Swig Restaurant, Milwaukee, WI

>> Friday, April 5, 2013

Last fall, Joe and I spent a sunny day up in Milwaukee - one of the last lazy days of Indian Summer. We happened to hit Milwaukee's historic Third Ward on the day of Louie’s Last Regatta,an annual benefit for the Children's Hospital that's held at the Milwaukee Ale House.

Milwaukee Ale House
Milwaukee Ale House

The sailboats moored along the Milwaukee River walk, and people hopped from boat to boat to celebrate with each other after the races.

Louie’s Last Regatta, Milwaukee
Louie’s Last Regatta, Milwaukee
Louie’s Last Regatta 2012

Living right between two big cities is a real blessing - in less than an hour we can be urban-hopping and enjoying great food and entertainment. Milwaukee is Chicago's more casual little brother, with a bit of blue-collar vibe and a lot of friendliness. Wisconsinites are genetically friendly from conception on, though they do enjoy razzing people from Illinois.

Open alcohol laws in Wisconsin have always been different than in Illinois.

Swig Restaurant in Milwaukee
After we soaked up sun and some local beer, we had dinner at the innovative Swig Restaurant. We were feeling a bit sunburnt, so we both had a refreshing Ginger Fresca, a house infused cucumber vodka with fresh muddled cucumber, ginger, and club soda.

We love sharing a bunch of different tastes and the menu looked so good we couldn't narrow down our choices. Luckily, a couple next to us was just served an amazing array of small plates so we asked them what they ordered. They recommended the wonton-wrapped chicken curry (with crushed walnuts and cucumber yogurt dip) and the tempura snap peas with tarragon cream sauce. They were heavenly.

Tempura snap peas at Swig
Tempura snap peas at Swig

For dinner, Joe ordered the rich and creamy wild mushroom gnocchi, made with potato gnocchi, fresh spinach, wild mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and shaved parmesan. I kept dipping into his plate. The day on the water made me hungry for seafood, so I ordered the seared scallops with red pepper coulis, spinach angel hair pasta, chili white wine sauce and parmesan cheese. Joe dipped into my scallops here and there, but there were plenty of both dishes to take home for a second meal.

The wine prices were reasonable, so Joe had a Casa Silva carmenere from Chile with dinner, and I had Cristalino sparkling wine. I adore a dry sparkling wine with seafood!

The server told us that the ivory exposed brick was a special type of local stone that was used in many Milwaukee buildings a century or two ago, and is prized by architects and restorationists. The pale stone melds well with the modern geometric decor and the place seems to feel hip and welcoming all at the same time.

Swig restaurant, Milwaukee

Swig Restaurant is fairly easy to find in the Third Ward and there is plenty of parking in the area. We definitely recommend a trip there.


217 N Broadway
Milwaukee, WI 53202




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