Restaurant Review: Wolf Peach
Nestled in the Brewers Hill neighborhood is a quaint, one-of-a-kind Milwaukee restaurant called Wolf Peach. Legend has it (and by legend I mean their website) that Wolf Peach owes its name to the tomato, pronounce it how you will.
Let’s take a moment to get slightly off track for a quick history lesson … The tomato’s Latin name, Lycopersicon, translates to Wolf Peach and while the tomato is a coveted ingredient in any cook’s kitchen today, it was first thought to be a rancid, poisonous object. Tomatoes originated in South America, but when the delicious fruit made its way to the Western World suspect Europeans were quick to assume it was in the company of the night shade, a plant used to create hallucinations and conjure werewolves. Hence the name wolf peach. Eventually the tomato redeemed itself and became the lovable fruit we know today that is the main event in our beloved Heinz ketchup, Campbell’s soup, marinara sauce, and bloody mary. (Side note for the side lesson: today’s supermarket tomato has become quite deceiving, I highly suggest you take a dive into the book Tomatoland by Barry Estabrook to discover the social and environmental costs of modern mass agriculture on the fruit.)
Now, back to the topic. Wolf Peach is known around town as one of the best places to brunch and for its patio which overlooks the river. So naturally I visited Wolf Peach last week (during the winter) for dinner. The cozy atmosphere with a rustic European vibe was inviting and the food was delightful. Plus they serve classic wood-fired pizza, and who doesn’t love a good wood-fired pizza? The plates are meant for sharing and food comes out as it is prepared. Proportion sizes are larger than your typical tapas-style restaurant so about 2 per person as recommended is more than enough. The ingredients are fresh and sourced locally, and are really accentuated in their vegetable options. We began with the roasted cauliflower mixed with chickpeas coated in a flavorful salsa verde. Typically one does not pair the word”flavorful” with cauliflower, but Wolf Peach took the seemingly mild, nutty vegetable to the next level.
Our more heartier courses consisted of the lamb meatballs and of course, a wood-fired pizza. What set the meatballs apart was the sauce topped with ricotta cheese, which you could never have too much of. I would have opted to lick the plate clean if that were socially acceptable. The sauce itself highlighted the natural flavors and acidity of a tomato perfectly (how fitting) with just the right hint of kalamata olives. As for the pie, we opted for the whipped goat cheese pizza (pause). Let me repeat – Whipped. Goat. Cheese. #nuffsaid. My future prediction is that whipped goat cheese will be the new butter served with bread. As for the pizza as a whole, the dough was thin just as any wood-fired pizza should be and the crust was light and pillowy. Mushrooms and spinach complimented the earthy flavor of the goat cheese to perfection.
Dessert was fabulous as well. We asked our server to surprise us, and did he ever! Dessert was like a sundae times 10. The chocolate cake was moist and the fudge not too sweet. Topped with a local ice-cream parlor favorite, Purple Door salted caramel ice cream, and candied pecans, this dessert completely satisfied my sweet tooth and ensured a restful night ahead.
It’s no wonder Wolf Peach sits at the top of every Milwaukeeans “must eat” lists and I am looking forward to the warmer days of summer when I can dine on their patio. Only 155 days until the first day of summer y’all, but who’s even counting anyways?