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Third Ward Caffe...

 Today, I stopped by the Third Ward Caffe on St. Paul across from the Milwaukee Public Market. I've always wanted to have lunch here {since it's always in my line of sight when I'm over at the public market}, so I was pretty excited to see what it was all about...

Walking in, I was a bit confused... it was part bakery, part market, part restaurant, which is fairly normal in Milwaukee. However, when you first walk in, it looks like you're in a bakery, so I honestly thought that maybe that's all it was. Look to the left and it's a small market {when i say small, i mean a closet-sized room filled with oils and vinegars and the sort...}, look to the right {and down a small hallway} and it's a very elegant dining room, which in no way matched the decor of the remainder of the caffe. The dining room was adorable, very classy, but also very empty... so we decided to dine outdoors.

Immediately following our seating, we were presented with kalamata olives, gourmet virgin olive oil and fresh, warm crusty rolls. I don't know what was so special about this olive oil but even on it's own, it was delicious! It's safe to say my roll was gone in about two and a half seconds...



I started my meal off with a bowl of fresh mushroom soup sprinkled with fresh parmesan cheese. It was very good and very thick... it definitely tasted homemade, like each individual mushroom was chopped specifically for my bowl of soup.

As delicious as the soup was, I only made it through about a third of my bowl. It was very rich and definitely should have been served as a smaller portion {especially since I ordered it as an addition to my meal}.


For my main course, I played it safe and ordered a caprese salad, since i have an absolute love affair with basil. It was sprinkled with shredded fresh basil, olive oil and italian seasoning. The mozzarella was extremely fresh and the tomatoes were organically grown at a door county farm. It was a gorgeous display, but lacked a little something in flavor... maybe a bit of balsamic perhaps?




The caesar salad with salmon was delicious. The salmon was crusted with what tasted like tarragon, rosemary and thyme and grilled to perfection. There was so much flavor in the salmon that it paired perfectly with the light and not too rich flavor of the caesar dressing. It's always a hit or miss with caesar dressing for me because too much of any caesar dressing ingredient, and you've completely ruined the salad. This dressing was very light on the garlic which made way for a more intense anchovy flavor, but not too intense that it overwhelmed the entire dish.


Overall, my dining experience at the Third Ward Caffe was pleasant. It was a gorgeous day in Milwaukee so I was happy to be dining outside {people watching is my favorite}. The food was gorgeous, the service was friendly, but the restaurant layout really confused me! 

Now I just need to find out what made that olive oil so amazing...


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