The entire Downtown community, and then some, has been dying to see the transformation of The Apis Hotel and Restaurant!   Formally known as the Isermann Building, opened in 1895 by the Isermann Brother’s and was Kenosha’s first true department store.   Interestingly enough their vision was to provide more quality, variety and experience than any location before them.   Presenting The Apis Hotel and Restaurant of 2020, that vision remains the same.

Entering the most impressive (stately) atrium and getting a first glance at the modern- industrial design is an experience in itself!   First impressions were made and did not disappoint!   It’s an interesting vibe, fancy yet casual. High end, yet comfortable!    And, yes,  I know that’s a bit of an oxymoron, and hard to understand.  So here is the best explanation I can give.   One minute you’re enjoying a refreshing  white claw on the rooftop deck taking selfies and loudly joking around, then ext minute escorted through sleek dining rooms with polished servers to sip on a rare Italian Calcarious Orange Puglia wine in the dining room.

My group and I attended during the Friends and Family Soft Opening.  We were welcomed by friendly familiar faces and bright smiling eyes, which is how we communicate now that everyone is masked.   You can tell a lot about a person by their eyes, can’t you.   Confidence, compassion & welcome were all sentiments I received by their amazing staff.

Going back to my white claw reference earlier, that really is how it went.  We started at the rooftop and admired the view, and all I can say is, pictures do not do it justice.   I can wholeheartedly admit to taking for granted how majestic Lake Michigan is and that view definitely put me in my place.  From here we headed back to the dining room so that we could experience the menu.

The Menu…….Chef Danielle Weybright is a culinary genius!.   Distinct flavors, unique combinations, inventive design…….it was all perfection.  I can confidently say you have never tasted anything like it.   We ordered just about one of everything off the menu, including dessert.  In keeping with true tapas style dining, food arrives as soon as it is prepared, not all at once.  I personally happened to love this aspect the most, it gives you the opportunity to  enjoy each dish individually.  Each plate that arrived was almost too beautiful to eat, so of course no one at the table was allowed to touch it until I took a  picture!!!   I loved everything we indulged in, but for the sake of keeping this blog brief and to keep you interested, I will give you just the highlight reel.

-The Scotch egg bun was highly impressive!   It hit all the taste buds with it’s creamy & savory ham and egg combination. The flakiness of the bun and the sweet/savory combination with the cheese melts in your mouth.

– Lobster ceviche with watermelon radish & yucca chips was incredibly fresh and flavorful, highlighting citrus notes and sweetness of the fresh seafood.

-Raviolo al’uovo was incredibly unique;    homemade Charcoal semolina pasta that bursts with a creamy quail egg yolk and cheese combination.  This picture perfect dish was the talk of the evening.

-Soft Shell Crab; corn dog style, put a fun spin on the meal as it was a perfect combo of fancy comfort food!

-Jackfruit Tostadas on hand-made beet tortillas!  Jackfruit is a wonderful meat alternative and has familiarity to pulled pork. Topped with fresh microgreens, grown in house, and the granny smith apple & kohlrabi combination was sweet, crunchy and refreshing.

On top of the incredible flavor profiles as you can see each dish was truly Instagram worthy!

As we headed out for the evening we had the pleasure to speak with Executive Chef Weybright and Riki Tagliapietra, Director of Marketing &  Operations. They informed us that the menu would be ever changing as Chef uses fresh local ingredients, much of which she acquires from the Kenosha Public Market, a local farmers market located just a few blocks from the restaurant.  We appreciate and admire Chef Weybright’s ability to support local farmers and collaborate with our community!

Reservations are required and seating options offer different dining experiences.   Overlook seating for 2 offers private & scenic tables overlooking the bar & dining area from the mezzanine.   Chef’s Table Experience is their most premier and interactive dining experience.  Bar-style seating at the kitchen prep station allows you to be a part of the action & includes a 9-10 course culinary adventure!   Dining room seating is the shareable plate dining experience offering fresh ingredients and creative preparation.

I can tell you that I will never forget this enjoyable and once in a lifetime experience.   With an ever changing menu I know that I will never be able to recreate it, no matter how many times I dine at the Apis.

 “There’s nothing quite like The Apis Hotel and Restaurant”   and that’s quite literally the best way to describe it.   You have to experience it for yourself!

Gretchen Covelli, Downtown Kenosha Blogger