Iron Horse Hotel’s new restaurant Ash to open in August

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A new dining concept, called Ash, will open late this summer at The Iron Horse Hotel in Walker’s Point.

It will take the place of former restaurant Smyth, which closed in May as part of a greater effort to overhaul the hotel’s food and beverage program.

That project is being led by acclaimed local chefs and restaurateurs Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite. Their hospitality consulting business, JVR Group, was brought on in April to reinvent The Iron Horse’s existing bar restaurant concepts and catering and banquet services, and to launch a new full-service eatery.

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Ash is set to open in August. It will offer a menu of seasonal American-style food largely prepared using a wood-fired hearth, which will be installed in the restaurant’s main dining area.

“The thought behind Ash was to create a simple, seasonal, American menu– highlighted by the use of fire and smoke,” Jacobs said in a statement. “Hearth cooking allows for the full use of fire. From slow cooking in embers to smoking and finally charring over an open flame, hearth cooking creates an enhanced flavor in everything from meats to vegetables.”

JVR Group last month launched new breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, as well as a new brunch program at the hotel’s lobby-level cocktail bar, Branded, and its seasonal outdoor dining venue, The Yard. 

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Those reinvented menus include items, such as the roasted cauliflower, venison tartare and seasonal salads, similar to what will be served at Ash, said Jacobs and Van Rite.

“From the beginning of time people have gathered around a fire for food, conversation and warmth,” said Jacobs. “We want guests to feel the same way when they gather at Ash. Warm, familial, at home. It’s genuinely Milwaukee.”

Jacobs and Van Rite own and operate restaurants DanDan, EsterEv and Fauntleroy, all located in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward. The duo’s bakery and patisserie concept, Batches, recently moved out of its Third Ward storefront to a nearby kitchen space as it transitioned to wholesale only.

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