Where: Twisted Fork
Address: 2238 N. Farwell Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202
Website: hopelessly out of date, but if you want it, www.twisted-fork.com
Full disclosure, I work at the Fork, but as a host, so come in, don't come in, I get paid the same amount. No tip out for me. I hadn't seen it mentioned here, but I recall lostvirtue mentioning it in one of her personal LJ posts a while back, so I figured I'd bring you guys up to date on the place, if you've never been/never heard.
I'll just hit the highlights and news and whatnot. If you're on the East Side, we've got menus posted, and most of the people at the host stand will be happy to let you peruse one if you stop inside. We took over the old Oriental Pharmacy space next to the Oriental Theatre, since it was sort of sitting vacant after it's last incarnation as a liquor store. Our "motto," more or less, is "Comfort - Food - Drinks," so we really want you to like us. We try to be relaxed and groovy, even if our corporate owners (Roaring Fork LLC, the guys who manage the Milwaukee/Madison Qdoba franchises) sometimes aren't sure what they want the restaurant to be. Anyway, the menu just got switched around a bit for the summer, focusing on some lighter fare, an expanded appetizer selection, and doing away with some of our less popular items.
For Carnivores and Omnivores, we've got some panini-style sandwiches, in the $7.95 to $8.95 range, that come with fries, fresh fruit, or applesauce. Standard sandwiches and burgers round out the hand-held food category. We've added a Thai inspired burger and a very messy Ivanhoe Burger that's topped with our cheese and artichoke dip. Burgers are around the same price as the paninis and are available with a chicken breast or black bean patty in place of the beef. We've also got some steak and seafood dishes, but the price on those jumps up a ways; Sesame Ahi Tuna is $16.95, Beef Tournedos (a pair of 4 oz. tenderloin medallions, pecan crusted, garlic glazed or plain, with green beans and choice of potato) runs $19.95.
For Vegetarian and Vegan diners, admittedly, the selections are a bit more limited, but we are trying to make you happy, too. We're rolling out a few new appetizers that can double as meals. We've got a new Pita Pizza that is a grilled pita topped with hummus, grilled veggies (zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, broccoli and red pepper), Monterey Jack cheese and basil vinaigrette for $7.95, but leave off the Jack cheese and it's very Vegan-friendly. There's also a hummus plate (homemade hummus, for the record) with roasted garlic, nicoise olives and toast points for $6.95 and a Veggie panini sandwich, again with cheese that can be left off. Several fresh salads are also available and can be customized to have no animal products (cheese or the occasional hard boiled egg).
There's a Friday fish fry as well as some sort of fish special (it changes from week to week), and some sweet desserts, including a 3-way plate of creme brulee, featuring classic, espresso, and pastry chef's choice, which was Key Lime the last I knew (again it changes). We've got espresso, cappuchino, and a special house blend of Alterra coffee.
As for the servers, they're by and large a friendly group. If you come in, ask if Chuck is working, as he's a favorite among guests and employees alike. Twisted Fork has a fully loaded bar, a pretty nice wine list, and some good cocktail specialties (I'm partial to the Forkgasmic, but that's because it was my contribution to the drink menu).
Average ticket for 2 people at lunch is going to be around $25 with tax but before tip, assuming 2 sodas, a beer, and two sandwiches/burgers. For dinner, it'll probably be closer to $40 if two people opt for entrees and a glass of wine each, but it's very seldom that you'll leave hungry, and we try quite hard to make sure things are to your liking.
Reservations are accepted, but unless you're coming in with a huge party, or you want to come in on a Friday or Saturday, you probably won't need them. If you want to make them, though, the phone number for Twisted Fork is (414) 431-1080.
Anyway, hope you don't mind this little plug for my place of employment, but I think we're kind of a fun place, if a bit steep for your average lunch-goer. If you've got a date though, we're a nice place to consider.