11 of Milwaukee’s newest outdoor patios
6030 W. NORTH AVE., WAUWATOSA | 414-312-8968 | $ 21 to $ 39
The spacious patio surrounded by greenery of the pasteria feels like someone’s intimate and cozy courtyard – plus great service and great food. With heaters and umbrellas shading tables, owners Zak and Sarah Baker got it ready for anything. It’s easy to forget that traffic is passing on the other side of the fence. The couple made their space debut last summer, dotted with potted petunias. Wrought iron tables and chairs are spread out and perfect for lingering over Zak’s hand-made pasta menu. It’s hard to find anything unsatisfying about this menu hit parade, which undergoes seasonal changes. Try the arancini (fried rice balls), tagliatelle with white veal stew, and hand-rolled gnocchi with lamb stew.
2. Ancient + Rhyme
2300 N. MAYFAIR RD., WAUWATOSA | 414-867-9200 | $ 16 to $ 95
It’s one of my favorite patios, which is quite an achievement since the Scandinavian-inspired place is on the grounds of a mall. The attractive birch and plush seating of this airy outdoor space has an arbor-shaped roof adorned with sparkling white lights. Cushions and pillows abound, paving the way for comfort. Swedish Meatball Sliders, Three Way Salmon, and Faroe Island Salmon with Rhubarb Jam, Thyme, and Watercress are all terrific choices, paired with an old-fashioned reykr cocktail.
330 E. MENOMONEE ST. | 414-273-3375 | $ 11 to $ 25
The summer of 2020 will bring many things, including the closure of Menomonee Street outside Bavette. This was a godsend for the restaurant / butcher shop and its neighbor, Club Charlie’s, as it allowed their seats to spill out onto the street. While you eat the roasted cauliflower-flank steak salad, the charcuterie platter, the pork banh mi sandwich or wait for the grilled Wednesday night baller burger to land in front of you, you can gaze out at the peaceful plaza. Catalano, the green space of the third district.
4. Carrefour collective
2238 N. FARWELL AVE. | 414-763-9081 | $ 6 to $ 20
Because the parklet is on Ivanhoe – the small side street just off Farwell – it has the balance of being both in the thick of it and a bit of the shelter. On balmy winter days, daring diners gathered near heated tables under fairy lights, dreaming of summer. North Avenue is a short walk away and offers all the sounds of the city. The beauty of this patio is how many different cuisines you can enjoy here at the same time – eight, including Scratch Ice Cream. Pro tip: Order a plate of empanadas from Triciclo PerÃº, Lao sausages from Thum, classic fries from Mina and a few beers from the Crossroads’ Pharmacy bar and you’re done.
2535 AVENUE S. KINNICKINNIC. | 414-301-6255 | $ 12- $ 27
At the end of last summer, I had dinner at one of the raised patio tables facing KK, enjoying Sorella’s delicious roast pork ribeye with a cherry sauce and a glass of rosÃ©. It was a bit quick, but the rehearsals kept things comfortable, and with the fenced front patio raised above street level, I could watch the time go by in the surrounding streets. Other guests were also seated on the patio, but it still felt intimate. Sorella is one of my new favorite restaurants because of its delicious and unpretentious menu, which also includes simple and wonderful pastas like cavatelli with Monday sauce and spaghetti with pecorino and black pepper.
6. Strange duck
2352 AVENUE S. KINNICKINNIC. | 414-763-5881 | $ 10 to $ 20
The Duck has long had a lovely tiled back patio (named Waterbird), but its parklet is a COVID-era addition where people can sit and have cocktails, snacks, and small plates. It captures the urban pedestrian potential of Bay View – couples walking past with strollers, other locals jumping into other bars and restaurants nearby. It’s laid back comfort, an easy place to grab a quick bite and then move on. Plus, you can order a global assortment that includes Thai oyster mushroom tempura dry fried pork curry with tofu and purple daikon radish.
7. The White House
2900 S. KINNICKINNIC AVENUE. | 414-897-0495 | $ 34 to $ 84
The owners have moved the old-fashioned white tablecloth vibe from the dining room to its courtyard. The tables are elegantly set with porcelain, candles and vases of flowers. Rather than a backyard in Bay View, it feels a bit like being in the countryside, enjoying the last rays of the sun. The menu here is European and can include Hawaiian shrimp or red deer fillet, veal saltimbocca, or primavera pasta. A place to have fun and relax.
8. Public table and Kegel inn
5835 W. NATIONAL AVE., 414-488-2948 & 5901 W. NATIONAL AVE., WEST ALLIS, 414-257-9999 | PUBLIC TABLE $ 9- $ 17; KEGEL’S $ 15 to $ 58.
It’s a real two-fer. The restaurants share the beer garden space where 59th Street was closed. It’s plentiful, with plenty of room to spread out. During the winter, warm, heated igloos attracted those looking for a beer and fried fish, tacos or pulled pork sliders. In summer, it is the picnic tables topped with umbrellas that create a relaxed atmosphere, shorts and T-shirts. In the evening, garlands of white lights shine on the tables. The nifty menu of pub fare not typical of Public Table offers a few gems, including the potent salad, crispy duck tacos, and goat cheese and chorizo ââflatbread. If you’re more of a German lover, go on Friday, for the lake perch fry with potato pancakes and a German beer.
2315 N. MURRAY AVE. | 414-797-1400 | $ 9- $ 34
Sidewalk meals have always seemed so urban to me, so essential to me. I love watching passers-by walking their dogs and hearing the constant hum of traffic from my seat. Tavolino is next door to two other restaurants (Izzy Hops and Kawa), so there’s a lot of activity and life here, with music spilling onto the sidewalk and diners sipping pasta and red wine as the sun sets. fade and the streetlights give a warm glow. A meal here should definitely start with an insalata like citrus fruit (with blood orange, grapefruit, fennel, pistachio and goat cheese) and progress to scallop and spinach spaghetti or light citrus chicken piccata.
10. Honey coffee
2569 AVENUE S. KINNICKINNIC. | 414-747-1007 | $ 6 to $ 15
One of the most anticipated spring events, for me anyway, was the reopening of Honeypie. It has moved from its long-standing location just steps from the original Bay View, and the focus this summer will be on the outdoor experience. The patio is tucked away from the alley and has 16 tables. He is completely surrounded and feels quite isolated. One of the added bonuses is a new drop-in ordering window, as owner Val Lucks doesn’t plan to open for indoor dining this summer. But she plans to serve good food. And the Honeypie menu has a few highlights, including the pork salad sandwich on a brioche bun, the Honeypie beef brisket burger with a fried egg, the hand-fried pies, and the super fried Friday night fish.
11. Restaurant Bartolotta from 1993
7616 W. STATE ST., WAUWATOSA | 414-771-7910 | $ 65 PER PERSON
In the summer of 2020, Italian Tosa debuted La Terrazza, a socially distant courtyard nestled between two brick buildings. Here, diners can savor the prix fixe menu which changes almost every month. The arbor-shaped “roof” keeps the space shaded and the walls surrounding it on three sides keep the wind from becoming a nuisance. And based on the experience of last summer, it stayed cool and comfortable, also thanks to the red cushion chairs. The Ristorante patio was supposed to open on May 12 and from June 10 to 30, Ristorante offers a regional menu highlighting Puglia, the heel of the Italian boot. Dishes include mashed beans with chicory and orecchiettes with sausage and broccoli rabe.