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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Serving Delightful Dinners

Zak’s Café’s winning evening menu

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Though café is part of its name, Zak’s Café is also a full-service restaurant/bar and a hidden treasure when it comes to evening dining. This two-story venue is cozy and welcoming, with mahogany and green hues back-dropped by Cream City Brick and adorned with beautiful artwork available for purchase. Natural light is abundant and there is also a lovely outdoor patio.

This restaurant has an appetizer menu to get excited about. Chicken wings, barbecue ribs, Clock Shadow Creamery deep-fried cheese curds and sliders are available, with fun slider choices of bacon cheeseburger, Cubanos (smoked ham, pulled Cuban pork, Swiss cheese, mustard, pickle), pulled barbecue pork and ahi tuna. More attention-grabbing items include walleye bites, mini crab cakes and delicious lobster rolls ($10), flavorful, crispy morsels that come with an addictive sweet Thai chili sauce.

The dinner fare (gluten free and vegetarian friendly) is quite diverse, ranging from ribs, burgers and an Angus filet to seafood and fish to comfort foods like meatloaf and mac ‘n’ cheese. All entrées come with soup or salad and warm rolls and butter. The soup of the day—broccoli cheese—was a potage of creamy white cheese full of tiny broccoli florets and topped with shredded cheddar. The use of the milder white cheese was very welcome, as it removed the often overbearingly salty flavor typical of broccoli cheese soup. Entrées of note include the perfectly prepared pan-seared scallops ($22), which come with a creamy citrus butter sauce and blood orange drizzle with perfectly cooked veggies and a choice of potato. The presentation was just as amazing as the dish. Also quite delightful is the sundried tomato and basil chicken ($15)—roasted airline chicken breast with creamy Boursin cheese stuffed just under the skin, topped with a sundried tomato hollandaise sauce. The combination of flavors is mouthwatering. Zak’s also has a Friday fish fry, serving up cod, perch, walleye, shrimp and potato pancakes ($5.95) made with double smoked bacon, crème fraiche, maple syrup and merlot glazed candied apples.

Alongside its featured Colectivo coffee and espresso drinks, Rishi tea, soft drinks and assorted juices, the full bar offers a nice selection of wine, beer and specialty cocktails. Join Zak’s for Thirsty Thursdays for discounted appetizers and drink deals.

Overall, service is friendly and comprehensive; the food stands out in flavor, presentation and portion sizes and the atmosphere is great for a hot date, a friendly get-together or a meal with mom and dad. Zak’s is also open for breakfast and lunch daily, with brunch specials on the weekends. Hours are 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sundays and Mondays, and 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. The menu is available online.

 

Zak’s Cafe

231 S. Second St.

414-271-5555

$$

zakscafewi.com

Handicap accessible: Yes