Braise restaurant finally opens this week
Gallery: First look: Braise
According to information from Kristine Petersen, events coordinator for the Braise Restaurant and Culinary School, the long-awaited restaurant is set to open on Wednesday, Dec. 21.
Located in the historic and diverse neighborhood of Walker's Point, the Braise space consists of a 1907 Cream City brick building connected to a 1940s-era former bowling alley. Built on a sustainable model, the build-out of the restaurant included the repurposing of many of the buildings' original materials, including the bowling alley lanes, tin ceilings and hardwood floors.
According to chef and owner Dave Swanson, Braise will feature a constantly changing, seasonal menu with ingredients sourced from local farms. The bar will serve up fresh scratch-made fruit-based cocktails, Wisconsin beers and over 30 wines, including four that will be served "on tap."
In addition to traditional seating, the restaurant will feature two community dining tables, a brick oven and a food bar where guests can take a seat to watch the chefs at work.
The winter dinner menu will feature a variety of dishes, including root vegetable lasagna, seared trout with fingerling and Brussels sprout hash, sauteed veal loin with parsnip puree and salsa verde, roasted chicken airline breast with ricotta gnocchi and rosemary jus, and veal belly with mint pappardelle with black pepper cream and pancetta.
Desserts will include delicious classics like chocolate pot de crème with shortbread and coffee sabayon, as well as more inventive choices like rosemary mint cake with mascarpone and pear butter and lemon olive oil cake with vodka-preserved elderberries and sour cream ice cream.
Along with dinner, the restaurant will also offer a special bar menu, which will be served until midnight. The menu will include charcuterie and cheeses of the day, as well as small plates like liver pate with ramp jam and crostini; pork crepinette with pickled ramps maque choux and paprika dressing; crispy pig with grits, sorghum syrup and goat cheese cream; grilled flatbread with duck confit, goat cheese and arugula; and bacon and hickory nut caramel corn.
Although the restaurant will be open to the public, Braise is, as Chef Dave Swanson calls it, "Milwaukee's first community-supported restaurant." Built on a community support model, Braise offers patrons the option to buy shares/membership in the restaurant in exchange for dinners, cooking classes and events.
In addition to housing the restaurant, the space will accommodate an on-site culinary school, a second-floor private dining area and, beginning this spring, a rooftop garden. The restaurant's partnership with Kompost Kids, a local organization that processes residual yard and kitchen waste into healthy living soil, will allow the restaurant to reduce waste.
"It feels great that we are finally ready to open!" Swanson says. "It's been a long time coming, and we are excited to welcome the community into our place."
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