Usually when I interview a restaurant owner, I ask them about their most popular or "signature" menu items. In the case of Lagniappe (pronounced "lan-yep") Brasserie, co-owner Andy Tenaglia really couldn't help me out.
"We change our menu on a daily basis," he explained. Therein lies the charm of this unique restaurant in New Berlin, across the street from Brookfield's southern border.
Opened in August 2005 by Andy Tenaglia (who is also the chef) and his wife, Mina, (who runs the dining room), Lagniappe Brasserie sits in the quaint location formerly occupied by Steven Wade's Café. Andy is the former executive chef of Miller Park.
Describing Lagniappe Brasserie is challenging.
"We are a small restaurant serving continental cuisine prepared using a French technique," he said. "We don't limit ourselves to French food, however. We serve cuisine from around the world - German, Spanish, Indian, Italian and more. Everything is made to order from scratch."
Lagniappe is a Louisiana French term that originated in the '30s and '40s and means "a little something extra." When I dined at Lagniappe Brasserie, the "little something extra" was a small piece of brownie while we were awaiting the check. A very nice touch indeed.
But back to the menu. Some intriguing items from a sample lunch menu include Lobster Bisque ($6), Crab Louis Salad ($12) and Kobe Beef Burger ($10). Some items from the sample dinner menu include Wild Alaskan Coho Salmon ($22), Picatta of Strauss Veal ($23) or Medallions of Choice Beef Tenderloin ($28).
Andy Tenaglia prides himself of taking time to prepare fine food and hopes that diners will take their time to enjoy it: "I hope that people come here when they are not in a hurry. We don't cook fast - in fact we don't even have a microwave. Try things you don't normally have. If you have preferences, please call ahead."
You never know if your special request might end up on Lagniappe Brasserie's daily menu!
NAME: Lagniappe Brasserie
ADDRESS: 17001 W. Greenfield Ave., New Berlin
PHONE: (262) 782-7530
HOURS: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and 5 to 9 p.m. for dinner Monday through Friday, 5 to 9 p.m. for dinner Saturday
PRICE RANGE: $18 to $26
HANDICAP ACCESS: yes
LOOKING TO 'GRAB A BITE'?
"Grab a Bite" is an informal look at the food scene in the Wauwatosa, Brookfield and Elm Grove area by freelance writer Karen Waldkirch. Whether you're looking for a place for a date night or a casual spot for lunch, Waldkirch will be out and about scouting eateries for you. If you have a suggestion for a column, e-mail her at email@example.com.
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