After leaving the Dells area, we returned the rental car at Milwaukee (MKE) Airport, as we no longer needed it for our weekend stay downtown.
We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, which was conveniently located to many restaurants and the downtown riverfront. Here’s a photo of the hotel as seen from the riverfront, and another of us taken by the riverfront area.
During our weekend stay, we dined at three nice restaurants and took a brewery tour on Saturday afternoon. This was our second visit to Milwaukee, and as it was just turning Spring, the weather was quite nice and moderate; i.e. no more snow, and only a light jacket needed. There were still remnants of ice floating in the river though, so no boat tours were operating yet.
As we both agreed from last time, Milwaukee is a nice big city, with a ‘small city’ feel to it. The downtown area is easy to get around by foot or Uber, and being the beer capital, there are bars, pubs, and restaurants everywhere.
Of course there was a statue of Fonzie from Happy Days and later in a brewery we would see a large picture of Laverne and Shirley from the 1970’s sitcom, that takes place in this brewski capital.
As Hyatt Globalist members, we received a large Executive Suite at checkin. Well, actually the first room was a standard-sized room and the phone didn’t work, so we went back to the desk and asked nicely if there were any upgrades we could purchase. To our surprise, we then received a complimentary suite upgrade, which was very nice for our weekend stay.
The room was huge, about the size of three or four standard rooms, and had a separate bedroom with bath, large combined living and dining room, bar area with stools and countertop, microwave, mini fridge, a wine cabinet, and a second guest bathroom. Quite comfortable for our weekend stay!
After checking in, we quickly explored the hotel, and went up to the top floor, (20th) I believe where the circular rooftop observation lounge is located. To our disappointment, however it was closed and not be used, except for perhaps special events or functions. We were able to walk around the lounge area, and there were a few tables still in place, possibly from a wedding, but the huge space is otherwise not being used. I think it would make a wonderful rooftop restaurant and lounge, with a great Sunday brunch and suggested it to the desk staff. Apparently the owners don’t think it would be profitable, but I disagree if it’s remodeled and marketed properly it would be a popular ‘Top of Milwaukee’ dinner and drink venue. We always are looking for a room with a view when we travel, and this would had definitely met our criteria. Oh, well, owners if you’re reading this, that’s our two cents. Here’s a few pics from the top and the views outside.
The first night we went to dinner at Ward’s House of Prime. We were both really looking forward to this, as we both love Prime Rib. We walked around the downtown area earlier in the day to see where it was located, and stopped by to see the dining room. As the restaurant wasn’t open yet, it was very quiet, and the hostess showed us the main dining room, as you walk into a bar/lounge. The main dining room was fairly intimate, and we asked if we could have one of the booths by the window for our 7:30pm reservation, which she was glad to reserve for us.
We ended up taking an Uber to Ward’s later that night as it was quite a bit colder than our earlier walk, and even though only a few blocks away, it would have made for a long chilly walk.
Once inside Ward’s the atmosphere was noticeably different than it was in the afternoon. The lounge area was packed for Happy Hour and was quite lively. Fortunately we had our reserved window table in the dining room which was quiet, and while not the best view as it looked over a side street, it was much better than being at a table by the non-window wall.
We had a wonderful dinner with, appetizers of prime-rib bites wrapped with bacon, and pork belly with a delicious barbecue-like sauce. We also had a bottle of Trefethen Cabernet Sauvignon with dinner.
Next up was our house salad, which was spaced out from the appetizers at our request.
The best part of the meal was yet to come, however, with our King-sized cut of prime rib, the house specialty. Ward’s prides itself on fixing whatever size cut of beef you like, and even has a contest of who can eat the largest piece. According to their website, the current winner is a woman who put away 22.5 pounds of prime rib! Check out Ward’s hall of fame for the winners who get their photo on the wall.
Fortunately, DOS and I had enough sense not to over order several pounds of beef, so we settled for the 24 ounce cut, which we ended up bring some of it back to the room for a lunch snack the next day. While that sounds like a lot, keep in mind there is quite a bit of fat to cut off, reducing the size considerably.
While the prime rib was very good, we both agreed it wasn’t the best we’ve ever had (such as suggested in their advertisements), it was a bit fatty, but it was very good. If we went again, I would order it with the au jus on the side, instead of served all over the plate, which made it a bit messy to cut, and extra salty to eat.
Still we enjoyed our meal immensely and were the next to last people to leave. Dessert was not an option after this filling meal!
We Ubered back to the hotel, and were surprised to find a trio of brewskis and chips and dip on our in-suite bar, compliments of the hotel. That’s wonderful Hyatt service!
The weekend in Milwaukee continues in the next post . . .