The city might seem an odd location for a restaurant that was founded on creating a woodsy feel, but the food and atmosphere at Juniper 61 in Wauwatosa have been drawing a wide rage of diners since they opened in December 2008.
Responding via email, owners Sarah Jonas and Cameryne Roberts said, "We developed the concept of the place starting from the name, juniper. It has a modern woodsy feel to it with warm yellows and greens, tree print wallpaper, branch chandeliers, faux bois pendant lamps."
Compared with other restaurants in the area, "The look and feel is every different from anywhere else is Tosa."
Building off their theme for the décor, Roberts and Jonas said, "We take menu inspiration from the seasons and incorporate influences from all over the globe. We also really love creating new takes on comfort food dishes."
You'll find many dishes on the menu with the earthy flavor of truffles, including truffled frites, white truffle Caesar salad, truffled mushroom flat bread pizza, and even a white truffle mushroom omelet. An array of vegetables are found in many of Juniper 61's items, such as tempura green beans, roasted vegetable pizza, summer vegetable and chickpea ragout with seasonal vegetables, balsamic vinaigrette, spring greens, and toasted sunflower seeds.
Comfort food also adorns the menu. For a starter, try the Vietnamese short rib sliders made with soy-braised short rib meat, bok choy, carrot and jicama slaw, rice vinegar-chili sauce dressing on a soft knot roll. For a main dish, sit down with a plate of down-home fried chicken, served with wilted seasonal greens, chive parsnip-potato mash and honey-cider gastrique.
On the brunch menu, nothing says comfort food more than steak house benedict, made with sliced tenderloin, shaved asparagus, two poached eggs, and tarragon béarnaise on a toasted English muffin. Other brunch options include a bacon, Brie and apple omelet, a Baja burrito, steak and eggs, and chilaquiles — fried tortillas — roasted poblano salsa verde, crumbled chorizo, two eggs any way, roasted red pepper coulis with fresh cilantro.
Juniper 61 incorporates products from local farmers and purveyors including Long Arm Farm, Pinehold Gardens Urban Farm, Purple Door Ice Cream, Strauss Lamb, Turtle Creek Gardens and Yuppie Hill Poultry.
The restaurant's location is perfect because "Sitting right on the border of Wauwatosa and Milwaukee, we like that we can draw residents from a multitude of neighborhoods," said Jonas and Roberts. "We love the inclusiveness."
Juniper 61 is the sister restaurant of Café Lulu in Bay View.
TASTE OF THE TOWN
Name: Juniper61 Restaurant and Bar
Address: 6030 W. North Ave.
Fare: Contemporary American
Price range: $4-$22
Handicapped access: Yes
Gluten-free options: Yes
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