Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn
milwaukeesfs

Dining at c.1880.

On February evening, the 23rd, we went to c.1880. c.1880 has been very well reviewed locally, and, the day after I had made the reservations, the chef was nominated for the Midwest James Beard Award, so we were looking forward to a meal there with great anticipation. We were not disappointed.

The building, at 1100 South 1st Street, is a very nicely remodeled Milwaukee corner tavern building. You enter into an attractive bar area. The dining room proper is a cozy back room, lined with banquette-style seating around the walls. Illumination is provided by Edison-style electric bulbs, and there is a fireplace full of candles. I thought that the rustic tables didn’t quite go with the rest of the décor, but they served their purpose of keeping your food off the floor perfectly well.

Service was friendly, prompt, and informative. This latter is an important feature, since a typical menu entry for an entree looks like this:
MONKFISH FENNEL/MARBLE POTATO/CIDER

Apparently, the menu doesn’t go into details of preparation, since preparations of the same basic ingredients may change from day to day.

We started with an order of foie gras. C.1880’s foie gras is very mild and pleasantly flavored, and served with a cranberry garnish that worked well. It was served with a couple of toasted rounds of brioche, which were particularly delicious.

For dinners, I ordered the DUCK CASSOULET ANDOUILLE/ELEPHANT BEAN/BACON, which consisted of a large bowl containing two large slabs of rare duck breast, resting on a bed of the “elephant beans,” which were large white beans, each about the size of a quarter, which had been pickled or dressed with vinegar. Slices of Andouille sausage, which appeared to have been grilled, bacon, and other vegetables such as finely diced carrot, made up the rest of the dish. The server applied a warm duck jus to the bowl upon bringing it to the table. This was all quite delicious. The one annoyance with the dish was, literally, the dish. The unnecessarily deep bowl made using one’s knife to cut up the duck awkward, particularly given the low seat.

Georgie had the RABBIT SPATZLE/SAVOY/HORSERADISH, which was a very nice boneless ‘loin’ of rabbit, served on a bed of tasty spätzle, with a lightly flavored horseradish sauce that was tangy, but not at all overwhelming. The “savoy” in the listing was a leaf of the cabbage that had been flash fried in some way so that it was crisp, but still green, and very interesting. This was all excellent, also.

For wines, I had a glass of an excellent Pinot Noir, as recommended. Georgie felt like having a rosé, which went very nicely with the delicately flavored rabbit.

The dessert menu looked very tempting, but we were going to a gathering after dinner where dessert would be served, so we decided to save that for next time. There will definitely be a next time.

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Tags: food
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