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  • Uptown Eaton

THE ORIGINAL - 2498 N Bartlett Ave | Milwaukee


A window with a diamond-shaped sign reading "The Original" in white text. The reflection of trees and a building is visible in the glass. The logo "Uptown Eaton" is located in the bottom right corner.
WELCOME TO THE ORIGINAL

It's always a pleasure to revisit a familiar place and uncover some delightful history while enjoying a meal. This month, I did just that at The Original, a neighborhood staple quietly situated just off the bustling streets of Milwaukee's East Side. Offering weekend brunch and nightly dinner service, along with an extensive selection of creative cocktails and mocktails, The Original established itself as a fantastic dining destination.


Mouthwatering plate of food with bread and mushrooms, showcasing escargot with ramp butter and local oyster mushrooms.
ESCARGOT WITH RAMP BUTTER AND LOCAL OYSTER MUSHROOMS

FOOD


The concise menu boasts a surprising variety of protein-based dishes and vegetarian options, making it challenging to choose. From appetizers to main courses, everything sounded marvelous.


I decided to start with something new to me: escargot. Our server, Craig, recommended it as a seasonal special. The escargot was prepared with decadent ramp butter, local oyster mushrooms, and sturdy slices of grilled bread to pile on all the deliciousness. It was an indulgent experience for me, a novice, and my dining companion, who had tried escargot before.


For my main course, I chose the grilled vegetable and quinoa dish. Lightly grilled eggplant, asparagus, and zucchini were served atop a bed of quinoa, dressed with romesco sauce and feta. It was a delightful springtime treat, though I would have appreciated a bit more romesco as the quinoa absorbed much of the sauce.


My dining companion ordered the walleye entrée, one of two fish options. The walleye had a perfectly seared light crust, a silky cauliflower puree, and grilled asparagus.


Craig also convinced us to try dessert; I was glad he did. The miso honey panna cotta was heavenly, with the savory umami of miso, a kiss of honey, and creamy custard. The addition of butterscotch puppy chow provided a whimsical crunch and texture to this well-made dessert.


SERVICE


A delicious Miso Honey Panna Cotta dessert with crumbs on top.
MISO HONEY PANNA COTTA

From start to finish, the service was impeccable yet easy-going and approachable. Craig greeted us warmly, offering to hang our coats—a rare gesture these days. He shared insights about the menu, the restaurant's history, and its storied building, making us feel relaxed and comfortable. His dedication to creating a memorable customer experience was evident, making it one of the best service experiences I've had recently in Milwaukee.


MEMORABILITY


We loved the vibe of The Original, which balances global perspectives with neighborhood coziness and avoids pretentiousness. The menu changes every five weeks, keeping it fresh and intriguing. Craig mentioned the restaurant offers over 108 cocktails; I tried The Cat's Pajamas, a delightful mix of gin, cranberry, honey, and grapefruit.

There's so much to explore and enjoy here; I plan to become a regular.


THE ORIGINAL - OVERALL RATING: 4.5 / 5



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