We Loved Odd Duck! (Milwaukee)
We visited Odd Duck in Bay View for dinner this weekend and really enjoyed it. I've been hearing a lot about the place and was worried it wouldn't live up to the hype, but we left full and happy.
A foodie's paradise for small plate dining... We did all small plates and some cheese/charcuterie, but the big plates sounded great too. We both tried one of their craft cocktails before dinner and they were excellent.
Looking forward to going back.
I don't know if these are the best items there since we only tried 4 small plates, but here's my take on what we had.
We had grilled prawns, jerk ribs, duck spring rolls, and fried green tomatoes. Of those 4, the fried green tomatoes were really a highlight. The ribs were also very good. Would order those both again I think. With so many options, I would probably choose something different over the prawns and spring rolls even though we enjoyed them. The prawns dish worked overall, but the prawns themselves were not the best I'd ever had. I did really enjoy the coconut sauce and rice cake that accompanied them.
We also really liked the underground meats Air Dried Berkshire Ham.
I also really loved the Brass Monkey cocktail.
Literally, everythIng was excellent. There was 6 people in our group do we got to try a lot of things. My favorites were the lamb meatballs, porkbelly bulgogi, eggplant and the charcuterie board was the bomb! The cocktails were ok and the beer list was very well thought out. I thInk if you order what you like it will be be good.
Had a big family dinner here last night. Thought it was good for Milwaukee, but didn't love it.
Lamb chops were too rare and tasted a bit too charcoal ish. We thought maybe their grill needed cleaning. Scallops were excellent and perfectly cooked but the frisée/fennel/apple slaw didn't come together and added nothing to the dish. Bacon Brussels sprouts were competent, nothing more. Liked the feta stuffed baby bell peppers. Bacon wrapped dates as well. Trout with potato pancake was also nice, well cooked. Those were probably the best cooked dishes. The menu ambitiously tries to do a lot but doesn't always hit the mark, it seems.
Charcuterie board was good. Four types of salami/dried sausages and a pot of rillettes, the rillettes are better at Hinterland. Would have appreciated more variety, like a ham or something. The cheese board was pretty good, too, especially the spicy orange marmalade. But a lot of that is good sourcing...not really cooking per se.
Also the bathrooms have no heat and are freezing cold.
I've been back one other time since our first visit and I would have to agree with your comment about their ambition and not always hitting the mark, but I am still a fan of what they are doing.
When we've gone, we've only spent around $20 pp on the food portion of our bill and I don't know that I've been that excited about any place else in Mke lately at that price point. Which is what it comes down to for me and thus my declaration of loving the place.
I have also been really happy with our severs. They've been very knowledgeable and helpful. Sometimes restaurants with similar relaxed vibes tend to be accompanied by aloof servers, but we've had good luck so far.