Nicks Restaurant Reviews

So many restaurants, so little time!

Milwaukee is known for its eclectic restaurant scene. Ethnic cuisines from German and Italian to Middle Eastern and Asian add “spice” to the cityscape. With such broad flavors to choose from, how do you select which eatery to patronize? You could conduct a blind search online and depend on the preferences of strangers, or you can ask a trusted friend for a good recommendation.

Here at The Starr Group, we are pleased to introduce an added service: Nick’s Restaurant Reviews. Every month, Insurance Counselor Nick Starr will be visiting dining venues around town and posting an account of his dining experience. It is our hope that this feature will connect our customers with community businesses that might turn Milwaukee’s next “best kept secret” to a “favorite frequent”.

Please note: Restaurants cannot pay to be included in this feature, nor is compensation given to The Starr Group for inclusion. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Starr Group as a whole.

Snifters: Luxury in Walker's Point


Walker’s Point in Milwaukee is experiencing a resurgence of dining and after-hours activity. It is there you will find Snifters, a fantastically innovative restaurant combining the best characteristics of Soul and Latin foods in beautifully crafted and delicious tapas recipes. In addition to Snifter’s mouthwatering food menu, you will enjoy its creative list of hand-curated cocktails with a classic flare focusing on rich brown spirits…ALL of which are served in a Snifter glass, of course.

 Owners Maldonado & Morgan have done an amazing job in taking a classic Cream City building and creating a swanky yet relaxing atmosphere utilizing warm wood textures and nostalgic decor. Snifters provides diverse dining experiences through the use of multiple venues including their beautifully crafted bar, classy dining room, and relaxed basement lounge. Patrons can choose their own dining experience. Having frequented Snifters many times, my favorite spot is their outdoor garden patio, furnished with its own bar, comfortable seating and the opportunity to purchase a Maldonado hand-selected cigar which pairs extremely well with their cocktails.

Chef Luis Garcia is the man behind the Snifters menu and takes pride in carefully preparing each dish ordered. I am hooked on the empanadas stuffed with a range of flavors and styles from barbecue roasted pulled pork, triple sec and Anejo tequila pico de gallo, to cajun creole with spicy jambalaya, andouille sausage, shredded chicken, shrimp, and seasoned mix! I recommend dinner be accompanied by Snifters’ “Something Old, Something New” specialty cocktail. Created with Torres Brandy, house-made maple simple syrup, cherries, and bitters, this tends to be my “go to” order!

snifters food

Did someone mention “Bottle Club”? Snifters patrons have the opportunity to become members of their exclusive “Bottle Club”. The Spirits Sommelier (or whiskey expert) presents extraordinary selections of fine scotch and bourbon to Club members in their very own personal bottle. Assortments range from both one-of-a-kind flavors to recurring favorites.

Snifters is a truly unique experience that I classify as a Milwaukee Must!

Jacksons Blue Ribbon Pub: Milwaukee Roots on the Historic Pabst Campus

Jacksons Blue Ribbon Pub interior “Stunning, historic, eclectic” are the first words that came to mind when I had the pleasure of touring Jacksons Blue Ribbon Pub located in one of the buildings on the legendary Milwaukee Pabst campus. Although revamped to create a comfortable pub and restaurant environment, the owner Mark brilliantly decided to keep many of the key characteristics that harness the authentic and antique features. Once you get past the ‘awe’ of the scenery and history of the building, you can relax with an assortment of local flavor from a full menu of made-from-scratch foods.

Jacksons Blue Ribbon Pub exterior Popular in winter or summer, the location features a large space where you can get comfortable at the bar, enjoy a night out with the family in the dining area, or gather to watch a sports event with a group of friends. If you favor the outdoors, you can enjoy seating on a spacious patio gazing up at the historic Pabst Bridgeway on arenowned Milwaukee summer night. Given the size and the convenient location adjacent to a hotel, Jacksons Blue Ribbon Pub is a favorable venue for entertaining a large personal or corporate event.

NR2 logo sm wAll in all, I consider Jacksons Blue Ribbon Pub one of the “top shelf” social spots in Milwaukee and highly recommend you check it out for yourself. I can guarantee the atmosphere and flavor will keep you coming back. Easily a “Milwaukee Must”!

Not Your Average Burger

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NR2 logo sm w Located in the heart of the Third Ward you will find Stack’d Burger Bar, one of Milwaukee’s premier burger destinations serving a large differentiated beer selection and specialty cocktails. I recently met with the owner Trevor to learn more about his passion, design and success of Stack’d. His passion is providing one of the best burgers in Milwaukee at a fair price whether it be a traditional cheeseburger, or better yet, one of their “specialty Stacks” which range from delicious beef to bison topped with an array of mouthwatering extras. My favorite appetizer is the Deep Fried Pickles! Trevor is also passionate about providing a wide selection on the menu to please everyone. Whether you’re a huge meat lover, fish eater, or prefer the vegan route and choose the flavorful Chickpea walnut burger with greens and lemon Aioli, you're sure to find something tasty on the menu.

Similar to other historical buildings in the Third Ward, Stack’d  has an extremely comfortable and unique atmosphere filled with eclectic décor of businesses that previously occupied the space over the prior 100 years. Whether you’re in the mood for brunch, lunch, dinner, or simply a good beer and a social environment, Stack’d Burger Bar is a “Milwaukee Must!”

Millioke: Good & Beautiful

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NR2 logo sm w Millioke translates to “The good or beautiful land,” which is exactly what is accomplished in Millioke’s Wisconsin-based menu offerings and comfortable atmosphere. This urban tavern is fittingly located on the corner of Milwaukee and Wisconsin Avenues in the heart of Downtown. Having the pleasure of sitting down with Sarah, the restaurant manager, I was able to grasp what makes the restaurant special and unique. “Local, local, local” is the name of the game ranging from meats, cheeses, and beers which of course are specially combined and paired to please your palate.

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Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Millioke offers a range of options from fresh locally-farmed salads to native meats such as a local favorite: smoked bone-in pork chops. Millioke is sure to have something on their menu to keep you coming back. I personally am going back with an empty stomach to take on the signature ‘Millioke Burger,’ loaded with cheese curds, beer onion jam, and house burger sauce.

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Delicious food and a comfortable -- yet social -- environment make this venue appeal to any outing be it an early breakfast, a lunch meeting or -- my favorite -- a fun weekend night out. If you’re looking for an opportunity to familiarize yourself with Milwaukee flavor, Millioke needs to be on your map. This certainly is what I would define as a “Milwaukee Must”!

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