Romantic dining guide
Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on Feb. 14, 2018 at 4:32 p.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on OnMilwaukee.com, but it's possible some details, specials and offers may have changed. As always, we recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the businesses mentioned in the guide.
For a city of its size, Milwaukee can more than hold its own when it comes to outstanding cuisine. From elegant restaurants to little holes in the wall, you'd be hard-pressed to run out of dining options in Brew City. But for the most romantic dining escapes, check out these gems that are perfect for a romantic night out.
1751 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 897-7022
The intimate space blends the earthy with the contemporary, reflecting Ardent's approach to cuisine. The mood evokes both comfort and casual which complements the simplicity of the ingredients and accommodates intimate conversation.
179 W. Wisconsin Ave., Pewaukee
Whether you're in the moods for cocktails and shared plates or deliciously comforting entrees and a bottle of wine, you'll find it at Artisan 179. The cozy dining room offers the ambiance of a fireplace along with lovely views of Pewaukee Lake.
925 E. Wells St., (414) 765-1166
A Bartolotta restaurant, Bacchus is a sleek and stylish space inside the historic Cudahy Tower. Fine dining at its most exquisite with an emphasis on seafood, handmade pastas and meats, along with an amazing, award-winning wine list.
1716 N. Arlington Pl., (414) 755-0099
This Brady Street restaurant specializes in tapas and an impressive selection of wine in a dimly lit, comfortable and intimate environment. The mood here is mellow, and the staff is friendly and extremely helpful should you or your date have any questions about the five-page wine list.
Bodegón at Hotel Madrid
600 S. 6th St.(414) 488-9146
There's plenty to love about the rustic, yet refined, Spanish-style dining you'll experience at Bodegón. Whether you opt for well-prepared meats like Iberian acorn fed pork or a selection of tasting plates to share, it's definitely the sort of place where you can be assured to impress your date. On the beverage side you'll find an impressive Spanish wine selection and top notch cocktails, along with delectable sippers like their housemade vermouth.
1101 S. 2nd St., (414) 212-8843
Braise, a perennial favorite for those looking for delicious fare created from fresh, local ingredients. The ever-rotating menu is often globally inspired, with plenty of options for sharing or enjoying solo. Bring that special someone for dinner and savor a truly passionate meal.
801 N. Cass St., (414) 277-1111
Buckley's, on the Lower East Side, is one of the most intimate restaurants around Downtown. The food is better than ever and the neighborhood is perfect for an after-dinner stroll, if the weather cooperates.
808 E. Center St., (414) 455-3751
This small, intimate Italian restaurant, located in the heart of Riverwest, is perfect for couples looking for an evening of well-made pasta, deliciously simple desserts and maybe a sip of amaro to finish. It's quaint and cozy and it seems there's always something new to try on their menu.
1100 S. 1st St., (414) 431-9271
Nestled in the quiet neighborhood of Historic Walkers Point, c.1880 offers beautiful, well executed fare in a casual, laid back environment that's without stuffiness or pretense. On the evening of February 14, the restaurant features Chef Thomas Hauck's five-course tasting menu, an indulgent journey that can also be enjoyed with expertly matched wine pairings.
316 N. Milwaukee St., (414) 291-2655
This warm and casual bistro located inside the Landmark Building in the Third Ward tempts the refined palate with items such as caramelized onion goat cheese ravioli with butternut squash, walnut and fresh basil. It's also a great place to indulge in a decadent dessert, such as crème brulee, warm chocolate cake or chocolate mousse.
Dream Dance Steak
1721 W. Canal St., (414) 847-7883
Located in Potawatomi Bingo Casino, Dream Dance Steak delivers contemporary romantic dining with inventive appetizers, top quality steaks and seafood options and luscious desserts. Always rated among the city's top restaurants, both its atmosphere and menu make it worthy of another special night out.
8612 W. Watertown Plank Rd., (414) 771-6680
This 1940s-style steakhouse with a modern flair has been one of the city's most popular restaurants for years. And there's reason for that. After all, great food, wine and the sounds of Sinatra are a winning combination.
Firefly Urban Bar & Grill
7754 Harwood Ave., Wauwatosa, (414) 431-1444
Located in the heart of Tosa Village, Firefly has a warm, low-lit dining room at the front that serves upscale comfort food and a dark bar in back that's perfect for a quiet interlude.
550 N. Harbor Dr., (414) 395-4900
Seafood is an aphrodisiac and the clean lines, attentive service and perhaps the most stunning view in Milwaukee only enhance the effect.
2535 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 446-3640
The chic dining room at Kindred is the perfect place for a romantic date. There are cozy tables that offer semi-private dining and the decor is elegantly rustic. Best of all, the menu is meant for sharing, so you can graze at whatever speed you like while spending quality time with your significant other.
125 E. National Ave., (414) 389-0125
It doesn't get much more romantic than sharing food. The tapas style menu at La Merenda lets you do just that, offering a long list of international tapas for you and your sweetie to split. Tasty wines and fruit-filled sangria rank the drinks just as good as the food.
7610 Harwood Ave., Wauwatosa, (414) 778-3333
Transport your tastebuds with a romantic Parisian experience. La Reve's cafe serves traditional bistro meals from breakfast through late-night dinner for a taste of French romance at any time of the day or evening. Save room for dessert – the patisserie stocks an array of traditional French pastries made by their classically trained chefs.
Lake Park Bistro
3133 E. Newberry Blvd., (414) 962-6300
Transplant the Bartolotta family magic to the Lake Park Pavilion and you've got the recipe for a memorable evening. After all, the French are famous for delicious cuisine that's bound to incite a few loving glances. The dramatic views of Lake Michigan don't hurt, either.
5921 W. Vliet St., (414) 323-4030
There's a quiet elegance at Maison, a relative newcomer to the Washington Heights neighborhood. And its French fare makes for perfect date nights. Sip on delicious French wines while enjoying escargot. Or dig into their menu of modern French classics. You won't be sorry if you save room for dessert.
430 S. 2nd St., (414) 897-0747
There's an earthy beauty in the simplicity of the decor at Morel. It belies the kitchen's dedication to well constructed dishes that rely on the freshness of local ingredients to make them shine. The menu -- which features treasures like housemade pappardalle or freshly made gnudi along with beautifully prepared meats and vegetables, changes frequently, making it all the more lovely for a repeat visit.
2352 S. Kinnickinnic Ave, (414) 763-5881
Quickly becoming one of Milwaukee's favorite destination restaurants, Bay View's Odd Duck offers a range of small plates. And what's more romantic than sharing?
The Pasta Tree
1503 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 276-8867
This is the romantic restaurant where it's pretty darn hard not to get cozy. Closely placed tables and settings make The Pasta Tree a pure pleasure. Homemade pasta and more than 30 sauces make it a spot where you'll always find something delicious to enjoy.
1547 N. Jackson St., (414) 276-9608
What happens when you put one of the nation's best chefs in a building that was once his family's grocery store? The result is what many say is simply the best restaurant in the state of Wisconsin, and the numerous awards on the wall prove that a visit here is mandatory if you are serious about food and wine. Your significant other will love you even more for it.
217 N. Broadway, (414) 431-7944
Warm, earthy décor gives Swig in the Third Ward a chic vibe. Meanwhile, their shareable menu offers couples the chance nibble, chat and enjoy a truly intimate evening.
2499 N. Bartlett Ave., (414) 964-8377
Although by no means devoid of restaurants, the East Side's "left bank" (just east of the Milwaukee River) has a shy but formidable little gal called Tess. The cozy dining room seats 30, and the flicker of dozens of candles, pomegranate walls and a large backyard patio will be a terrific place to dine come summer. Until then, Tess is a warm and relaxing getaway that's close to all the East Side action.
Third Coast Provisions
724 N. Milwaukee St., (414) 323-7434
There aren't many contemporary restaurants that boast the elegance found at Third Coast Provisions. The well appointed dining room is beautifully designed and the sumptuous seafood menu is filled with indulgences like rich lobster potholes, surf and turf and aphrodiasical options like fresh oysters served on the half-shell.
1801 S. 3rd St., (414) 837-5950
If you're looking for cozy, look no further than Triskele's. This Walker's Point-area hidden gem is an intimate dinner destination worth finding. Its menu is cozy, too, featuring a small – but varied – selection of seasonal meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes perfect for pairing and sharing.
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