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“James Beard Preview Dinner-GREAT!”
Review of Sanford Restaurant

Sanford Restaurant
Ranked #8 of 1,548 Restaurants in Milwaukee
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$31 - US$40
Cuisines: American, International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Lower East Side
Reviewed 31 August 2013

Justin Aprahamian the chef and co-owner of Sanford has been asked to prepare a meal at the James Beard house in New York, September 9th. As a trial run for the upcoming dinner, Sanford hosted two nights of preview dinners with the same menu that will be served in NYC. We attended one of those dinners. WHAT A TREAT! There were 4 different Hors D'Oeuvres and 5 additional courses in addition to dessert. Every course was very different and creative, from the first, a caraway crusted sea scallop paired with a smoked trout salad. I will not go into all the dishes, but they were all great. The comments I heard from other diners was most positive.
When the chef brought out the kitchen staff, everyone applauded. They all deserved it!
I am sure the lucky people that attend the James Beard house dinner on September 9th will get an outstanding meal and they too will appreciate the talent of Justin Aprahamian.

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1  Thank RLH-EG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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236 - 240 of 349 reviews

Reviewed 24 August 2013

Traveling to many cities all over the country, I always try the local fare. I found Sanford, through TripAdvisor, and was impressed from the moment I entered. The seasonal options we wonderfully paired with an amazing wine list. My favorite, the black pig dumplings...out of this world!!

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Thank Christen W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2013 via mobile

With the influx of new restaurants popping up in Milwaukee and the new trends they bring, it's nice to know that some things remain the same great experience at Sanford's.
We celebrate a night out together in June, opting for the chefs menu. Every dish was interesting, simple, and delicious. My wife and I enjoyed our evening at Sanford's and would recommend this quaint, intimate and passionate restaurant to anyone who wants to have an amazing dining engagement.

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1  Thank CalvinMills21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2013

We had a truly memorable dining experience at Sanford. We were impressed by the intimate setting, careful service, and wonderfully nuanced flavors. Sanford is deserving of their James Beard nominations.

They offer a 4-course tasting menu at a reasonable price, which I chose, and my wife ordered a la carte. Many restaurants with tasting menus make it all or nothing; everyone tastes or everyone orders a la carte. Sanford, I am happy to report, doesn't do it that way.

After a pleasant fish-based amuse bouche, we started our meal with fried squash blossoms. They were light and delightful, with a crispy buttery crust, and accompanied by cucumber, kohlrabi, and pickled fennel. My second course was a pretty gazpacho made with yellow tomatoes, while my wife had a beet salad with candied pine nuts, marisa croutons, and mint garlic dressing. My wife's third course was Alaskan halibut with peaches, mizuma, jasmine rice, and toasted coriander dressing and I had tamarind-glazed duck breast, with sweet pea puree and pickled watermelon rind. It was a larger portion than I needed but I couldn't stop until I had finished every morsel.

We shared the dessert that came with my tasting menu, a wonderful Georgia peach tart with lemon verbena ice cream.

This is a very small restaurant, so the setting is intimate but not elbow to elbow. It is wonderfully quiet. An unusual flower, a protea, graced each table. The linens, glassware, and silverware are of high quality. Service is friendly, not stuffy, and knowledgeable.

We encountered two unusual touches when we were seated. The first was to find two crossed "sticks" on the table. These turned out to be two very long, pencil-thin bread sticks that we enjoyed snapping apart and munching on during the first few minutes. The other nice touch was a ceramic butter dish covered with a chrome lid. When our bread was served, the cover was taken back to the kitchen. The result is room-temperature, real butter waiting for you at your table. This solves the problem of serving either whipped butter (not toothsome) or butter too cold to spread.

A bit of history: third generation Sanford D'Amato closed the family grocery store at this location and opened Sanford in 1989. In 2012, he sold the restaurant to his chef of the last ten years, Justin Aprahamian. It is he who has been nominated for James Beard awards.

Parking is a problem because this is a residential neighborhood. Valet parking is available (the valet was reading the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer in his quiet time). We went to Sanford and back in our hotel shuttle van. Sanford is only about a mile from the main hotels in downtown Milwaukee.

People with young children should consider going someplace else, no matter how cute and well-behaved the kids are.

The date of our visit was July 26, 2013.

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2  Thank JandJ67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2013

We went to Milwaukee on a cultural trip.
One of us got informations from Chicago's friends that the restaurant was good.
Very good indeed!!
We were received with open arms, even if we were kind of poorly dressed and everybody in the restaurant was quite dressed up.
We had a wonderful time, exquisite wine and fantastic food!
We recommend it!

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2  Thank adriana b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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