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What’s New in Milwaukee Dining?

November brings Thai curries, soul food, gourmet Spanish and more

Nov. 22, 2016
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thainamite
Image via Thai-namite Facebook

From Spanish fine dining in a new hotel to a public food court in a building housing student apartments, new dining options catering to every taste opened this month. Plus, a soul food spot serves meals family style and a Thai staple adds a new location. 

The Tandem

Image via The Tandem Facebook

1848 W. Fond du Lac Ave.

414-885-1919

tandemmke.com

$-$$

Owner Caitlin Cullen, who previously cooked at Bavette la Boucherie, hopes her restaurant in the Triangle North district will bridge neighborhoods on the near North Side by revitalizing the century-old building that once served as a community hub as the Wally Schmidt Tavern. The full-service lunch and dinner restaurant is housed on street level, while the upper floors will serve as office space. The menu reflects the diversity of the neighborhood with an emphasis on soul food, plus vegetarian options, Thai, Latin American and even a Detroit twist thanks to Cullen’s upbringing near there. A family-style dining special is offered each night, including udon noodle soup ($38), lamb tagine ($47-50) and a whole chicken ($26) that can be prepared roasted in Dominican style, Georgia fried or spicy Memphis fried ($36 if you’d like to add three sides). Lunch options skew toward sandwiches like hot dogs three ways ($9), Cubano ($10) and a beet Reuben ($8).

Bodegón

Image via hotelmadridmke.com

600 S. Sixth St.

414-488-9146

hotelmadridmke.com/restaurante
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The sister restaurant to Movida, Bodegón opened as a Spanish fine dining spot in Walker’s Point. It’s located in the Hotel Madrid, a two-suite inn that will be open for guests soon. The word bodegón means home cooking restaurant and implies a rustic touch on the menu. Steaks, mostly from Ney’s Big Sky, are the dinner focus, like the 32-ounce bone-in ribeye ($95) that’s dry aged in house. An octopus appetizer ($22) features balsamic vinegar, orange and fennel for a light starter. For a large party, order the whole sucking pig ($620) in advance if you really want to impress. Bodegón also features a chef’s table to watch the open kitchen in action and a wine cellar underground. Expect a well-curated wine list, cocktails that feature homemade ingredients and molecular gastronomy components, and sangria and vermouth on tap.

Thai-namite

Image via Thai-namite Facebook

8725 W. North Ave.

facebook.com/thainamitetosa

414-837-6281

$-$$

Thai-namite expanded to Wauwatosa, opening in the former City Market space. This is the third location for the Thai restaurant, with the original location on Brady Street and an outpost in the Milwaukee Public Market. The menu is the same as on Brady Street with a focus on Thai curries, stir frys and fresh sushi. Thai-namite curry ($12) is mussaman style with chunks of beef, potatoes and carrots braised in a rich coconut milk-based curry. Thai-American favorite volcano chicken ($14) features a crispy deep-fried chicken breast sliced atop a bed of vegetables and served on a hot skillet. The sushi portion of the menu includes nigiri, sashimi and maki, along with sushi bar entrées ($16-$25) that come with miso soup and an assortment of sushi. A children’s menu and a full bar are available. 

Eleven25 Food Court

1125 N. Ninth St.

live-eleven25.com

A new food court has opened in the student apartments at Eleven25 at Pabst. The newly renovated building houses students from Marquette, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Milwaukee Area Technical College and UW-Milwaukee in the former Pabst bottling building. The food court, which includes five counter service restaurants, is open to the public. The restaurants are:

Gouda Girls: This is the first permanent spot for the popular grilled cheese food truck. The menu has many of the truck’s favorites, such as the triple ($4.25), a grilled cheese with Gouda, Colby jack and Havarti. New mac ’n’ cheese bowls and breakfast items are also available. $. 414-630-8360

Meat on the Street: Also the first permanent location for this food truck, Meat on the Street is well known for their skewers of grilled Filipino meats. Get them with a side of stir-fried rice noodles called pancit, or on top of a binakol bowl ($7) with chicken, coconut broth and rice. $. 414-477-6717

Huan Xi Express: An outpost of their location on Murray Avenue, the menu at the express location is much smaller. Diners can choose from about 15 entrées and pair them with sides such as eggrolls and soup. $. 414-226-1000

Upper Crust: Primarily a pizza spot like their location on Hampton Avenue, Upper Crust will offer delivery late night on the weekends. In addition to pizza, they’re adding gyros and fish fry to their menu. $. 414-204-8889 

Tokyo Express: As its name suggests, the quick-service counter serves a variety of Asian American dishes and sushi. $. 414-226-1000

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