Michael Holloway
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A ’60s-Style Restaurant For Shorewood

Opening this week. Plus: A new pizza purveyor, new Mexican restaurant and The Vanguard's new menu.

By - Dec 13th, 2021 02:31 pm
Buttermint Finer Dining & Cocktails, 4195 N. Oakland Ave. Photo courtesy of Black Shoe Hospitality.Buttermint Finer Dining & Cocktails, 4195 N. Oakland Ave. Photo courtesy of Black Shoe Hospitality.

Buttermint Finer Dining & Cocktails, 4195 N. Oakland Ave. Photo courtesy of Black Shoe Hospitality.

A new concept from the folks at Black Shoe Hospitality (Blue’s Egg, Story Hill BKC) will be opening at 4195 N. Oakland Ave. in Shorewood on December 14. The swanky new restaurant, Buttermint Finer Dining & Cocktails, draws upon 1960’s aesthetics — vintage decor fills the dining room and house-made buttermints are offered to guests on their way out. Even the food menu takes some cues from the ‘60s — co-owner and chef Joe Muench researched old menus to come up with modern twists on classic dishes. Lori Fredrich reports:

A focal point of the dining room will be Buttermint’s raw bar, which will feature an assortment of chilled prepared seafood including freshly shucked East and West Coast oysters. Current seafood offerings include house-smoked sturgeon with horseradish, caraway and rye ($18); house-tinned clams marinated with lemon and olive oil served atop potato cream ($13); and Hiramasa crudo flavored with satsuma, apple, ginger and mint ($14).

The appetizer menu is more than appropriate for bartime nibbles, a feast of small plates or as a precursor to dining. Options include casually snackable chickpea fries served with harissa ($9); veal sweetbreads sauteed with mushrooms ($16); and romanesco served with rich orange-scented maltaise sauce ($12).

Main courses at Buttermint offer something for everyone from housemade pasta with braised greens, mushrooms, rosemary oil and parmesan ($22); a brisket burger with classic fixings ($16); and a grilled Iowa pork rib chop served with celery root hash, candied bacon, potato croquette and calvados reduction ($29).

Flour Girl & Flame Opens in West Allis

A new wood-fired pizza business is open in West Allis for carryout only. Flour Girl & Flame, which originally started as a food trailer, has set up a shop in a brick & mortar location at 8121 W. National Ave. The restaurant prides itself on its locally grown ingredients — the pizzas are made from organic heritage flour dough that’s house-made every day. Flour Girl & Flame is open Wednesday through Sunday, closed Monday and Tuesday with eventual delivery options. Bob Dohr reports:

Aside from the wood-fired pizzas, customers can choose from two salad options; there are also rice crispies treats from West Allis-based Carrie’s Crispies and house-made wood-fired cannoli dessert calzones which feature mascarpone, chocolate chips, chocolate drizzle and pistachio.

Beverage options include BKlear water, a Black-owned company, Soul Brew Kombucha, which is Black- and woman-owned and offerings from Siren Shrub, another woman-owned business.

“Kind of our whole thing from the beginning has been to offer local ingredients and products from diversely owned vendors, so we’re being able to stay really true to that,” (Owner Dana) Spandet said.

El Tsunami Taqueria y Mariscos Now Open

A restaurant offering Mexican staples and seafood specialties is now open in the space previously occupied by Pizza de Brazil at 130 W. Layton Ave. This marks the third iteration of El Tsunami Taqueria y Mariscos, with two other locations at 2001 W. Lincoln Ave. and 2222 S. 13th St. The restaurant is currently open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with a lunch special offered Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fredrich reports:

(The restaurant’s) success, says (chef and co-owner Misael) Mazaba, has been largely due to the restaurant’s scratch-made fare – which includes details like handmade corn and flour tortillas – along with creative seafood-based dishes.

Peruse the menu and you’ll find a mix of housemade Mexican staples, including tacos ($2.25 to $3 each), burritos ($8-$9) and fajitas ($18-$21) along with dishes like bistec en chile de arbol ($16.99).

But Tsunami also offers laundry list of specialty seafood dishes including ceviche ($14.95-$17.50) seafood cocktail (choose from shrimp, squid and oysters for $15.95-$19.95); along with whole grilled or fried tilapia and red snapper ($14-$19) and a wide variety of shrimp and octopus dishes, including al mojo de ajo (Mexican style garlic shrimp), $19.99.

The Vanguard Ushers in New Menu Items

It’s out with the old and in with the new at The Vanguard, the specialty sausage restaurant located in Bay View. Nine menu items have been removed to make room for eight new ones. Some highlights include the Lo Pan — a pork sausage with tofu, garlic, chili and bean paste paired with pickled pears, house chili crunch, a fried egg, szechuan pepper and scallion all served over white rice; the Fredo Gibbs — a chicken, pork, bacon and romano sausage topped with mushroom alfredo sauce, peas, lardons and an Italian cheese blend; and the Berlin Currywurst — a pork and beef frankfurter topped with grilled onion, mayo, ketchup, and curry dust served over a bed of fries. The new menu also features five new seasonal cocktails, including a Winter Sangria and the King’s Road — a concoction of Suntory Toki Whiskey, Canton Ginger liqueur and orange. If that’s not enough to get your mouth watering, check out Tyler Maascoverage of the entire new menu.

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