Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Wright Place for the Right Meal

Healthy appetites and fieldwork go hand-in-hand. After many work trips to Wausau, Wisconsin, several restaurants spring to the top of my favorites list. I have had the pleasure of dining four times at the Wright Place on 6th and every meal has been more than satisfying.

First, three ground rules on restaurant selection: no fast food or chains, genuineness, and local food. This restaurant fits the bill. The Andrew Warren and the East Hill Residential Historic Districts, both listed on the National Register of Historic Places, surround the restaurant with beautifully restored examples of Greek Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, Classical Revival and Prairie School architecture. The Wright Place draws its name from its builder, Ely Wright, and not, as I at first imagined, from Wisconsin’s architectural superstar Frank Lloyd Wright.

The Italianate building’s impeccable restoration, done with an obvious eye toward detail, fits right into the historic scene. The food and service continue this penchant for detail in all things. The menus rotate with the seasons, providing a rich array of fish, meat, and chicken dishes cooked to exacting standards by Chef Travis Teska. Both the owner, Patti Kay and Chef Teska share a common love of good food cooked well. They use as many as ten local producers, depending on the season.

Fridays feature a nod to Wisconsin tradition, pan-fried walleye. Prime rib and king crab legs celebrate Wednesdays as specialties. Entrees range in price from $18 to $30.

The accompaniments to a good meal are in ready supply here. The Poached Pear salad is a favorite of mine. I usually skip appetizers (in order to save room for the entrée) but I have tried the Salsa Baked Goat Cheese, the salsa a perfect match for the pungent goat cheese. For a light desert, the sorbet du jour or the handmade ice cream top off a tasty evening. Otherwise go for the strawberry rhubarb crisp or the chocolate cake.

The credible selection of house wines and most of the extensive wine list are available by the glass. Be prepared to pay by the bottle for reserve wines, though. Martinis are a specialty of the house.

Alas, the one thing in short supply here are vegetarian options. Mr. CartoGeek would be enjoying the architectural details and ambience more than he would the edibles. But, all and all, the Wright Place provides outstanding (meaty) meals and excellent service, a combination that is hard to beat.

Reservations encouraged anytime and recommended for Friday and Saturday nights.
The Wright Place on 6th
901 N. 6th St, Wausau, Wisconsin
Serving Monday through Saturday.
Dinner Hours: 4:30 to 10:00
Open Hours: 4:30 to Close

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