At Ease at Easy Tyger
Creative dishes inspired by international street food
“Easy” is the operative word for the experience at the recently opened Easy Tyger. You’re put at ease immediately by the simplicity of the foyer, the sofa and stuffed chairs beside the window, the homey kitchen counter and the pleasant manner of the staff. It’s like you’ve been invited to a friend’s house for dinner but that friend is a culinary genius who delights in concocting fun dishes inspired by international street food.
“You have to be playful,” says general manager Todd Hasselbacher. “You have to please yourself if you hope to please others. We pay attention to detail but don’t take ourselves too seriously.”
Chef Evan Greenhalah comes from Bacchus and Lake Park Bistro. He met sous chef Vinny Cornils when they worked together at The Rumpus Room. Their Easy Tyger dishes are more than imaginative. They’re nutritionally sound, as locally sourced and fresh as possible, using only essential ingredients, fearlessly seasoned. Seasonal changes in fruits and veggies mean changes in protein ingredients. Seafood has seasons, too, if it’s to be fresh. So dishes change every few weeks.
This isn’t a tapas restaurant with dishes focused on single ingredients. These are small servings of complex meals, easy to share if you want to try several. Who wouldn’t, since each is delicious? One family once spent six hours here, so engrossed in tastes and conversation they lost all sense of time.
The dining room has three areas: tables near the wide window on Brady Street, tables and booths at the windowless far end, and a beautiful full bar in between. An antique tin ceiling, lots of wood and works by local artists on the brick outer walls and white inner walls further brighten the atmosphere.
We recently enjoyed the best Sunday brunch we’ve ever eaten. We shared three dishes: chicken schnitzel—chicken breast sliced lengthwise, pounded and dredged in buttermilk and flour, pan seared and finished in the oven, topped with lemon-caper brown butter, arugula salad and an egg fried sunny side up; summer polenta and vegetables—roasted squash, mushrooms, greens, lemon basil polenta cake and romesco aioli Parmesan, topped with a sunny side up egg; and homemade doughnuts—hot deep-fried no-hole balls of poppy seed pastry with clear lemon icing and a hint of sugar. The flavor of every ingredient in each dish was distinct and memorable. We couldn’t have felt more satisfied. With a mimosa, two coffees, tax and 20% tip, we paid less than $30 apiece, well worth the price.
The happy hour is enchanting. The outdoor seating, a cold bottle of Robinade lemonade (100% natural, 100% Wisconsin) and a plate of grilled breadcheese—an incredibly delicious Brazilian cheese that doesn’t melt when grilled, served warm over cool watermelon, cucumber, pistachio nuts and greens in pistachio sauce—for low cost ($11 with tax and tip) and that feeling of ease the staff again facilitated made it clear that this also a wonderful place to eat alone.
1230 E. Brady St.
Handicapped access: Yes
FB, SB, OD