The Grove's where to go for music and casual fine-dining

Fresh-caught fish offered nightly

April 5, 2011

Editor's note: The Grove is scheduled to close at the end of service Friday, Sept. 30, as reported by the Journal Sentinel's Carol Deptolla here. This story orginally ran in April.

Fourteen years ago, Chris and Brenda Skibinski opened The Grove Restaurant in a corner of The Village Court Shopping Center in Elm Grove. The eatery combines three of Chris' interests: the restaurant business, seafood and music.

"I spent 18 years in the restaurant business, so opening The Grove seemed like a logical next step," Chris Skibinski explained. "During college, when I wasn't working in a restaurant, I often supported my musician friends' bands. I'm also an avid fisherman, which is why we have so many great seafood dishes on the menu."

The Grove does indeed offer a variety of seafood; in fact, diners will find at least two fresh-catch offerings every day.

"We are a casual fine-dining restaurant," Skibinski said. "Our customer base is diverse, whether they are dining before a show at the nearby Sunset Playhouse or joining us for a business lunch."

The menu at The Grove features a variety of Mediterranean and American dishes. Some signature items include pan-seared Canadian walleye cakes ($13.95), pine nut-crusted tilapia ($15.95), stuffed Parmesan chicken ($13.95) and cioppino ($25.95).

Lunch is served Monday through Saturday, with a brunch offered on Sunday. Dinner is offered every day. There is a tapas and happy hour from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. every day, with drinks and small plates served at the bar.

The Grove features live music on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The music is primarily jazz.

After 14 years in the business, Skibinski admits that there are still challenges.

"If you can believe it, people often tell me that they don't want to tell people about The Grove because they don't want it to get so crowded that they won't be able to get in," Skibinski said.

The Basics

NAME: The Grove

ADDRESS: 890 Elm Grove Road (Village Court Shopping Center), Elm Grove

PHONE: (262) 814-1890


FARE: Mediterranean and American fine dining

HOURS: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday

PRICE RANGE: $7.95 to $29.95 (approximate)


"Grab a Bite" is an informal look at the food scene in the Wauwatosa, Brookfield and Elm Grove area by freelance writer Karen Waldkirch. Whether you're looking for a place for a date night or a casual spot for lunch, Waldkirch will be out and about scouting eateries for you. If you have a suggestion for a column, e-mail her at


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