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Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013

Prodigal Gastropub Opens in Walker’s Point

Slow down and enjoy the seasonally changing menu

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One of Milwaukee’s newest restaurants, Prodigal Gastropub, has embraced a style that works well in our city. Located in what was obviously once a warehouse in Walker’s Point, the space recalls Milwaukee’s manufacturing roots. Large garage doors open to the street for added light (and a nice breeze on warm days). Lots of worn wood, scuffed metal accents and a smattering of large hooks are suspended from the high ceilings resulting in a sort of modern-industrial-rustic-farm feel.

Admiring the space is easy—choosing from the seasonally changing menu is not. Executive Chef Van Luu earned his chops in premier venues like Bacchus and Lake Park Bistro so diners can expect top-notch, locally sourced produce and meats prepared in unexpected ways.

Dishes like the duck confit poutine ($14), a mound of house fries topped with duck jus and cheese curds, are perfect for sharing. The charcuterie board ($14) includes rabbit rillette, waygu beef jerky, Genoa salami, along with pickled quail egg and tasty cornichons.

The seafood potato “risotto” ($12), small creamy potato bits with perfectly cooked scallops, shrimp and mussels in a flavorful sauce, is pleasantly filling. The oh-so-tender short ribs ($24) are served with crispy kale chips and a wonderful parsnip purée.

In a time where everything seems to move so quickly, it’s a treat to have a dinner served at a leisurely pace. Servers don’t hover, which really allows diners to savor their meals.

Desserts are often an afterthought, but not so at Prodigal. Bourbon caramel-topped monkey bread ($6) is a far cry from the Pillsbury version you may have had as a kid. Prodigal’s version of s’mores ($6) amps up another childhood favorite by topping chocolate ganache with toasted house-made marshmallows and gingersnaps.

The prolific beer list features nearly 20 draught beers and almost 30 bottles. Draught standouts include the always-enjoyable Bell’s Two Hearted IPA ($6) or the seasonal Southern Tier Pumpking pumpkin ale ($8). A brief, but solid, wine list will please those who prefer the grape. The real gems here though, are the cocktails. Fans of craft cocktails in Milwaukee may recognize the handiwork of Bar Manager Ryan Casey, formerly of The Hamilton. Complex flavors and beautiful presentation make these drinks extra special. The Wisco Old Fashioned ($7) was perfectly delicious, while the Kentucky Mule ($7) was exceptional and served in a chilly copper cup.    

 

Prodigal Gastropub

240 E. Pittsburgh Ave.

414-223-3030

$-$$$

prodigal240.com

Handicap access: Yes