Saturday, September 17, 2011

2 CMH alums among J-S Top 30 Restaurants

from yesterday's JSOnline.Com --

Milwaukee's Top 30 Restaurants for 2011

Sebastian's Fine Food and Spirits

6025 Douglas Ave., Caledonia. (262) 681-5465;

Sebastian's has a rare treat on its menu for beef lovers. It's a dish chef-owner Scott Sebastian [CMH '76] calls crown of ribeye: two rolled medallions cut from the thoroughly marbled but well-trimmed cap of ribeye. The result is richly flavored, incredibly tender meat, served with demi-glace and béarnaise sauces. Steaks and seafood dominate the menu at this polished, rustic restaurant about 10 minutes south of Milwaukee County, but duck breast prepared sous vide for maximum tenderness was a pleasure, served with Port-dried cherry demi-glace and aromatic rice. While an appetizer of tenderloin sliders needed tender rolls as well, creamy lemon semifreddo for dessert was pitch perfect, a brightly flavored ending.

Hours: 5-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 5-9:30 Friday-Saturday.
Entrées, $17-$38.
MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover.

La Merenda

125 E. National Ave. (414) 389-0125;

The dining room is full and the feeling is convivial at Peter Sandroni's [CMH '89] restaurant, where guests share a spectrum of small plates. Those plates take them on a tour of the world (even while building on local ingredients) - dishes such as calabacitas, a garlicky stew of squashes, corn, tomatoes and peppers; lamb confit served with Dutch brown beans, a meaty heirloom bean; and croquetas, potato purée with blue cheese and speck, breaded and fried crisp, and served with excellent romesco sauce. La Merenda's beet ravioli in lemon cream sauce and Indonesian shrimp are two dishes that make me wish the concept weren't built on sharing.

Hours: Lunch, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday; dinner, 5-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 5-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday.
Small plates, $3.50-$11.
Payment: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover.

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