Airport restaurants worth a special landing

I’m old enough to remember when some people went to airports just to watch the planes land and take off. Heightened security and hefty parking fees have made this harder to do, especially at the busiest departure points. It’s one reason why The Jet Room, off U.S. 51 in Madison, is a delight. The bright(…)

Stefano veers from Italian to Duke of Devon

First came the brats and potato salad. Now there are bangers and mash, too, an unusual extension of ethnic richness in a community long regarded as one-dimensional. The chef whose tremendous Italian food helped sauce up Sheboygan’s culinary reputation in the 1990s recently helped bring an authentic taste of England to the city’s waterfront. “Authentic,”(…)

County Clare, Milwaukee, reaches 10th year

The connections between Wisconsin and Ireland are strong, and nobody knows that better than Rip O’Dwanny, who says he has crossed the Atlantic Ocean 108 times since January 1998.
He grew up two blocks from one of the four Irish guesthouses that he
owns: Milwaukee’s classy and 29-room County Clare, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this month.(…)

Iowa abbeys offer caskets, caramels, hotel

When you hit the road for a fall colors tour this year, consider heading to the other side of the Mississippi River, for a slice of heaven as well as leaves of warm hues. How do you define heaven? The drive, especially along the Great River Road, may be enough on its own. The route(…)

Twin Cities eats: Start at Hell’s Kitchen

Fine wines and places to dine are not in scarce supply in downtown Minneapolis, but I’ve decided that the first meal of the day is the best. Breakfast at Hell’s Kitchen – just off Nicollet Mall, at 89 S. 10th St. – is far from ordinary, yet not pretentious. What a pity to limit yourself(…)

Farm markets, indie restaurants have value

Summer has yet to arrive, but hundreds of farmers in Wisconsin already have begun their harvests. This is our good fortune, and I hope it continues this way. It seems like just about every little town has a summer farmers’ market, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture is aware of 114 in our state. Nationwide,(…)

Milwaukee, Kohler: fine dining in fun formats

A great meal isn’t just about the food. It’s also a mesh of memorable circumstances, be it a pretty plate presentation or an exquisite setting, plus dining companions who are congenial and engaging, if not treasured. 
It also is easy to find a fine dining experience to quell your appetite for adventure as well as(…)

Cooks Corner specializes in kitchenware

He has a pleasant and disarming way of hawking his merchandise. Today, it is porcelain dinnerware – 22,000 pieces that are being sold for a pittance because of someone else’s warehouse fire. “Look at this — $3.99,” Pete Burback says, lifting one attractive platter after another from a 3-foot-tall box. “What a deal. It’s killing(…)

Christmas chocolates: Line forms at Hughes

The boxes are plain, lightweight and stamped simply in red or black. The contents are luscious, fresh and full of chocolate – a jumble of textures and flavors. There are no neat rows, no candy identification chart – and no need to pay more than $9.50 for a pound, providing you can show up to(…)

Grand celebration begins in Traverse City

My 50th birthday is behind me, but not without a long stretch of celebrations that involved friendly strangers as well as friends, 2,000 miles away as well as at home. This life is as miserable, bittersweet or divine as we want to make it. That applies to our attitude about being away from home as(…)

Savor ‘Chocolate’ immersion in Milwaukee

The sweetest excursion to be taken next month is to the Milwaukee Public Museum, which opens “Chocolate: The Exhibition” on Oct. 9. This is the same aromatic, educational and fun show that was put together and on display at The Field Museum, Chicago, a few years ago. It is about economic impact as well as(…)

Chefs connect with farmers on their own turf

This “Roads Traveled” is for release on or after Sept. 3, 2005. Up to 850 words. Artwork to customers has been sent under three separate files. JenEhr and NoMI are cq. If you have questions, e-mail By MARY BERGIN Midwest Features I do not know Brandon Wolff well, but I am accustomed to seeing(…)

Bratwurst 101: Cook, eat, sniff out quality

Back where I grew up, the ultimate compliment – regardless of weather or time of year – came down to these words: “That’s a good brat.” You’ll find multiple brat frys almost every weekend in Sheboygan County, at taverns, churches, bowling alleys and parks. I can think of a half-dozen grocery stores with outdoor booths(…)

Delta Diner: creative meals in woodsy setting

A dozen miles south of Iron River, off of Highway H and inside Chequamegon National Forest, are the best Swedish pancakes around. They are thin and sweet enough to hold their own without a drenching of syrup. “First-time customers have to sample the pancakes,” joked the cook, Todd Bucher, who grew up in Fond du(…)

Cooking with class at Washington Hotel

Honey. Salt. Lemon. Bread. We are sipping cinnamon-orange iced tea and learning the Four Band-Aids for Cooking, as declared by Suzanne Breckenridge. When you mess up in the kitchen, there’s a good chance that one of these items can help save your meal and reputation. The tidbits to be gleaned during this summer afternoon gathering(…)

Chicago events celebrate culinary heritage

It’s easy to work up an appetite in Chicago, and that especially will be true this spring and summer. The city has coordinated a massive celebration of its food heritage, expertise, creativity and diversity. “Stirring Things Up in Chicago” is a five-month endeavor that involves museums as well as restaurants, with some events to introduce(…)

Mount Horeb museum masters mustards

What a spread it was. In a corner were the fruity recipes – the tart, the sweet, the zesty. Another table was all herb/veggie combos – the dills, the onions, the garlic. Segregated elsewhere was one honey of a collection, literally. This was an eclectic food sampling project, and this was just one part of(…)

Chocolate events entice, especially in Feb.

Do you love chocolate enough to make it a full meal, to bathe in it, or to build a weekend around it? Here are options to melt the heart, in preparation for Valentine’s Day – or any other excuse you find to feed the sweet tooth before or after that holiday. — Next year, we’ll(…)

Uniting of indie eateries has Arizona roots

Don Luria is an original, both in personality and mission. He is a gracious and astute restaurateur in Tucson whose Café Terra Cotta has earned accolades from Zagat, the New York Times and Wine Spectator (for its 250 choices of Zinfandel). That was before the mountainview site burned in summer; it should reopen soon. Why(…)

First Famous Dave’s a study of resilience

One of the coolest Native American stories about Wisconsin tourism has little to do with the luck of the dice and much to do with the will to succeed. “When you set out to be the best, you want to give the best of yourself,” says Dave Anderson, but that hasn’t been easy. He knows(…)

Suds it up with beer tours, museums, books

My office is full of suds, and it has nothing to do with the laundry that’s clinking around downstairs. Each way my head turns, I am reminded of our state’s great love affair with beer. If you want to do more than drink it at the local sportsmen’s bar, consider these upcoming projects and events:(…)

Chefs Collaborative cooks with local food

Back in the 1970s, I spent five summers at the Schwartz Hotel in Elkhart Lake, working as a waitress to pay my way through college. Those are fond memories, even though we’d get only one meal off – not a full day – during the busiest summer weeks. College students from as far away as(…)

Food tour introduces Chicago neighborhoods

Baklava is not always made with honey, chocolate-sauce desserts are not always sweet, and tapioca balls are a quirky way to liven up a fruit smoothie. One good way to learn about food, especially ethnic items, is to head to Chicago for a Neighborhood Sampling tour. That’s how I spent about five hours on a(…)

Italian fare authentic at Tenuta’s, Kenosha

A gallon of virgin olive oil was one of the oddest holiday gifts that I’ve ever given, and it was bought on a whim while shopping in Kenosha a few years ago. The city’s downtown lakefront has improved remarkably since I worked for the Kenosha News in the 1980s. The shoreline has gone from an(…)