Milwaukee's best splurge restaurant, 2017
Season's eatings! The weather may be getting colder, but Dining Month on OnMilwaukee is just cooking up, dishing out your winning picks in this year's Best of Dining poll. Dining Month is brought to you by Fein Brothers, your premier food service equipment and supply dealer in Wisconsin since 1929. Congratulations to all of the winners, and happy eating for all those who voted!
When our readers go all-out for special occasion dining, they've got definite preferences for where they dine. And this year, Five O'Clock Steakhouse pushed up through the ranks and edged out Lake Park Bistro (2016's winner) by a fairly hefty margin.
That said, Five O'Clock has been serving up old school supper club favorites for over 70 years, and it's become a go-to spot for diners from both Milwaukee and farther flung locations for special occasion dining. Favorite dishes regulars mention include the king cut filet and New York Strip. But, it might just be the restaurant's old-timey feel and the bar's classic brandy old fashioneds that keep loyal fans coming back time and time again.
OnMilwaukee editors' pick: Stella Van Buren
Lori Fredrich's pick: Ardent
For me, a splurge restaurant should deliver on a number of things: great service, impeccable food, and an experience that can't be had anywhere else.
Ardent does all three of these things, and Chef Justin Carlisle and his crew do them well, time and time again. Sign up for the tasting menu and you'll get not only inventive dishes that push the envelope in terms of flavor and preparation, but you'll have a personalized experience during which the chefs deliver the food to your table, offering commentary and conversation about each dish.
There's also something very personal about many of the dishes, which pay homage to Wisconsin's best ingredients from high quality dairy to custom-raised beef from Carlisle's family farm in Sparta. Best of all, there's always something surprising on the menu that's uniquely delicious.
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