As a limo driver, I’ve escorted many of my top clientele to Carnevor Steakhouse. The restaurant is a truly exceptional dining experience from beginning to end. From its cuts of meat to its luxurious aesthetic, the restaurant pulls no punches and leaves nothing to be desired. So, today, I won’t take up your time with nitpick critiques. Instead, we’re going to talk about why Carnevor is the best steakhouse in Milwaukee.
Located in East Town right in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, Carnevor has helped put Wisconsin dining on the map. Their recent placement on OpenTable’s year end top 100 list speaks to Carnevor’s overall quality. Owned by SURG Restaurant Group, Carnevor is a mix of big business and local delicacy. With deep pockets, Carnevor has invested in a vast wine and food selection, while bringing in the exceptionally talented Executive Chef Mario Giuliani. In its five years, the restaurant has kept the menu surprising through subtle item changes and additions. It’s a dedication to the culinary experience that really sets Carnevor apart from all of their competitors.
Carnevor lists over seven hundred and eighty wines on their menu. That is a staggeringly robust selection that is very difficult to compete with. With so many options, it’s truly impossible to ever get bored or to feel like the restaurant is getting tired. In fact, I’d argue that if the restaurant did not have an incredibly smart wait staff and phenomenal sommeliers ready to offer suggestions, Carnevor would be in a lot of trouble. However, they have both great waiters and terrific wine experts ready to help at a moments notice. Feel free to ask them any questions you like, they are already with smart, insightful thoughts that will help you make the best choice for you.
I have a few personal favorites on this wine list that any aficionado or first-time wine drinker should try. Those include the 2017 Trefethen Merlot out of Napa Valley; 2016 Tamber Bay “Deux Chevaux Vineyard” from Yountville; and the Italian 2016 Ornellaia “Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia” Super Tuscan. All of these pair wonderfully with any cut of steak. Perfectly blending tannins and marble for a creamy, buttery, explosion. Your tastebuds will thank you and pester you every night to go back to Carnevor. If you’re more interested in a seafood dish, there are a lot of great roses and white wines. The 2019 Starmont Rose by the glass is a terrific option that is bright and flavorful, while delivering a refined finish. They also have three wonderful Chardonnays on hand, though I strongly prefer the 2016 Arista out of Russian River Valley.
If wine isn’t what you’re looking for, Carnevor features a full bar staffed by excellent bartenders. From classic Negronis to weekly featured cocktails, there are many drink options. I’d also recommend buying local, perhaps a bottle from Great Lakes Distillery.
Milwaukee’s Carnevor Steakhouse offers an unbeatable selection of choice cuts. Between their sixty-day dry aged ribeye and Japanese Wagyu “A-5” Filet Mignon, Carnevor knows its meats. The “A-5” filet is the best of the best. If you put that bad boy in the palm of your hand, it would start melting immediately. While the dry aged ribeye is firmer and packs a flavor punch. For those customers looking for a leaner cut, the New York holds up admirably. Simply said, there’s no bad option when you’re looking over the steak section of the menu.
While the steaks are certainly what most people go to Carnevor to experience, there are a lot of amazing fish based and vegetarian options. The South African Lobster Tail is divine. So is the Ora King Salmon that is dressed with Parisian gnocchi, broccolini, celery root, and smoked tomato jam. This dishes savory overtones and spiciness, blend for an exquisite flavor profile. If you’re vegetarian, the Seared Trumpets is a welcome dish. The trumpet mushrooms are drizzled with a truffled celery root puree that is absolutely delicious. In addition, the pickled tomato vinaigrette on this dish is also a knock-out.
As a limo driver, I’ve been to weddings, birthdays, and special events at the premiere restaurants in Wisconsin and Illinois. Carnevor lives up to its slightly pretentious name. Phenomenal steaks, a massive wine selection, and stand out customer service make this Milwaukee’s best steakhouse. This place provides an incredible dining experience that builds long lasting memories. If you haven’t gone yet, stop waiting.