Rumpus Room, Milwaukee

“Let the Wild Rumpus Start!!” I just can’t eat here without picturing Max in his boat, heading to the place Where the Wild Things Are. In the book, however, Max is sent to bed without any dinner. The Guest Critic and I were just getting our adventure started.

We selected the Rumpus Room for a few reasons, the most important being that The Guest Critic had not yet been, and given her culinary genius, I was excited to see her initial reaction. After a chilly walk through Red Arrow Park, we were immediately warmed by the atmosphere. The Rumpus Room was packed with people, some of whom may have been attending the same event later that evening (check out this link – seeing Dancing Queen performed live is something I will never forget! ARRIVAL – the music of ABBA). The waiters were fantastic, the food was amazing…but I am getting ahead of myself.

I’d had steak on my mind all day long. The Rumpus Room is a Bartolotta Restaurant, and aside from the steak off my own grill, I’ve never tasted better. The Guest Critic struck genius, though, and probably saved my whole night. Combine a huge steak with the pomegranate cosmopolitan I’d ordered…that has nap/early night written all over it. Instead, she suggested we order a bunch of stuff. And that’s exactly what we did. There was nothing amiss with any of our choices.

“Bacon and Eggs” was her first selection, and oh was I glad she chose it. As it goes in the home of The Guest Critic, she grew up loving deviled eggs and now, a couple decades into her marriage, she tries them out wherever she can. No one in her home likes them, sadly, so she doesn’t make them anymore. This is something I can relate to, though I am lucky enough to have my mother-in-law bring them to all our family events (see Mom Danaher’s recipe here, it’s kind of amazing), which is how I get my fix. The Bacon on the dish was delectable, and The Guest Critic and I agree, they are the best deviled eggs we’ve encountered. The yolks were smooth as silk, with unparalleled flavor.

From there we moved on to other small plates…Beer Cheese Soup with Bacon (I love dining with Bacon lovers, we are just such a fun crowd), Grilled Korean Short Ribs, and Rumaki. Each dish was in a class of it’s own. Our waiter, Christopher, made only one grave error. Lucky for him it was late in the game, so we already liked him enough to let it pass. When we ordered our Kentucky Pie (we shared it…I was over-the-top stuffed at that point), he forgot to have the ice cream added. The fix was made quickly, though there is no question the ice cream adds to the dessert experience. Kentucky Pie is basically chocolate pecan pie, it was quite incredible (especially with the vanilla ice cream melting over the top).

The Guest Critic and I encourage you to check out The Rumpus Room, it’s well worth your time. Amazing food, nearly flawless service, quite good people watching…best to make a reservation, though. It seems they are packed full most nights of the week.


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