Tofte’s Table opened in August 2016 and has been a much-loved mainstay in Waukesha ever since. The restaurant offers affordable, upscale dining in an intimate, relaxed setting.
The menu is filled with dishes that are meant for sharing with family and friends, to linger over while making memories. Whether you’re craving comfort food, like fried chicken or meatloaf, or something new to tempt your palate, you’ll be sure to discover delicious options among the chef’s seasonally inspired cuisine.
The bar proudly serves small-batch Wisconsin spirits and a variety of craft beer along with wines from around the world.
We spoke with husband and wife team Cristina and Jason Tofte about their (very) popular dining establishment.
You both have a lot of experience in the restaurant business. Tell us about your backgrounds
We were both working at Eddie Martini’s in Wauwatosa when we met. Cristina worked there for a couple of years and went on to work in Milwaukee for Sanford and Coquette Café. I worked at Eddie Martini’s for 18 years, climbing the ranks from line cook to sous chef and then to executive chef for the last 10 years I was there. Working in a kitchen was the first (and only) job I’ve ever had.
What was the inspiration for an upscale, shareable plates kind of restaurant in Waukesha?
It all stemmed from how we like to go out and the things we like to eat. When our daughter was growing up, we loved to just order a bunch of things off of the menu, sharing the plates as they came out of the kitchen. To us, dining out is about delicious flavors, conversation and having a good time – we wanted to bring that to Tofte’s Table.
For a first-timer or someone visiting Waukesha Pewaukee, what are your signature dishes that are must-haves?
The duck tostada is a unique take on what a tostada is with its Asian influence, and the duck is delicious and interesting. Our fried chicken leg is prepared with a homey kind of feel, it’s done it really well. The short ribs are our number one sellers – they’ve been on the menu since the beginning… who doesn’t love braised meat? And the octopus salad is very popular, it’s so good and not something people make a lot of at home.
You also own the Steaming Cup in Waukesha. Does the coffee shop share any of the same menu items?
The two don’t share any menu items (however, the coffee is the same), but what is shared is we try to make people feel comfortable and at home at both places. Our staff is awesome and very welcoming. The two locations are very close together, which is helpful to keep things running smoothly. It can get complicated at times, but we are doing what we love to do.
What are the best parts of owning restaurants in Waukesha?
The community supports us, we have a lot of regulars at both places and people want to be part of it. Not only that, the city administration has been great to work with, truly wanting our businesses to thrive. We’ve lived in Waukesha for almost 20 years, Cristina grew up here, we feel like we are a part of the fabric. Downtown Waukesha is so charming – we’d love to try something new if the right place comes along.