Test Drive the Good Wives: Good Wives Restaurant Now Open
new eatery makes a successful splash during soft opening
Since last talking to Ella Wesenberg and Emily (Ema) Rieck in June, their new fine-dining establishment, The Good Wives, has launched with a successful soft opening at the beginning of November.
The first few days of the soft opening were kept a bit under wraps, allowing the eatery to serve close friends and family and letting new employees get used to the system without feeling too overwhelmed. After announcing the opening on their social media, the community began dining there, and so far the couple have only heard positive things.
“The best part has been seeing those people that have just come across us, either by walking past us or they saw our sign recently,” Ema said. “They kind of just wander in and see this look on their face that is like, wonder and a little confusion. Then, it’s excitement, and then confusion again,” she laughed. “That has been really delightful.”
Some favorites from the opening week’s menu were the Smoked Ham Hock, Wilted Spinach, Gravlox, Sea Bass, and Steak Medallions, though the menu is already changing. It will continue to do so, depending on Ella’s vision.
“The whole idea is that we want to keep moving,” said Ellas, who was formerly head chef at The Informalist. “We want to keep it fresh and try new things and see what sticks and what doesn’t. Just keeping that creativity flowing.”
Patrons have not only been raving about their food options but also the atmosphere at the restaurant (2161 Eastridge Center, Eau Claire). With a predominately green color scheme, there are also some hidden decor gems that make The Good Wives special, including a mural painted on the back wall by local artist Aidan Kraus, the specially-crafted bar by Ross Nordquist, and a giant king crab hanging on the wall, which was caught by Ema’s grandparents in the 1960s (his name is Claude).
The aesthetic of the restaurant, Ema said, is meant to feel like a home away from home for the couple. They also want to create a community where patrons feel comfortable chatting with each other and the rest of the staff. Since they are still a newly opened establishment, they ask that people continue to show kindness and patience towards all staff.
“We’re not trying to take ourselves too seriously,” Ema said. “But we are trying to offer some delicious, serious food and wine.”
The Good Wives’ hours are 5-9pm Tuesday-Thursday, 5-10pm Friday-Saturday, and brunch is available from 9am-2pm on Saturday and Sunday. Make reservations at (715) 514-0401 and see the menu at thegoodwivesrestaurant.com.