Dining and Gathering at Bay View's Kindred
Located in the new Kinn MKE guesthouse in Bay View, Kindred is a warm space to get together for innovative cocktails and modern twists on classic food.
Kindred is the perfect fit on the ground level of this boutique micro hotel, melting in with the character and charm of the old brick building housing it. Low lighting, warm reclaimed wood and little hidden banquettes of cozy dining areas all surround a table that expands to the length of the room and seats about 20 guests. Kindred is a place where you can dine alone and still feel like part of a family or meet new friends while dining at the communal table or in the intimate bar area. The velvety, almost Moroccan feel is everything I loved about the owner’s former restaurant, Firefly, and the food complements everything warm and earthy about the space. The chef’s natural approach to food and locally sourced ingredients shine through in each creative and flavorful dish.
2535 S. Kinnickinnic Ave, Bay View
Handicapped access: Yes (rear)
CC, FB, SB, RS, GF, V
Hours: Tu-Sa 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5-10 p.m.
The wine list has a nice variety by the glass and by the bottle, including some exceptional “on reserve” choices along with a good selection of beer. Female-named cocktails include the Farrah ($11) made with bulleit bourbon, fresh lime, demerara syrup, bitters and blackberry. We couldn’t help but order a few of these innovative and playful cocktails to see which of these vixens tempted us the most. All were adorned with the finest ingredients.
The menu is broken down into three sections starting with the many options under the heading “Gather.” These not-so-small plates are perfect for sharing and have many options for vegetarians like the wood ear mushroom spread ($7) simmered in a creamy sherry sauce and topped with toasted pistachios for a light crunch. This is served with a salted pretzel roll that’s grilled to add a little smokiness to the overall taste. It seems like such a simple dish, but was composed from layers of complex flavors masterfully prepared. The lemongrass mussels ($13) were served in a ginger-laced coconut broth rich in flavor. The mussels had a warm heat from the ginger and bird’s eye chilies and sweetness not only from the tender jewels in the shell, but from the heirloom carrots. The duck confit flatbread ($13) was also executed with a good balance of sweet and salty from figs and feta cheese topped with local sprouts.
Kindred’s gnocchi uses parsnips in their little dumplings, sautéed in a brown butter with shaves of Parmesan cheese and topped with sage panko crumbles. The gnocchi themselves had good flavor and the ingredients paired beautifully, but I found the gnocchi to be a little heavy and not the little cloud pillows that I admire about the potato variety.
In the “Dine” section of larger plates the Black Angus burger ($13) tops the list of musts. It’s served with Wisconsin aged cheddar, pickled chilies, and tobacco onions on a brioche roll. The stout-braised short ribs ($21) over a manchego polenta and the striped bass ($23) with white asparagus and red miso brown butter sauce are delicious options for a heartier fare.
The last section is called Indulge—and you must! The cinnamon sugar crullers ($7) with a coffee crème anglaise finish the meal on a sugary high note, especially when paired with the lovely quinto do vallado 10-year port ($12).