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Restaurant of the Week: I.d. Delafield

I.d., situated inside The Delafield Hotel just half hour outside of Milwaukee, is a must-visit in the lake country area of Wisconsin. Vibrant colors, unique light fixtures and textures, floor-to-ceiling windows with heavy drapes and an open chef’s counter all combine to create a casually elegant dining experience you won’t soon forget.

I.d. Delafield has been serving up a forward-thinking, expansive and effortless menu with perfect execution under the guidance of Executive Chef Joe Heppe since 2007. Chef Heppe’s culinary style shines with bright and bold flavors, incorporating a Latin, Mediterranean and Spanish flair throughout many of the small and sharable dishes. The menu features as many locally sourced ingredients as possible.  

Dive into your evening at I.d. Delafield with a craft cocktail like the popular Meet Me in the Garden, a combination of citrus, cucumber vodka, lime, basil and peppers. The Summer Dream is another refreshing option made with vodka, lemongrass, spearmint, butterfly tea, lemon and soda. I.d. Delafield also boasts an impressive selection of whiskey, bourbon and scotch as well as draft beers and wines from around the world. Add to your dining experience and ask the resident sommelier to recommend wine pairings with your dishes. 

Starter snacks include anything from cheese and charcuterie to warm whipped feta and herbs. Grilled shishito peppers in a Spanish almond dipping sauce are a delight – all mild, but you might catch a spicy one in the bunch once in a blue moon. Hot pepper roulette!

Guests cannot go wrong with any of the 10 or so shared plate options, mixing traditional favorites with unique flavors. Try the Peruvian grilled octopus with garlic scape tapenade, confit marble potatoes and crispy potato skins or the wild king salmon with shaved porcini and grilled mushrooms, farro and green apple butter. Both options pair perfectly with a Chehalem Pinot Noir.  

Chef kept our taste buds on their toes with the foie gras French toast–perfectly executed with brioche, maple foie butter, strawberries rendered in foie fat, macadamia nut crumble and cherry maple syrup. Savory, sweet and a perfect intermezzo to the meal. Ask for the special lamb dish if it is not on the menu–tender, lightly crisped lamb, fat rendered beautifully and mellowed by a lovely mint-cucumber tzatziki sauce. The menu also features unique hearth-cooked flatbreads and seasonal salads.

Save room for dessert at I.d. Delafield! Pastry Chef Rebekah Radewahn rounds out the meal with delectable choices like the macadamia nut crunch bar, ruby chocolate cheesecake and, our favorite, strawberry and cream roulade with roasted jam, lemongrass ice cream, perfectly whipped ganache and strawberry crumble. The perfect summer dessert. 

I.d. Delafield Bar

Reservations are highly recommended at I.d. Delafield and dining is available Sunday through Thursday, 5 to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 5 to 10 p.m.

Once a month on Wednesdays, The Delafield Hotel hosts Music on the Hill. Arrive early and enjoy live and local music before your reservation at I.d. Delafield. Bring your lawn chair or blanket and soak in the sounds of summer with a cocktail like the apple bourbon crush or strawberry margarita. Bring Fido! Music on the Hill, and The Delafield Hotel property itself, are dog friendly. (The next Music on the Hill event takes place August 10.)

On non-Wednesdays, spend some extra time at the hotel front’s patio taking in the beautifully landscaped grounds or make it an overnight stay at one of The Delafield Hotel’s 38 guest suites. 

For more information on I.d. Delafield and Music on the Hill, visit www.thedelafieldhotel.com and www.iddelafield.com.

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