It can be said that ParkSide 23 is a homage to owner Joe DeRosa’s faith. His former restaurant, Sticks ’n Stones, served customers at the same site in Brookfield for more than six years before going on the market for sale. After years of no prospective buyers, DeRosa took it as a sign that he was not finished with it yet. He decided to reopen the restaurant under a new name, new look and new menu.
Eighteen months ago, DeRosa promoted a sous chef from his restaurant and brought him over to ParkSide 23, hired two farmers and committed to a mission of “local and fresh food; modest plates that you can build from,” said George Flees, general manager of the restaurant on North Avenue.
Just north of the restaurant is its 10,000-square-foot farm. “We may be one of the only restaurants in Wisconsin with its own on-site farm,” Flees said, which only furthers the restaurant’s commitment to use local purveyors and suppliers.
Each season, ParkSide’s farmers sit down with its chef, Jonah Malmsteadt, to calculate the harvest. From there, Malmsteadt plans his menus. Depending on the time of year, customers are delighted by the freshest food grown and picked literally minutes from their table.
The restaurant’s menu was inspired, Flees said, by Malmsteadt’s preparation of a weekly dinner hosted by DeRosa at Eddie Martini’s. “Every week he’d come in with a group to dine. Jonah would make a complete meal in a modest size. That’s the concept that we brought over here.”
The menu is based on portion sizes and price. A unique idea to order just the right amount of food to suit your appetite. The restaurant’s menu changes twice yearly and has daily specials. “Jonah loves to make comfort food. This season, his chicken pot pie and salmon are very popular. The creamed corn is another customer favorite,” he said of the dish infused with poblano peppers and bacon.
Malmsteadt has developed a sizable selection of gluten-free menu items from roasted stuffed bell peppers and farm fresh vegetable risotto to short ribs and Ahi tuna.
The restaurant has outdoor seating for 60 on their patio where guests can sit and enjoy a drink and/or meal.
Last September, the restaurant featured a farmer’s supper, Flees said. “For one week, 24 guests every evening dined from a special harvest menu. Guests enjoyed their dinner under a tent on the farm. We had live music and featured beer and wine pairings too.”
ParkSide 23 offers an extensive beer and wine selection. “We have 20 tappers, half of which are local from Wisconsin,” Flees said. “And many of our wines are sustainable, organic or local.”
Every Tuesday evening the restaurant has live blues music, and every night is right for Happy Hour from 3 to 5 p.m. when all small-plated snacks are $5 and all liquor, beer and wine are two for one.
Address: 2300 N. Pilgrim Square Dr.
Open Monday thru Saturday
Serving lunch and dinner
11 a.m. to close