The great Ernest Hemmingway once said, “Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the romance of the unusual.” If you have visited the new Hotel Madrid, you know that the restaurant has been a not-so-unusual intoxicating romance since it first opened in Milwaukee (and I mean intoxicating in its most literal sense too). Since my last rendezvous at the effortlessly chic establishment that boasts one of the best ambiances in town, Hotel Madrid has been debuting new menus and events, and even opened their much anticipated patio.
The Happiest of Hours
While the restaurant Bodegón focuses on large-plated entrées, the bar area, properly named Vermutería 600 due to the house-made vermouth, has an entirely separate menu with a myriad of nightly specials. Vermutería 600 offers a wide variety of hand-crafted cocktails that have a seasonal twist on classics inspired by the 1930s Bates Cocktail Index. The drink menu is even reminiscent of the art deco style cocktail book complete with a brief description of the beverage and ingredient list all in aged typewriter font.
But let’s get back to those nightly specials. The ultimate deal is their all night happy hour on Sundays which encompasses half off food and beverage (excluding shared cocktails) from 5pm to close. You heard right, HALF OFF F&B. So go live lavishly on your next Sunday Funday and give yourself permission to feel the pangs of a hangover on Monday morning (we won’t judge). Must order food items include the potato churros and featured burger. And if the manchengo mac ‘n’ cheese makes an appearance on the menu, it’s a no-brainer.
Brunch So Hard
No restaurant these days is complete without brunch – the pinnacle of weekend dining. The trend of brunch so hard is not lost on Hotel Madrid either. The debut menu has Spanish influences threaded throughout, but there are also some unconventional twists on the classics. I’m talking fruity pebble pancakes and a breakfast grilled cheese between waffles y’all – are you salivating yet? Since brunch is often best experienced with your tribe, shared cocktails such as the Bully Mary serve you and your three best friends with a serious helping of bloody mary in an oh-so-cute-bulldog-shaped chalice. And what’s an extra large bloody mary without an extra large beer chaser? Patrons can wash this bulldog down with a 40oz Miller High Life. Can you say Edward 40-hands anyone?
A Little Party Never Hurt Nobody
With such a capacious space for entertaining, it’s no wonder the owners of Hotel Madrid would capitalize and begin hosting events. The inaugural event celebrated the Kentucky Derby where it wasn’t the size of your hat that mattered, it was the size of your julep. Mint juleps flowed for all in the form of solo shots in silver cups or buckets that served at least five avid wannabe Derby goers. Once the juleps started pouring, food was ordered like rapid fire. After several mint juleps, the taste buds (and memory) can get a little hazy but I’ll be damned if the yellowfin tuna poke was anything less than phenomenal.
Be sure to check out their next fun fiasco this weekend on May 18 giving you another shot at high school prom (no chaperones or sneaking in of booze necessary). You won’t want to miss the dance party, cocktails, late-night churros and a chance at being prom queen or king. Get your tickets online here.
Hotel Madrid (map it)
600 S. 6th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204