Milwaukee's Top 30 restaurants for 2018, plus 20 more good eats

Chef-owner Dane Baldwin has an instinct for what’s delicious together. Combinations might surprise, like last fall’s gnocchi with Concord grape, but they’re bound to please. A dish can be pure fun, like Chicken in a Biscuit (a buttermilk biscuit rich with schmaltz and chicken cracklings), or a comfort (papardelle with pork), or celebratory (a perfect New York strip). 

Plates can be fancy, like the modernist arrangement of pureed, pickled and roasted carrot, or they can be elemental, like the sensational double burger, the Diplomac, served weekdays. It’s dinner in itself, but share it and go all in on dessert; Baldwin has a way with sweets, too. A stylish but low-key bar and dining room, smart cocktails and wine and beer lists — this might become your go-to spot.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Take summer by the stick with new Pete's Pops "poptails" at The Diplomat

"Dane and I have known one another since we both worked with Bartolottas," notes Pete's Pops' Pete Cooney, who recently established a new brick and mortar walk-up shop for his longtime popsicle business.

"I live a lonely life in the summer, working long days and eating late. So I eat at the bar at Diplomat a lot. We've talked about partnering for quite a while, but with Harley coming up, he finally pinned me down and we decided to do it."

The Diplomat chef and owner Dane Baldwin says he's excited to partner with Cooney to offer something new and different on The Diplomat bar menu.


"Chef Dane Baldwin’s cooking background — from Carnevor to Harbor House — keeps the menu at his own place, small-plates-focused The Diplomat, evolving and approachable for newbies, a discovery zone for diners who crave change. Since the joint’s inception in summer 2017, Baldwin has offered a wonderful preparation of tender, flaky trout. The beauty of it is it pulls this delicate, rich fish away from typical amandine and brown butter preparations. In summer, the chef matched the fillet with bright, pickly dilly beans, sliced radish, a daub of creamy red pepper romesco sauce and a cold tuna-anchovy sauce or tonnato. By winter, the prep was richer but equally flavorful — pickled mustard seeds with Brussels sprouts and sharp-sweet dill cream."

Milwaukee Magazine


The Diplomat opens on Brady Street tomorrow

"Baldwin has been working in the food industry since the age of 15. He is a field-trained chef with experience as restaurants ranging from Bacchus, Barossa, the Milwaukee Art Museum and, most recently, Mr. B's Steakhouse, where he served as executive chef."


New restaurant opens on Brady Street in Milwaukee

“We like to do things simply. Small menu so we can focus in on doing what we do very well,” says owner and chef Dane Baldwin.




The Diplomat on Brady St Serves Stellar Food

"It can feel like all the stars align at the Diplomat... Baldwin’s food is deeply satisfying, even thrilling; the service is relaxed but on the mark; the dining room, which echos the bar’s navy blue and is punctuated with a wall of plants, is comfortable enough for everyday but polished enough for a special night. The restaurant has all the finesse of, well, a diplomat."

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


"My first night at The Diplomat, early fall but tauntingly like summer, the door is propped open. The tender behind the mahogany-topped bar cheerfully waves us inside. The look is sleek, the beachy Key West theme of the old Bosley on Brady replaced by poster art, simple wood tables each topped with a little vase of goldenrod – a contemporary, unpretentious bistro look. Mindful of the time he spent working in restaurants where he “couldn’t necessarily afford [to dine],” Baldwin created a reasonably priced, approachable menu of small plates that’s not short on flavor."

Milwaukee Magazine

Small Plates with Big Flavors at Brady Street’s Diplomat

"The menu is small, changing with the season and available ingredients, but make no mistake, Chef Baldwin’s creativity and approach to food is apparent in each of these dishes. The entire menu is the exemplification of the rule: “Do a few things and do them well instead of many things just fine.”

Sheperd Express


The Diplomat restaurant opens Tuesday on Brady Street

"Baldwin has wide experience in Milwaukee restaurants. Before working to open the Diplomat, he last was executive chef at Mr. B's Steakhouse in Brookfield, He's worked at Carnevor, Bacchus and the late Dancing Ganesha and Gil's Cafe, among other restaurants."

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


New Brady Street restaurant The Diplomat opens this week

"Chef Dane Baldwin is ready to debut his The Diplomat (815 E. Brady St.) to the world. It opens Tuesday, Aug. 15, in the former Bosley on Brady. The Diplomat, described as both small plates and regional American – to those of us who like labels – draws on the Baldwin’s wide-ranging skills."

Milwaukee Magazine