Find the bookcase and step inside an indulgent new dining experience at the first-of-its kind hotel, Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel. The Dark Room (T.D.R.) is now open.

Away from the high energy and sensory stimulation of Saint Kate’s popular Giggly Champagne & Wine Bar, Aria Café & Bar and the Bar at Saint Kate, T.D.R. invites guests to slip into an intimate, elevated space where time slows and outside obligations and worries fade. Burning candlesticks mark the passage of time, and the art of cuisine and unparalleled service are the stars of the show.

“At T.D.R., you take a step away from the bustle of Saint Kate and are transported back in time. Highly personalized, attentive service and an old-school atmosphere are the backdrops for an unforgettable meal, featuring classic techniques with a modern flair. We have great dry-aged rib-eyes, of course, but we also have a 14-day aged veal chop that is incredible. We are looking to similarly age other uncommon cuts of meat, like duck,” says Chef Paul Funk, new executive chef at Saint Kate. “T.D.R. is unlike any restaurant in the city. Just as art is subjective, so is each person’s individual culinary journey. From how we guide you through the menu to how we present the food, an evening at T.D.R. is truly a show.”

The 26-seat speakeasy-style steakhouse located on the second floor of Saint Kate opens exclusively for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. The fully a la carte menu features a seasonally rotating array of fresh seafood and locally sourced steaks, chops and dry-aged reserve cuts. Of special note are T.D.R.’s 40 oz. 35-day-aged Tomahawk chop and a 14-day-aged veal chop, as well as a sweet corn ravioli filled with chanterelle mushrooms for a lighter option.

For those looking for more, guests can add to their main dishes with a “Lay it on Thick” option –including lobster tail, diver scallops, shaved truffle or signature barrel-aged Worcestershire glaze – and with accompaniments, such as grilled asparagus, a cauliflower steak or T.D.R. potatoes.

After dinner, dessert also offers a show. A cocoa nib pavé is the heart of a showstopping take on the s’more featuring smoking liquid nitrogen, a house-made marshmallow and graham cracker pieces. The ice cream sundae is also topped with playful spiked candies (adults only). Guests can also enjoy a wide selection of international wines, as well as hand-made cocktails, created especially for T.D.R. through Saint Kate’s partnership with the Bay View-based cocktail connoisseurs at Lost Whale.

Behind-the-scenes, guests will find new executive chef at Saint Kate, Chef Paul Funk, hard at work. He replaces Chef Aaron Miles, who oversaw the opening of Saint Kate as executive chef and was recently promoted to become the task force executive chef at Marcus Hotels & Resorts, which owns and operates the hotel. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, Funk has built his culinary career throughout the world – from apprenticing at Vail Resorts and cooking on a private ranch in Wyoming to working in Italy, where he was first introduced to wine, olive orchards and the art of butchery. Following those formative years, Funk returned to Milwaukee and worked as sous-chef and charcutier at the former Hinterland Erie Street Gastropub. He became executive chef at Like Minds Brewing Company following stints with the University Club of Milwaukee and Nehring’s Markets. Most recently, Funk was the executive sous chef at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, also owned by Marcus Hotels & Resorts, where he oversaw all culinary operations at the resort’s 10 dining venues.

Supporting Chef Funk is Jennifer Baade, director of outlets at Saint Kate. With 15 years of experience in fine dining, Baade will be responsible for operations, including staffing, hiring and training, and overseeing service at Saint Kate’s five dining and drinking establishments. Prior to joining Saint Kate, Baade served as a dining manager at several restaurants in Telluride, Colo. and Las Vegas, including Charlie Trotter’s in Palazzo and Exclusive Resorts, an elite private vacation club with numerous locations around the world. Early in her career, Baade worked as a server at the former English Room and Celia Restaurant at Milwaukee’s historic Pfister Hotel. Baade has studied with the Master Court of Sommeliers and received a bachelor’s degree in nursing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Industry News, NextGen Casual