Bavette’s new restaurant opens Friday in Milwaukee’s Third Ward
The restaurant and the butcher Flank the butcher’s shop is set to open its new Third Ward home, at 217 N. Broadway. Friday lunch will be the first service open to the public.
Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The new location, like the old one, has a special feature: the table where a butcher cuts meat for the restaurant or for customers to cook at home. Diners seated at the bar and some nearby tables can watch the butcher at work.
A bigger kitchen allows Bavette to expand her menu — she can now prepare the steaks her butcher cuts.
Flank steak will usually have some kind of butcher cut on the menu, the kind that meat cutters would bring home for themselves, rather than the more expensive ribeye, for example.
The first on the new menu is a toro steak, which comes from the beef brisket, or navel. “It looks a bit like a flank steak,” but with more fat built in, says chef-owner Karen Bell. “It has the texture of a flank steak, a little more chewiness, but big flavor.”
The new menu also lists coppa, a steak cut from the top pork shoulder, which is served taupe. The fish selection is fish cheeks.
The menu choices are “what we’ve always tried to do, to use parts that also need to be used, and maybe not so common, to be sustainable too,” Bell said.
Diners will find four or five sandwiches on the menu and about five on the large plates. Lunchtime salads will become vegetable dishes in the evening. For example, cauliflower salad will be served as a hot roast for dinner.
The new Bavette has room for an espresso machine and more retail items. Beyond wine, crackers, condiments, and other food and beverages, the restaurant sells household items, such as glasses, vases, plates, and trays.
“It’s kind of fun to research them and find handmade products,” said Bell, who plans to include more pieces from local ceramists.
Bell announced in November that she would move her restaurant from 330 E. Menomonee St. to the former site of the Swig restaurant, a few blocks away. The Menomonee site closed April 2 for the move.
“The space itself is beautiful, in my opinion,” Bell said, citing the 19th-century building’s exposed Cream City brickwork, high wood ceilings and beams, and maple flooring. At the back of the restaurant is an old freight elevator. New flooring was installed at the back of the restaurant to level the surface and avoid wobbly tables.
A larger pass, or window, was installed in the kitchen so diners could still watch the cooks as they did on Menomonee.
The new restaurant has 12 seats at the bar and approximately 45 in the dining room, which has a long L-shaped banquette. Bell is investigating the possibility of adding a private dining space to the building.
Reservations are recommended at the restaurant, which now has a small staircase at the entrance. For the moment, it is best to book online at Tock or bavettelaboucherie.comor by email at [email protected], until the phone connection is terminated, Bell said. The Bavette number will remain the same, (414) 273-3375.