Fresh carriers and new flavors are spicing up lunchtime.

Tre Rivali
Executive Chef:
Heather Terhune
Milwaukee, WI

Like much of the Midwest, Milwaukee is a city that loves its sandwiches. Nevertheless, towering piles of meat and cheese aren’t the only way to do things in Brew City, as executive chef Heather Terhune of Tre Rivali demonstrates in her creative Mediterranean-inspired lunch menu. Terhune eschews the more commonly seen options, like wraps, in favor of tartines, open-faced sandwiches that display the beautiful colors and textures of their ingredients, as well as their flavors.

The dishes spotlight seasonal ingredients from Wisconsin farmers and local artisans, and Terhune even uses a different type of bread for each tartine based on the toppings. Raisin-walnut bread forms the base for a combination of prosciutto, arugula, fig jam, and local goat cheese, while the pumpernickel rye is topped with dijon mustard, pickled red onions, gruyere cheese, and salty smoked ham. And Terhune hasn’t forgotten the vegetarians. Those who don’t eat meat can choose from olive bread with a basil-lemon marmalade, burrata cheese, and Mighty Vine tomatoes, or whole-grain with avocado, grapefruit, radishes, celery, and sprouts. The ever-popular tartines also make an appearance on the brunch menu.


At Dirty Habit, the everyday brunch menu encompasses lunchtime favorites like the bahn mi.

Dirty Habit
Executive Chef:
Kyoo Eom
Washington, DC

At Dirty Habit in Washington, D.C., chef Kyoo Eom recently did away with separate breakfast and lunch menus, creating an all-day, every day brunch menu that combines the best of both worlds. William Smith, general manager, says the new approach allows the restaurant to accommodate the schedules of more guests. “This daytime menu gives us the opportunity to serve brunch to those who work late nights and need to sleep in, as well as to visitors traveling into the city after a long flight,” he says.

Dirty Habit offers plenty of fresh takes on lunch staples like soups and salads but with a breakfast-inspired twist. The Pork Belly Banh Mi features the usual fillings of meat and picked vegetables but also adds an egg on top. Another headliner, the French Toast ‘Mich, is a sweet-savory version of a grilled cheese. Eom upgrades the cafeteria favorite by stuffing slices of fluffy French toast with salty Madrange ham—often heralded as the best in France—and melty Swiss cheese. He lets the sandwich develop a perfect golden-brown, crunchy crust before serving it with a side of mixed greens.


The humble PB&J gets a grown-up upgrade with fresh-baked brioche, peanut butter, and house-made Jam.

Café Marie-Jeanne
Executive Chef:
Mike Simmons
Chicago, IL

Café Marie-Jeanne has become a neighborhood favorite in Chicago’s Humboldt Park. The French-inspired spot puts a quirky spin on bistro classics. “Plenty of people want to eat decadent lunches/brunches over cocktails and bottles of wine when they know the quality of food and service will be high,” says chef and partner Mike Simmons. Café Marie-Jeanne serves food (and wine) all day, but the sandwiches on its lunch menu are not to be missed.

For a fun twist on a PB&J, the restaurant bakes its own buttery brioche and adds peanut butter and tangy, house-made apricot jam. And while just about every lunch menu features some version of a BLT, Marie-Jeanne’s HMBLT breaks the mold; the HM stands for herring mayonnaise, which gives the sandwich an extra burst of salty umami. Then there’s the Dagwood, an all-American classic usually recognized by its layers of meats and cheeses. At Café Marie-Jeanne, though, it’s piled with enough shaved vegetables and parmesan cheese to make even the staunchest carnivore jealous.

Feature, Menu Innovations