Located in the Historic Third Ward, the Hinterland Gastropub is one of the often overlooked high quality restaurants in town.
The atmosphere is warm and inviting. It is a darker setting with large windows overlooking Erie street. The bar has a high ceiling and an open feel with plenty of room. At night, candles and warm lighting create an inviting environment. The bar is a great spot to try one of the Hinterland freshly brewed beers or have a cocktail before dinner. It also offers the opportunity to have a small plate meal if diners are interested.
The menu is unique for Milwaukee. It consists of more diverse options than most places in town and the entrees are accompanied by a side that has been as well thought out as the main component. Also, I always enjoy seeing a date on the menu. Usually, that is a tell tale sign that the menu is consistently updated. We have stopped by Hinterland on several occasions over the last few months and I can confirm that the menu has had several changes made. Personally, I think that makes the dining experience exciting and there is always a reason to go back.
The menu options are diverse, but the kitchen appears to be expertly trained in cooking each them. Simply put, everything we tried at Hinterland was cooked to perfection. Our favorite two appetizers were the Wood Fire Grilled Spiced Lamb Belly ($14.00). We also tried the Stone Crab Claws ($18.00). We were excited to try the lamb belly as it is not something you find on every menu. The Lamb Belly was something new for most at our table and judging by the rave reviews, I am sure we will all try it again. The Crab appetizer was unbelievable fresh. It is clear that the quality of food is important at Hinterland, and it clearly comes through on the plate.
For the main entrees we tried the Wood Fire Grilled Elk New York Strip ($42.00). Again, the Elk was a new protein to a couple of people at the table, but it was cooked to perfection and full of flavor. The Grilled Hazelnut Fed Pork Chop ($36.00) was another favorite at the table. It had a very autumn feel to its presentation. The Grilled Angus Beef Hangar Steak ($30.00) was also a very solid selection for the steak lover in your group. The Pan Seared Wild Striped Bass ($32.00) was the only fish entree we tried, but again, it received rave reviews.
If you are looking to try something a little different but of a very high quality, Hinterland is perfect. This restaurant offers a diverse menu that will allow diners the opportunity to experience food that is rarely offered and almost never cooked as well in Milwaukee. The price point at Hinterland is higher than most places in town, however it reflects the quality of the food served. From the bar area to the dining experience, Hinterland is a place that should be considered in the conversation of best restaurants in town.