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With a free weekend in between events in Washington DC and Chicago, it was time to visit Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the first time. With two food/wine/spirits/travel writer friends living there, I wanted to see the city they call home. Milwaukee I arrived on Saturday afternoon and we immediately headed over to Bert's Bar (3907 S. Lake Drive), a local bar on the south shore of St. Francis. It was a perfect early summer day with temperatures in the high 70s and the sun shining as we sat on the patio, looking out to the lake. Surprisingly, for a local bar, Bert's has a very substantial and interesting wine and beer selection. We enjoyed a bottle of the crisp private labeled Bert's Bar Chardonnay (the grapes come from California) and typical bar food - fried mozzarella sticks and fried zucchini. 
The Little Door restaurant is like a little secret hideaway, but it's not a secret. The space on 3rd Street in West Hollywood has been known as a romantic French restaurant since it opened in 1996. It seems  to be tucked away but it's actually on a busy street and easy to find, if you are looking for it. In September (2014), The Little Door opened a second location, tucked out in the open on 26th Street, just south of San Vicente, in Santa Monica (across the street from the Brentwood Country Mart). The Little Door Santa Monica With ornate wrought iron fencing covering the entrance on 26th Street, it is easy to miss The Little Door Santa Monica, if you are not looking. There are no signs that pop out as you drive by. But, located in the former space of Mimi's, enter the "little door" and you are in a large open patio area. To the right is indoor dining and bar and there are two private rooms in the rear [who hadn't been to a bridal shower, baby shower or birthday lunch in those spaces when it was Mimi's?]. But what the Little Door Santa Monica offers is lots of outdoor dining space that will make you feel like you have been transported to a French Mediterranean village.....white washed walls with blue accents and lots of fresh greenery. While the space may be a perfect romantic destination at night, it is an ideal spot for a weekend brunch.