The Lounge at Ardent

Ardent, which has been winning culinary awards in Milwaukee since 2013, now offers a casual lounge option when a tasting menu is not what you’re craving. The Lounge at Ardent has clever cocktails, a full menu featuring new tastes along with a few Ardent classics, and a remodeled space showing another side of what Ardent has to offer. 

With a talented, passionate team led by Executive Chef Justin Carlisle and charismatic “liquid storyteller” Kyle Yost behind the bar, The Lounge at Ardent seamlessly blends to offer – as one person on the team said – “approachable things in a chefy way.” 

When arriving at the North Farwell location, Ardent’s Tasting Room location is to the left and The Lounge to the right. Visitors to The Lounge at Ardent get to experience what Carlisle and his team do when they’re playing and having fun. The drink Playground Currency – a take on a negroni with gin, sweet vermouth, pine liqueur and a maple leaf candy made by the pastry chef – is a perfect example. 

Spend a little time in any Ardent restaurant – The Lounge or the Tasting Room – and what you will experience is care, kindness, creativity and inclusiveness, all in a delicious package. Carlisle creates a restaurant environment that incorporates the ideas of the whole team. Front-of-house staff develop ideas for dishes, the pastry chef serves the Canéle they created, everyone shines glasses, Yost brings out the Color of Virtue, his take on a Sazarac. Carlisle himself will bring out dishes featuring beef from his family farm. It’s this openness, chill vibe and everyone working together that’s helped Ardent earn a well-deserved place on the “19 Great Restaurants to Work For” in Food & Wine. 

ardent lounge

The new Lounge space features colorful artwork that pops off the terracotta-colored walls. Modern chairs and banquette seating are dotted around a room that gets flooded with natural light. Comfy gray tall chairs surround the wood bar with a view into the open kitchen. 

Sit at the bar and experience the kitchen choreography. It’s like being at a ballet that serves you a delicious dish like hamachi collar – a playfully plated fish dish that defines umami – after the performance. Or have a chat with Yost to learn the childhood story behind the Playground Currency cocktail.   

The menu is a mix of small and large plates, spreads, and burgers and dogs. One dish that made its way to The Lounge at Ardent menu from the Tasting Room is beef tartare with deviled egg mousse and whipped bone marrow. This is an Ardent classic and it, along with the Carlisle beef hot dog, are dishes not to be missed. 

Save room for dessert. The team works with what’s in season, and the rhubarb tart, with its fresh crust, creamy center with brown butter, a slight tang from the rhubarb, and a sprinkling of powdered sugar, tastes like a hug from grandma.  

The Lounge at Ardent is open Friday to Sunday, from 5 to 10 p.m, with Sunday brunch, from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. Be spontaneous as walk-ins are welcome. Limited reservations are available and recommended.

For more information, visit

1749-1751 N. Farwell Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53202

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