Romancing Milwaukee with New Glitz and a Little Vegas Glam

On Saturday nights outside the brand-new, 19-story Potawatomi Hotel, Vegas nostalgia flirts with big-city romance in the valet lane. Cars pull up, couples hop out. It gets even more glam in the airy, spacious lobby. A backlit bar clicks through the color wheel while the ceiling does its own show of 16.1 million color combinations.

The hotel is both boutique and boisterous, with an attached casino featuring live-music venues and a comedy club, plus multiple bars and seven dining options, including Locavore, a more intimate restaurant.

Surprises galore await behind Locavore’s two-story wall of windows, where diners enjoy a high-style culinary show featuring leading ingredients that are as local as possible. Behind the food is the restaurant’s shining jewel, Executive Chef Van Luu, a veteran of Charlie Trotter’s—cooking at both the namesake Chicago eatery and Restaurant Charlie in Vegas before stints at Milwaukee’s Lake Park Bistro and Prodigal Gastropub.

After dinner and 15 stories up, my husband and I find a romantic, mood-setting room and, in Vegas-style, floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Milwaukee, a city aglitter at night.

– Kristine Hansen

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