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Milwaukee small plate dining - any updates? new places?

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The Hinterland is mentioned, and some places in the 3rd and 5th wards, but anything new on this front in Milw?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. nothing new comes to mind. La Merenda, Balzac both still pretty solid last time I went to both (though I noticed that La Merenda's menu can sometimes wander towards 'only ok' instead of consistently awesome, only about 1 in 4 visits I'd seen that). I'd maybe add Nanakusa as it can be a small plate experience as well, did it with a group of 4 a few weeks ago and the group share thing worked well.

    2 Replies
    1. re: joypirate

      thanks. I've been meaning to try Balzac and had forgotten about it.

      1. re: joypirate

        Nanakusa has good cooked dishes but the sushi is only OK. Something about the rice is off -- not the right balance of vinegar and sugar I think. I did really like the seaweed salad, marinated eggplant, miso black cod, pork belly. But the nigiri sushi and sashimi was of middling quality.

      2. We actually went to La Merenda over the holiday. I would concur on the assessment of several dishes being, just ok. Several had components that overwhelmed the entire dish (over-salted spinach, overly sweet squash ravioli, too much cumin in the vinaigrette for the lamb and phylo) and despite the place being labeled "international tapas" I perhaps had an unreal expectation that their would be at least some Spanish standards (there were none)...I'm not too sure what I think of a kitchen taking on Cantonese, Thai, Italian, and Moroccan all at once. Also, half the dishes came atop mashed potatoes. Additionally, our server had to return twice because she forgot items between the table the POS (please just write things down), one hostess leaned on the Open Table station half the night, and the other hostess (maybe manager) had the sourest look on her face and seemed put-out when I asked if the valet had left for the night...

        If I had it to do over again, I definitely would have returned to Hinterland.

        1. The Journal Sentinel just mentioned Charro is doing Tapas nights on Tuesday and Thursday.

          I have just been to La Merenda once…fun place, but the food wasn't that impressive to me.

          Bosley on Brady has a good small plate list.

          I haven't been, but I know people have enjoyed Ginger on 2nd.

          Waukesha has a pretty new tapas place—Generations at Five Points—if you are ever in that area. We enjoyed our meal there.

          3 Replies
          1. re: bte576

            I'd be hesitant about Charro, maybe worth a try but I wasn't impressed at all with their normal menu, pretty boring.

            1. re: joypirate

              Red Accordion on 3d. Ginger is good, as mentioned above. I like Merenda and balzac too.

              1. re: Milwhawkeye

                I need to respond to Milwhawkeye's eaarlier post. Take red Accordian off the recommended list. I was disappointed in a meal there last week. The menu is more ambitious than the chef.