynesian-inspired food and cocktails abound at The Love Shack. The two-story space located on the river was formerly home to Wine Maniacs. The space has been completely remodeled, with palm trees, volcanos and palapa umbrellas on the patio. The food menu includes about a dozen dishes, from Spam Musubi ($10), popular in Hawaii, to shrimp skewers ($13) with pineapple, scallion and sticky chive rice. Cocktails include many classic tiki choices like the Mai Tai ($9), as well as some originals, all served in novelty glassware. The second floor houses a smaller space called The Rhum Bar with its own cocktail menu, patio and lounge atmosphere.
Sabrosa Cafe & Gallery
2316 S. Howell Ave.
Chef and owner Frank Sanchez returns to Bay View for Sabrosa Cafe & Gallery. He previously owned Taqueria Azteca, just a few blocks from his new spot. Sabrosa serves breakfast, lunch and brunch, and doubles as an art gallery for local artists. The menu features breakfast and brunch classics with some Italian and Mexican influences. Instead of biscuits, sausage gravy is served over jalapeño cornbread ($11). The Italiano scramble ($12) riffs on caprese salad with mozzarella, arugula and heirloom tomatoes with eggs over vegetable hash. Come lunch, options include Sanchez’s popular sopa azteca ($3-$6), sandwiches, enchiladas and tacos.
A new food truck—well, a transformed vintage aluminum trailer—has appeared in the vacant lot at First Street and Pittsburgh Avenue in Walker’s Point. Jesus Gonzalez, a native of Milwaukee who went to culinary school in New York, is creating tacos based on family recipes from the Jalisco region of Mexico. On the menu are four tacos ($2.50-$2.75): birria, a braised, shredded meat that’s made with beef here, al pastor, bistec marinated in beer, and a vegetarian option with Muenster cheese and guacamole. All corn tortillas are handmade in the truck. Unlike most food trucks, Mazorca stays put at its location, and is open all day Monday-Saturday.
The Fitz / Gin Rickey / Deco the Café
2308 W. Wisconsin Ave.
With the hiring of new Culinary Director Jason Gorman, the Ambassador Hotel has remodeled and rebranded its restaurants and bars.
The Fitz replaces Envoy as the hotel’s flagship restaurant. The name is a nod to F. Scott Fitzgerald, which fits in with the hotel’s Roaring Twenties feel. The Fitz will serve breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner in a gold-accented art deco dining room. The dinner menu consists of some retro classics, like rumaki made with chicken livers and pork belly ($12), crab louis salad ($16) and lamb chops with sweet pea potato pancakes ($32).
Gin Rickey is a bar that also serves small plates, sandwiches and a few entrées. The cocktail menu consists of mostly pre-Prohibition era cocktails ($10-$12), including the sidecar, whiskey sour, negroni and French 75. Food available runs the gamut from hazelnut-crusted goat cheese ($9) to fried chicken and waffles with Korean chili maple syrup ($14).
Deco is a casual spot open for breakfast and lunch and serves Valentine coffee and other beverages, pastries, simple breakfast items, sandwiches, salads and soft serve ice cream.