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“One year later, still superlative!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sanford Restaurant

Sanford Restaurant
Ranked #5 of 1,502 Restaurants in Milwaukee
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$31 - US$40
Cuisines: American, International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Neighbourhood: Lower East Side
Milwaukee
Level Contributor
437 reviews
295 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 189 helpful votes
“One year later, still superlative!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 April 2014

After last year's outstanding meal, we decided to go back for our anniversary. We had another spectacular meal.
We arrived on time and our table was waiting. Our waiter was the same fine gentleman we had last year. We started with some cava, and enjoyed a small smoked trout amuse-bouche. We ordered the basil flan with mushrooms and duck tongue, as well as the roasted squash soup. For the main course, my wife had the grilled wild Alaska halibut with black olive dumplings, and I had the rabbit loin. We shared a bottle of Alsace, recommended by our waiter, which was moderately priced and quite delicious. The wines by the glass are somewhat limited, so you may prefer to share a bottle instead. There are nice choices available in a wide range of prices (unlike many high-end restaurants).
The new owner/chef, Justin Aprahamian, is gradually making the menu over to reflect his approach and tastes. He's keeping the best of the prior menu, and adding things (like rabbit) that would never have been served by Sandy d'Amato.
We finished up with a gratin of fruits and cappuccino, completely satisfied by an evening filled with food, drink, and conversation. We may have to come back for another round next year!

  • Visited April 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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320 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
South Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
103 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Outstanding”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 April 2014

Amazing dining experience. From the hostess to the wait staff all spot on. Dinner of 5 was very good. The Elk,veal,halibut and tenderloin were all cooked to perfection. Desserts were great too. Expensive yes but well worth it. Great for a special occasion.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank iceal1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
Level Contributor
122 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Easily Worth a Michelin Star -- Possibly Two”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 April 2014

If you think Milwaukee is nothing but beer and brats, then you have to try this restaurant. Food is fresh and imaginative without being over the top. Service is impeccable. Wine list is extensive and well organized. Figure $100/person when all is said and done. But it is one of the best meals I have had in ages. Nothing I could have made myself.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank maimonChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Racine, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
67 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Worth the wait - delicious and elegant”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 March 2014

I had been recommended this place for a while now and have been keeping up on the change since Justin took over. My husband had inquired on the "day in the kitchen" experience but it was only M-F and my schedule didn't allow (plus it was $500/person, a bit more than we were ready to invest for our first experience). Nevertheless, he scheduled my 30th birthday dinner here.

We had a 7:15 reservation on Saturday and the restaurant was more than willing to seat us when we arrived 10-15 mins early, and the dining room was probably 90% full. One notation was that the earlier crowd seemed quite stiff (they all stopped and stared when we walked in), but the later seatings seemed to warm the place up a bit. The décor is subdued and serene and intimate (note: small). I enjoyed that aspect of it, as it almost seemed very personal.

Our dinner:

The amuse was a smoked trout bite with some toasted seeds and other things (I forget to be honest) and it was delicious and made me wanting more. Mission accomplished.

Starters for us were the goat milk flan tart with duck and morels and the pear and onion tart. Both were gorgeous and well executed, but the flan was a bit lacking in flavor (it was slightly bland), but the morels and duck definitely made up for it. The tart was what you'd expect, savory and delicious with a flaky crust.

The pumpkin soup was delicious as was the field greens salad - nothing spectacular but a great Segway into the entrees. The homemade breadsticks are delicious, too, although the rolls were just mediocre.

Entrees were probably my favorite part. I ordered the halibut with sun chokes, black olives and pickled wax beans - it was a gorgeous plating and was seasoned to perfection. I loved it and ate every bite. My husband ordered the veal and I had a taste - it was really good and came with some great looking veal stuffed pasta. I was surprised that the portion sizes were as good as they were - definitely a great value.

Dessert was delicious and the portion sizes were incredibly generous (pleasant surprise), not to mention they were beautiful. The macadamia nut tart was great and had probably 20 full-sized nuts in it, but I think it was a bit much for one person. The german chocolate cake was good, but a bit dense/dry given the large size. It probably could have been a bit smaller given the texture, but the flavors were great. Both were really good with after dinner coffees.

The service was really good as they all seemed to work well as team offering their services to us throughout the evening. Additionally, my husband told them I had hoped to do the day in the kitchen but couldn't and they offered me to be able to go back and see the kitchen and meet the chef. That really was a great touch, and it really made the evening memorable and made me appreciate the dinner even more as the kitchen is small, but very clean and efficient - the chefs truly are artists.

I loved it and would definitely go back. It is a place where food is crafted with care and concern, and although there were a few small missteps, nothing was egregious. I'd say it is a great value and worth a visit.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank April J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Waukesha
Level Contributor
23 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Milwaukee Foodie delight”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2014

Nothing to dislike. Make your reservation, so they can prepare to make your culinary experience phenomenal. All of the staff is so professional and personable. The food and wine pairing is a two hour adventure and fantastic deal. Chef Justin Aprahamian, who was just nominated for the James Beard, visits your table at the close of your meal and takes a vested interest in what your likes and dislikes were about your dinner. Very old school, respectful and sweet. Yes, sweet. If you meet him, you'll know what I mean. This is a Milwaukee must. If you like a food adventure, you must try here. Their set menu is online. Make a reservation. There is no established dress code, but business casual is typical. The seating is around 40 and there is no bar, but they can make anything you desire in back. Really, Milwaukee is lucky to have Sanford's as a dining and foodie option. Take advantage of it!!!!!

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Mary H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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