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Food for Thought

New Menu

Katsu-Ya, Appleton

Katsu-Ya in Appleton added seven colorful new sushi rolls on February 25, and according to manager Lisa Nakashima, the versatile selections do not disappoint.

“I think it’s a good variety,” Katsu-Ya manager Lisa Nakashima says. “Really positive feedback; they’re loving the rolls that we added.”

A few highlights to the colorful new menu is the curry yasai roll, which is avocado-based and is topped with fresh basil and spicy curry sauce; the yuzu natsu roll is packed with avocado and yellowtail fish on the inside and is topped with vibrant orange salmon and yuzu tobiko (fish eggs); and the kawaii (cute) roll opts for a sweeter flavor, using avocados as a base, strawberries and sweet miso sauce.

But Nakashima says two rolls in particular, the taiko beet and the tiger roll, are the most popular so far. The taiko beet roll is vegetarian friendly and uses simmered beets, alfalfa sprouts, cucumbers, avocado and the carrot-like yamagobo; whereas, the tiger roll is packed with meat, containing boiled shrimp and has seared beef steak and eel sauce on top. -CW

Michiels Bar & Grill, Menasha

Ever since Jennifer Michiel took over Michiels Bar & Grill in Menasha almost two years ago, one of her goals has been to revamp the menu, and last September, she achieved that goal.

“We downsized from the last menu, but kept a lot of customer favorites,” Michiel says. “And we added a lot of fun new items.”

Some of the new additions include bourbon-glazed scallops, bacon-baked mac and cheese, and appetizers like grilled jalapeño poppers, ahi tuna and jumbo shrimp served with house-made “big bang sauce.” Michiels also added several new burgers to the menu including the cheese curd burger and peanut butter bacon burger.

“It’s been really well received,” Michiel says. “A lot of our customers who have been coming here for years still love it. And I think it’s been bringing in a lot of new people in general.”  -CW

Wildflower Bar & Kitchen, Grand Chute

New chef, expanded food and bar menus, interior renovations and brand refresh are among the updates you’ll find at Wildflower Bar & Kitchen (formerly Wildflower Pizzeria).

Set for a grand re-opening April 17-20, Wildflower’s expanded menu includes seafood, wood-fired steaks, pasta, small plates, burgers and sandwiches.  A new bar menu will feature adventurous versions of classic cocktails and a diverse wine list. Of course, patrons can still order Wildflower’s well-known wood-fired pizzas.

“The pizzeria concept has served us well, and that part will never go away, but we want Wildflower to be recognized for our broader range of food and beverage options as well,” stated co-owner and beverage director Jonathan Borchardt.

Co-owner Rusty Leary explains, “The goal is to  become a premier destination for dining and drinking in style, serving thoughtful American fare with adventurous craft cocktails and a curated list of unique wines from around the world.” -CK

New Location

Garden View Family Restaurant, Appleton

Garden View said goodbye to its former Menasha location to take a spot at 216 E. College Avenue, officially opening on October 3 last year.

According to the owner, Gerry Martinez, Garden View moved downtown to bring in more business and to try something new. But despite the location change, the restaurant remains the same as it’s always been, with its diner-style all-day breakfast format and wide range of cultural comfort foods from sandwiches burgers to fajitas, stir fry and gyros.

Garden View replaced The Queen Bee after it went out of business last year.  -CW

Taste of the Windy City, Appleton

Taste of the Windy City, which specializes in Chicago-style food, returned to its original Richmond St location in Appleton last August after briefly closing in 2017.

Owner Hatem Ayari has two other Windy City locations in Little Chute and Green Bay, but the Appleton location was in business for 10 years before closing. Ayari says he appreciates the chance to bring Chicago back to the Appleton.

“For some reason, productivity went down so it went away, and the chance came up to take it over again, … and now we just want to bring it back to the way it [originally] was,” Ayari says.

Ever since reopening, Ayari the customer response to Appleton’s location has been stunning.

“[Customers] tell us, ‘We’re so blessed you’re back.’ It’s an amazing feeling,’” Ayari says.

Windy City’s popular menu items include Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef, gyros and specialty sandwiches.  -CW

On the Horizon

Nice Time, Appleton

Nice Time, a downtown Appleton bar, lounge and venue space for events, will officially open its doors on April 12, replacing Cena. Their menu will feature a wine menu, cocktails and small food offerings. The lounge’s upscale vibe will retain almost all of Cena’s aesthetic, complete with exposed brick and wood-panel flooring. Although Nice Time hasn’t officially opened yet, owners Margot Reed and Christopher Fenn say they’re currently booking private and corporate events via email at [email protected], and they hope those interested will remember their slogan, “Call for a Nice Time.” -CW


Field & Fire, Greenville

Another New Face in the Fox Cities area is Field & Fire, which opened its doors to the Greenville community on August 1, 2018. This restaurant is an intimate eatery as it seats 38 seats and has an open kitchen. Co-owners Jordan Hereford and Executive Chef Ryan Sherman are both experienced in the restaurant industry. They met at the Ambassador lounge in Appleton where Hereford worked, and they discussed their similar lifelong dreams of opening up a restaurant. “Over a period of time our personalities and philosophies of what we wanted to put in front of the customers meshed, as well as our work ethics,” Hereford says. “Both of our sides [in the restaurant industry] have been complimentary in facets, and we rely on each other’s focuses.” They tried different recipes out to see what would work for both the restaurant’s atmosphere and menu. Their menu stems from dishes both owners have experienced and tasted at restaurants both nationally and internationally.

Q: How would you describe the experience with the open kitchen concept?

Baily Fuller, Field & Fire Bar Manager: I think it’s as pleasing to the customer as it is to us. I know when customers ask me about what we’re making we get giddy and tell them.

Tim Novak, Field & Fire Chef: I think the hardest part of the open kitchen concept with me personally being used to closed kitchens was transitioning to dealing with things in a calmer manner.

Ryan Sherman: Some nights you can feel a palpable energy from the bar and in the kitchen. And it’s fun. It turns into an almost like a neighborhood backyard party.

Q: What was your experience coming into Field & Fire?

TN: For me, the restaurants I’ve worked at have all been slightly different. So coming into this place which is at such a high level was a little overwhelming with working until 2 a.m. I thought holy cow, what did I get myself into?

BF: I was a little scared I guess, but I knew I was under good hands. I’ve had plenty of experience with different jobs and have applied what I learned to my job here.

Q: What is the team dynamic in Field & Fire?

Jordan Hereford: Resilient comes to mind. We have a lot of unexpected things happen here every week whether it’d be with equipment or distributors. The staff really likes my humor; all four members laughs. No, it can help keep everyone’s heads above the water.

RS: You see the old ads that say if the workers are happy, the restaurant will be happy. If it’s noticeable that the workers enjoy what they’re doing, that’s going to translate to the customers. It’s almost grassroots. You have to take care of your foundation so the house to be able to stand by itself. –SW

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