Chefs to Watch 2014: Justin Carlisle, Ardent, Milwaukee, Wis.

Liz Grossman

Tucked into a 900-square-foot garden level space on the East Side of Milwaukee is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it restaurant that’s become one of the Midwest’s white-hot fine-dining destinations in a city still somewhat saturated with fish fries and steakhouses.

At Ardent, Justin Carlisle’s 23-seat restaurant, hyper-local ingredients dot the menu, down to the cultured butter and beef sourced from his family’s cattle farm. Standout dishes...