MILTON — A white plate with a specialty eggs benedict and hash browns is set on the counter at Café 26, a new restaurant in Milton. The name of the menu item, “Divorced Benedicts,” is somewhat controversial, but a topic of conversation, nonetheless.
Café 26 Chef Gzim “Jimmy” Rexhepi, depending on your viewpoint, takes at least partial blame or credit for the name.
Divorced Benedicts is an English muffin split up. Canadian bacon and hollandaise tops one, sausage and traditional country gravy tops the other. Both have poached eggs.
“We put our minds together,” said Jimmy, explaining how he and Chef Benny Ademi came up with the name.
Jimmy, a Fort Atkinson resident, has been in the restaurant business for 25 years.
The two chefs say they are like brothers. Jimmy is head chef at Café 26. Benny is head chef at Fanatico, an Italian restaurant in Whitewater.
Benny and his wife, Kiki, opened Fanatico in 2015, and in March, they opened La Piazza Pizzeria in Whitewater.
Since Café 26 opened at 740 E. St. Mary St. in Milton on Nov 18, Whitewater patrons have followed them to Milton for breakfast and lunch.
Those who don’t live in Whitewater have asked if the Ademis will bring Fanatico recipes to Milton.
Featured Café 26 items will include similar items, but have Jimmy’s twist, Kiki said.
A favorite Jimmy recipe is stuffed French toast with cream cheese filling, strawberries, icing and whipped cream.
He clarified, “It’s not two pieces of toast with filling inside.”
Not wanting to share recipe details, he turned to lunch.
“We have open-faced sandwiches, dinners, steaks, salmon — We have a 10- to 12-ounce country fried steak, which is unheard of,” Jimmy said. “It’s ginormous.”
The meat is lightly breaded, fried and topped with sausage gravy.
Describing the overall goal for Café 26, Kiki said, “It’s quality across the board, whether it’s cleanliness, food or service. I’m a big stickler on that. I like to think when you come here, you’re going to get all good.”
The décor could be described as simple, modern, Italian farmhouse with stone and wood hues. A yellow paint, maybe Tuscan sun, accents natural tones.
“We did a complete remodel. Basically we gutted the whole inside,” said Kiki of the former Tasty Bites and former Burger King location.
Farmhouse wall hangings invite customers to “Choose to be happy” and “Gather.”
The restaurant revamp extends from the white square coffee cups to “the robot” orange juice machine.
“Our motto is you have to do it right or just don’t do it at all,” said Kiki, who grew up in the restaurant business in Illinois.
Café 26 is named after State Highway 26. It’s located at the intersection of St. Mary and Janesville streets (formerly Highway 26) and the city’s only intersection with traffic lights.
Breakfast and lunch are served 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Breakfast items include omelets, skillets, flapjacks, waffles, french toast and crepes. “The Milton” omelet is spinach, feta cheese, onions and bacon.
Lunch items include sandwiches, paninis, wraps, croissants and salads. A half-pound Angus beef burger is $7. Add fries or soup for $2, or both for $3. Entrees include salmon, fried chicken, ribeye, stir fry and more.
Children’s meals are available for breakfast and lunch.