Cafe At The Plaza


It’s not a place you’re likely to stumble across when wandering around Milwaukee during Harley-Davidson’s 110th Anniversary Celebration.  Located in a vintage luxury hotel just off East State Street and very close to Veterans’ Park where many of the official H-D venues are taking place, the Café At The Plaza is one of those secret places the locals are reluctant to share.

Art-Deco elegance and friendly diner atmosphere.

Art-Deco elegance and friendly diner atmosphere.

Don’t expect to find a big sign outside this small restaurant, instead, enter the lobby of the Plaza Hotel, turn right, up three steps and proceed down the hall.  The original 1920’s Art Deco details, gorgeous 1950’s styled curved lunch counter, and recently renovated open kitchen blend together in harmonious synergy to create a gentle elegance without pretention.  The outside garden patio was another tempting setting, but I chose to sit at the counter where I would have the opportunity to chat with the chef.

Open kitchen means there is nothing to hide.

Open kitchen means there is nothing to hide.

It came as no surprise that the menu reflected the ambiance. I had a difficult time making a choice, but finally selected sherried black truffle eggs ($8.95)—three eggs baked with a touch of sherry vinegar, black truffle oil, and gruyere cheese—served with herb café potatoes, fruit, and toast.  To this I added Nueske’s applewood-smoked bacon, locally roasted Alterra coffee, and fresh-squeezed orange juice.  It was an exquisite gourmet breakfast coupled with a uniquely comfortable diner-like atmosphere.

Sherried black truffle eggs, herb cafe potatoes, Nueske's bacon.

Sherried black truffle eggs, herb cafe potatoes, Nueske’s bacon.

I reluctantly passed on the house-made corned beef hash ($8.95) that would have come with potatoes—herb café’ potatoes or chive hash browns—two eggs any style, peppers, and a side of sauerkraut.  The omelets, especially the one made with artichokes, black olives, spinach, and feta cheese, were tempting.

All dishes are made from scratch using primarily locally sourced ingredients.  This restaurant is only open from 7am to 2pm, but seven days a week.  Local craft beers are added to the lunch menu.

The Café At The Plaza, 1007 N. Cass St., Milwaukee, WI  53202  414-272-0515  www.cafeattheplaza.com

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