Wisconsin has earned a reputation for its insatiable appetite for beer, cheese, sausage, fried goods, heavy gravy, and blaze orange apparel. But, regardless of your opinion on the "coolness" level of these items, there's another type of Wisconsin cool that's been exported to New York's West Village, and it's created quite a stir among NYC-folk.
Gabriel Stulman, a 2003 University of Wisconsin alum, has opened six hip restaurants in close proximity to one another that have come to be collectively known as "Little Wisco," due to Stulman's tie to "America's Dairyland" and his restaurants' penchant for hiring Wisconsin natives.
The haunts that comprise Little Wisco include:
- Joseph Leonard
- Jeffrey's Grocery
- Chez Sardine
Montmartre, the newest addition to the LIttle Wisco lineup, is patterned after the former Cafe Montmartre in Madison, a great restaurant and music venue Stulman worked at while in school at the University of Wisconsin.
We dig this trend. Aside from the Wisconsin infusion into New York's culinary scene, good ol' Sconnie can also lay claim to a great Brooklyn-based brewery, Sixpoint Brewery, established by Wisconsin native and University of Wisconsin alum, Shane Welch.
Now, there's only one problem. Sixpoint beer is available in Wisconsin, but you'll need to fly, drive, or hitchhike to New York to enjoy all that Little Wisco has to offer. Given what I've read, seen, and heard, a trip will be arranged sooner rather than later.