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Let go of your stress and embrace the hygge at Eldr+Rime

Every restaurant has a story. For Eldr + Rime, which made its debut just over two weeks ago at 2300 N. Mayfair Rd., it’s a story with roots in Scandinavia that’s told through the elements of fire and ice, thoughtfully chosen ingredients and an environment that aims to capture the welcoming, authentic spirit of hygge.

It’s the little things

Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is a concept focused on the contentment found in little pleasures. It’s a Danish term which finds its origin in the sixteenth-century Norwegian word “hugga,” which means “to comfort.” Unsurprisingly, it’s also related to the English word “hug.”

It’s the sort of feeling you might find in a cup of leisurely morning coffee and a warmly spiced cardamom bun, the Swedish cousin to America’s cinnamon roll. You’ll find that at the Eldr+Rime Marketplace, a grab and go counter which serves a combination of coffee, tea, baked goods, sandwiches, and salads, which can be enjoyed either at the restaurant or picked up on the go.

It’s a feeling you could sustain on their beautifully appointed outdoor patio, which combines simple modern furnishings with beautiful plantings.

The area includes an outdoor fireplace, lounge furniture and strategic tree plantings that might make you forget you’re anywhere near the bustle of Mayfair Road.

It’s also the feeling you get stepping into the large, socially distanced dining room, which showcases the warm tones of birch and oak set against soft blues, cool slate, natural fibers and greenery.

It’s a space that showcases both sleek, modern Scandinavian-style seating along with cozy booths shaded by indoor birch trees.

Inspired by Scandinavia

At the culinary helm of Eldr+Rime is Executive Chef Gary Baca, whose career includes recent work with Micheal Jordan’s Steakhouse and Lettuce Entertain You in Chicago; and Executive Sous Chef Alex Lyskowsicz, former executive chef for the Iron Horse Hotel.

The menu’s Nordic inspiration derives from both traditional dishes and Scandinavian ingredients from wild herbs, cloudberry jam and pickled root vegetables to hearty rye and sour skyr, along with imported items like Saltverk, an Icelandic sea salt harvested with geothermal energy, Faroe Island salmon and Icelandic cod.

But Baca says it also follows suit in terms of New Nordic cuisine’s emphasis on hyper-local sourcing, foraging and indigenous items.

“We’ve woven Scandinavian flavors into the menu in innovative ways,” he says, noting that the name Eldr+Rime, which is Old Norse for “fire and ice” plays a role in the way they prepare food.”

Create a mini smörgåsbord

The menu lends itself to the creation of a mini smörgåsbord featuring breads, cheeses, fish, meats and snacks. But it can also be enjoyed in a more traditional, coursed fashion with appetizers, salads and entrees.

“Bread is such an important element on the Scandinavian table,” says Baca. “So we wanted to be able offer a variety, including dark, seeded Danish rye and flatbread.”

Nordic rye flatbread is baked in the wood-fired oven and brushed with whipped butter and local honey ($12). It’s served along traditional fermented skyr, an Icelandic dairy product consumed much like yogurt. The skyr counters the sweetness of the honey, while the sour flavor helps to pull out the subtle notes of caraway and rye.

Meanwhile, sturdy Danish rye flecked with pumpkin and sunflower seeds is served alongside a trio of cured salmon and accompaniments, including pickled vegetables, Norwegian mustard sauce and charred scallion smear ($18).

The salmon itself is presented three ways: cold smoked (on the right), brined and hot smoked over the live fire (center), and cured with beets, allspice, cloves and Alpine botanicals including juniper and dill (on the left).

Some traditional Scandinavian dishes are made true to form, but are presented in a unique format. For instance, classic Swedish meatballs are presented in slider form on potato buns with lingonberries, house pickles and grainy mustard ($14).

Others pay homage to foraged elements and the natural world, like fresh venison tartare served with blueberry aigre-doux, smoked and pickled spring onions, quail egg and a beer-raised waffle ($16).

Potatoes, a common starch in Scandinavia, often appear in dumpling form, mixed with flour and stuffed with a savory filling.

“We’ve taken the idea of the traditional potato spelt dumplings and given them a local twist,” says Baca, “By filling them with beautiful Clock Shadow cheese curds.”

The creamy cheese-filled dumplings are breaded, fried and served alongside intensely flavorful jam made with dehydrated seasonal strawberries and a chive creme fraiche ($12).

Fire & ice

Like the salmon trio, which highlights both hot and cold smoking processes, the bulk of the current raw bar menu is also a reflection of the notions of fire and ice.

For example, oysters are served on the half-shell with beet mignonette, smoked cocktail sauce and horseradish ($18). But you can also enjoy them glazed in a combination of miso and whipped creme fraiche with coriander and lime ($12).

Eldr+Rime is among a small number of restaurants in the Midwest that source from The Crab Broker in Dutch Harbor Alaska where freshly caught crab is cooked, chilled and brine-frozen without the secondary processing that so often creates salty or “off” flavors.

At Eldr+Rime, you can enjoy it chilled with garlic butter and mustard sauce ($80), a preparation that Baca says he can’t recommend more highly.

“We cut the top shell so that it’s super easy to eat,” he says. “And I recommend eating it cold because it’s so sweet. It will change your entire perception of king crab.”

But, guests can also enjoy the equally delicious merus (the largest portion of the crab leg), basted in butter, coal-roasted and served with charred lemon (pictured above, $25).

America meets Scandinavia

Entrees on the Eldr+Rime menu also straddle the worlds of American and Scandinavian cuisine through wood-fired cooking along with the integration of herbs, preserved items, pickles and locally sourced produce.

For example, the Filet Mignon Oskar is a classic American steakhouse dish with a Nordic twist that reflects its Swedish roots.

“As the story goes,” says Baca, “Veal Oscar was originally created for King Oscar II of Sweden. And our dish is true to the components, but we’ve deconstructed them a bit.”

Here the 8-ounce filet is cooked on the wood-fired grill, topped with king crab and accompanied by white asparagus brined in aigre doux infused with orange zest and tarragon. The wine-based marinade is then reduced with butter to form the sauce. The egg, which would normally be incorporated into a hollandaise or béarnaise, is instead integrated with a shaving of cured egg yolk over the top ($44).

Other entrees include Faroe Island salmon served with corn chow chow, pea shoots and preserved tomato vinaigrette ($26) along with a grilled half chicken is seasoned with wild Arctic thyme sea salt and served with BBQ parsnips and smoked chicken jus ($24).

For fish fry lovers, there’s Fish+Chips featuring lightly smoked Icelandic cod that’s fried in Spotted Cow beer batter and served along hand-cut fries and tartar sauce ($22).

And for those who just want some well-prepared, no-frills comfort, there’s even a wood-fired burger made with Wisconsin grass-fed beef, topped with butterkase and smoked onion jam and served with hand-cut frites ($16).

At the bar

Take a seat at the horse shoe shaped bar and you’ll find an extensive beverage menu which reflects similar Scandinavian twists.

Craft cocktails include selections like the Thyme for the Bramble with thyme-infused Hendrick’s gin, creme de mure, lemon, simple syrup and blackberries ($14).

You’ll also find an Aquavit Negroni made with Dampfwerk Aquavit ($14); Aquavit Punsch, a spirit-forward digestif with Kronan Swedish Punsch, aquaviit and sfumato ($14); and the Reykr Old Fashioned, a smoked version of the classic with High West American Prairie bourbon, High West Campfire whiskey, Angostura bitters, cardamom bitters and demerara syrup ($16).



Eldr+Rime’s beer selection showcases a combination of local craft brews and domestic and international staples. Meanwhile, a modern wine list showcases hand-picked selections that showcase various regions and approaches, including natural wine.

“Our goal was really to find hidden gems and spark curiosity from guests with selections they might not find elsewhere,” says Mick Laughran, Director of Beverage & Food Outlets, who points to selections like Moussé’s NV Brut Blanc de Noirs L’Or d’Eugène, a champagne made from a satiny blend of Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir which is made with a blending process similar to sherry; and the Sonoma County Camp Cabernet Sauvignon, which is produced without the use of commercial fermentation aids or additives.

Hygge Time

The happiest hour of the day might just be one devoid of the stresses we carry with us. And that’s expressly the goal of Hygge Time, a celebration of the present moment held at the bar Tuesday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m.

During Hygge Time, guests will find select $4 craft brews, $6 single call mixers and $7 glasses of wine.

There are also affordable noshes, including $1 oysters from the raw bar, pretzel “epi” baguettes served with Spotted Cow beer cheese, beer mustard and beer jam ($5); Danish-style hot dogs made with a Bunzel’s natural beef hot dog topped with curry remoulade, apple ketchup, pickled red onion and crispy shallots ($5); and hand-cut fries with pickled shallot powder, Icelandic sea salt, apple ketchup and remoulade ($5).

Of course, you might also want to treat yourself to a bar-only special: the King Crab Dog, featuring a potato bun topped with King crab leg, Meyer lemon butter and tarragon mayo ($26). It might just rank among the most delicious moments in your week.

Eldr+Rime is open for dinner service Monday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m.

The bar is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. And the Marketplace is open daily from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.


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Aug 31 | Renaissance Milwaukee West And Eldr+Rime Announce Leadership Team

Slated to open up in August 2020, Renaissance
Milwaukee West
, alongside with the adjoining chef-pushed desired destination
cafe Eldr+Rime, announces the appointments of Vik Khokhar as Normal
Supervisor, Chantal Bazzoni-Boncher as Director of
Gross sales and Internet marketing, Michael Laughran as Director of Beverage and Food stuff Stores,
Gary Baca as Government Chef and Alex Lyskowicz as
Government Sous Chef. Developed and established to be managed by Concord Hospitality, each venues and its leadership workforce
goal to supply a welcoming, luxurious desired destination to Milwaukee’s metropolitan
location, as effectively as inspire community assurance that the hospitality sector
will shortly bounce back.

“We
could not be more fired up to welcome Vik, Chantal, Michael, Gary, and Alex to this
venture and the Harmony loved ones,” stated Mark Laport, President
and CEO of Concord Hospitality. “With
their blended practical experience and longevity in the hospitality marketplace, we are
self-confident they will lead the team to guarantee each individual guest’s go to is memorable
and thoughtful.”

With
far more than two decades of business expertise in luxurious and life-style accommodations, Vik
Khokhar has been appointed the Basic Supervisor to open up Renaissance
Milwaukee West. Born in New Delhi, Khokhar expended his early times in India
ahead of he relocated to the Netherlands to pursue a occupation in the hospitality
enterprise. He researched hospitality administration at the Intercontinental School of
Hospitality Management in Friesland and started his career with The Ritz-Carlton
Resort Firm in St. Louis, Mo., exactly where he was identified as “Leader of the Year”
for his uncompromising motivation to high-quality and effects. Most just lately, Khokhar
served as the Director of Resort Operations of the Renaissance Chicago Downtown.
Below his management, the lodge was acknowledged as “Hotel of the Year” in the
Americas two decades in a row due to stellar effectiveness on all business enterprise
priorities, together with record-location monetary and visitor satisfaction effects.
A resident of Wauwatosa because 2007, Khokhar appears to be forward to creating the
lodge as a revitalizing retreat inside of the group.

Chantal
Bazzoni-Boncher, Renaissance
Milwaukee West’s new Director of Profits and Marketing, lives and breathes
the hospitality industry from escalating up in relatives-owned hospitality businesses
in Canada. Immediately after graduating with a degree in Hotel & Restaurant Administration
from Confederation College in Ontario, Bazzoni-Boncher joined CSM Company,
where she worked with many lodges in the Milwaukee area. In 2018, she was
awarded CSM Director of Revenue of the Yr. With Renaissance Milwaukee West,
Bazzoni-Boncher aims to guide the Sales & Catering Office in making
major-line profits progress and small business for the hotel and restaurant.

Joining the team as the Director
of B&F Retailers
, Michael “Mick” Laughran will
oversee all on-residence dining facets, which includes the foyer lounge, marketplace
eating, in-room eating program, as nicely as the functions of the adjacent
restaurant, Eldr+Rime. Just before becoming a member of Renaissance Milwaukee West,
Laughran served as the Good Dining Manager of Potawatomi Hotel and On line casino and
the Typical Supervisor of Maxie’s Milwaukee. For the duration of his time at Potawatomi Hotel
and Casino, Laughran oversaw the multi-million greenback rework of the casino’s
Desire Dance Steakhouse, and Wine Spectator awarded the restaurant’s wine list a
Very best of Award of Excellence in 2020.
Laughran retains a Stage 1
Certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Coming to Milwaukee and Eldr+Rime from
Chicago’s western suburbs, Government Chef Gary Baca has expertly led
various restaurants above his job spanning additional than two a long time.
Specializing in steak, seafood, and progressive American cuisines, Baca
most recently labored at Michael
Jordan’s Steak Dwelling and has earlier been the Government Chef and Partner at
Lettuce Entertain You, overseeing culinary functions at Chicago’s Joe’s
Seafood, Key Steak & Stone Crab, Scoozi and a lot more. A La Cañada Flintridge,
California-native, Baca researched at Santa Barbara Metropolis School and
University of California, Berkeley.

The Government Sous Chef, Alex Lyskowicz, joins the workforce right after previously serving as
the Government Chef at the Iron Horse Lodge. Whilst there, Lyskowicz oversaw all food stuff
and beverage outlets at the hotel as effectively as offsite catering and activities. Chef
Lyskowicz specializes in rustic wood-fire cooking and Wisconsin farm to desk
cuisine.

Renaissance Milwaukee West and Eldr+Rime
will be located at 2300 N. Mayfair Rd. in Wauwatosa, Wis. For far more
details on the lodge, visit renmilwaukee.com or
simply call (414) 771-2300. For
a lot more information on Eldr+Rime, pay a visit to www.eldrandrime.com.