Welcome to Pastiche. Surround yourself with family and friends, and dine from a menu of French bistro classics. Dishes that are what they say they are, no more or less. Flavors that are familiar and reassuring, without any “this is my take on…” surprises, or gimmicky pretensions. Though we keep the traditions of French cuisine in our hearts, true to our name, we also draw inspiration from Spain, Italy, and America just to keep things fun and interesting. We’re a family business. Angela and I have worked here with our sons Andrew, Nick, Frank and Bobby since our humble beginning in 2009. The staff is part of our extended family, and our friends and customers are treated as welcome guests in our home. We work to serve you the best we can offer every day; our fish is the freshest, our steaks and chops are properly aged, and our birds are procured from the best local purveyors.
We cook from scratch, and with love.
Michael Engel began his career in his home town of Milwaukee, as an apprentice cook at the Milwaukee Country Club in 1977. The chefs trained him in the classics of Escoffier, teaching him to apply proper cooking techniques to the finest quality ingredients. After completing his apprenticeship and obtaining a culinary degree, he worked an additional three years as a cook before enlisting in the US Army as an infantryman. Following four years of active duty at Ft. Bragg, NC in the 82nd Airborne Division, which included a tour of duty with the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai, he left the service as an infantry staff sergeant with an honorable discharge. Back in Milwaukee, he resumed his career, first as Sous Chef then Executive Chef at Tripoli Country Club. Wanting to learn something different, he went to work for entrepreneur Robert Lang, opening and operating several restaurants over a period of three years. Continuing this practical education, he worked as chef of an upscale catering company, and also as Executive Chef in charge of food service operations for a large international printing company. He then drew on these experiences, returning to the private club sector in 2003, designing the kitchens and developing and overseeing the operational infrastructure for a group of golf clubs west of Milwaukee. Along the way, he got married, helped raise and provide for a family including three sons, who eventually followed him into the kitchens and became apprentices, cooks and chefs in their own right. Divorcing in 2000, he spent several years rebuilding his life personally and professionally. On an eHarmony date, he met his future wife Angela, who shared his love of food and family, and dream of opening a small French bistro where they could all work together. Pastiche Bistro & Wine Bar was founded in 2009, and opened in 2010. Originally a 48-seat, classic Parisian bistro located on a corner in a south side Milwaukee neighborhood, it eventually moved into two locations, one in the upscale North Shore and the other Downtown in a small boutique hotel where Michael had been the opening chef in 1998 and worked until 2000. The hotel was remodeling, so the Downtown location was bought out on December 31st, 2019, as rumors of a virus in China were beginning to make the evening news… Mike and Angela worked through the COVID-19 pandemic that followed, not missing a beat. Pastiche has become a successful and well-loved restaurant because of its many personal touches, attention to detail, excellent food and carefully curated wine list. Michael continues to bring his lifelong passion for French food and good wine to the Milwaukee community every day. He’s missed 1 day of work in 45 years. In his spare time, his favorite things to do are golf with Angela and spend time with their dogs.
Pastry Chef & Hostess
Angela Engel was born and raised in Milwaukee, where she discovered her love of cooking spending afternoons in her Grandmothers’ kitchens. Friends of her family owned a small and well-regarded Italian restaurant when she was growing up; seeing how happy they were planted the seed that would grow into her passion for restaurant life. She went to school, where she developed her artistic talents and met a group of girls who would become lifelong best friends. She married and started a family, baking with her aunts and friends on the side, taking care of her boys, making sure they were getting to school, team practices, and extracurricular events. Eventually, she went to work in the cafeteria of the local high school, where she baked the breads and desserts. She divorced and began rebuilding her life with her 2 boys, one of whom passed away just before graduating high school. She met Michael Engel on an eHarmony date in the summer of 2009; they were married August 7th, 2016. Working together, they opened Pastiche Bistro & Wine Bar in Bay View, where she did dual duties as pastry chef and hostess. Her son Frank also came to work with them when he was old enough, bussing, doing dishes, learning how to take good care of people, and eventually becoming the restaurant manager. Thanks to her hard work and talent, Pastiche quickly gained a reputation for having the best desserts in the city. Upon moving the restaurant to the North Shore, she added to her already long list of responsibilities by taking over the planting and maintenance of the restaurant gardens. Instrumental in every aspect of the operation, Angela brings a skill set that perfectly complements every other element of the restaurant, and helps to create memorable experiences for her guests, many of whom have become good friends. Away from the restaurant, she spends time reading, golfing, taking care of the dogs, hanging out with her friends and their grandkids, and painting.
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