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Milwaukee Gets More Ethnic

New restaurants opening will serve Italian/Spanish, Indian/Pakistani, Irish pub grub and southern soul food.

By - Dec 15th, 2014 11:47 am
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Meraki. Photo from facebook.

Meraki. Photo from facebook.

Milwaukee has always been one of America’s most ethnic cities and the latest restaurant openings continue to reflect that heritage.

No it’s never been a very Spanish city, but that hasn’t stopped the owners of Meraki from offering a menu that combines Spanish and Italian food. As we’ve previously reported, the new restaurant at 939 S. 2nd St., in Walker’s Point and near the old Allen Bradley clock tower, is owned by ChadMeier, former chef of Blue Jacket, and his wife Malissa. Diners will find langoustine, oyster mushrooms with cocoa cavatelli, pork shoulder, game and fresh white anchovies cured in house and served on grilled bread. The bar menu will be separate and includes pickled vegetables and fried chickpeas, with a rotating selection of house cocktails, a variety of taps, sake and wine. As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, the restaurant opens today. Meraki’s website is still being developed but you can call at (414) 897-7230.

K2 Restaurant, a new Indian Pakistani restaurant, will be opening at 1828 N. Farwell Ave. and opening around Christmas, as we reported last week. Unlike some Indian restaurants, K2 (named after the huge mountain in Pakistan), is run by Muslims and will be observant of Halal, the Islamic Dietary laws, which prohibit pork products and stipulate slaughter procedures. Halal also forbids the consumption of alcoholic beverages, so K2 will not have a liquor license. More details about the menu will be reported as we learn more.

-In October, we reported that Nino’s Southern Sides, a takeout restaurant specializing in Southern-style meats and side dishes, would be coming to Shorewood, at 4475 N. Oakland Ave. Last week, the restaurant opened, as the Journal Sentinel reported, serving such soul food items as smothered chicken, catfish fillets, pork chitterlings and barbecued pig feet, along with collard greens, sweet potatoes and stewed okra. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily and the place does have about six seats for those who want a sit-down meal.

-On the Irish food front, Kam’s Thistle & Shamrock restaurant plans an opening in January at 8340 W. Lisbon Ave, as the Journal Sentinel reported. The restaurant’s owners, Jeff Kamermeyer and his wife, Carey Young Kamermeyer, also run Kam’s Corner Tap, located in the same building, and have already begun serving food in the bar, offering a small taste of the restaurant fare to come. The bar now offers Irish nachos — corned beef, white cheddar sauce, green onions and black olives over house-made potato chips ($7.95) — and reuben rolls ($7.95 for four). Coming later are such entrees shepherd’s pie and a Friday fish fry with cod and perch served. Call (414) 871-4680.

-As we’ve reported, the Avalon Theater will have its grand opening on December 18, and it will also include a restaurant with state-of-the-art, high speed ovens serving pizzas and paninis, and a full-service bar offering beer, wine and cocktails. Both the restaurant and bar will be open independently of the theater.

-A new Refuge Smoothie Cafe is now open in the Milwaukee Athletic Club, as the Business Journal has reported. This will replace the one at 736 N. Plankinton Ave. Refuge, a local business inspired by California-style smoothie shops,  also has locations on Farwell Ave. on the East Side and at Wild Flour Bakery in Bay View.

Now Closing

-Berry Me, the frozen yogurt shop which opened three years ago on Brady Street, offering yogurt choices with tons of topping, is no more. The store  at 1330 E. Brady St. is empty and now might be better-named Bury Me.

-Spanish food is on clearly the upswing in Milwaukee, what with two restaurants offering such fare just in Walker’ Point — the new Meraki mentioned above and Movida, which opened several months ago, and got a fine review from our reviewer Jeffrey Merlot. On the downside, the restaurant Espana has closed, as reported here by OnMilwaukee.com.

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