During the late-afternoon lull, I stopped in at Wayward Kitchen Co., 1407 S. 1st St., and spent time chatting with owners Tyler and Megan Mason. The couple quietly opened the bar and restaurant last month after completing major renovations to the structure that formerly housed Monaâ€™s nightclub.Â
The space â€“ which is divided into two sections separated by a bar thatâ€™s accessible from either side â€“ looks and feels completely different, with exposed cream city brick, modern light fixtures and light-colored walls. They will soon add local art.
Coincidentally, Tyler cooked in the same space 17 years ago when it was a pub and grill called Whoâ€™s On First. Tyler and Megan were both born and raised in Milwaukee and they currently live in Bay View.
Prior to opening Wayward Kitchen, Tyler cooked at the Milwaukee Ale House in the Third Ward and simultaneously ran the Grafton location for three years.
Wayward Kitchen serves lunch and dinner six days a week â€“ itâ€™s closed on Mondays â€“ and will serve brunch starting Saturday, Feb. 1 from 11 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m. in the evening.
"We want to offer brunch to people who got a late start to their day or those who served brunch themselves," says Megan.
The menu is "new American" and will change regularly. The "new American" concept includes foods that originally came from other cultures but over time became American favorites.
The dinner menu features "smalls" that are priced at $5-$9 such as Korean fried chicken wings, chorizo fried rice and chicken tortilla soup. "Mains" feature braised beef short ribs, pork verde and cauliflower and orecchiette gratin ranging from $14 to $19.Â
There are also six kinds of tacos ($6-$8), burgers ($10-$12), sandwiches ($10) â€“ the grilled meatball with provolone and pesto looks appealingÂ â€“ and salads. ($6-$8.)
"Everything is made from scratch here â€“ from the ricotta to the ice cream," says Megan. "Itâ€™s a small menu but everything is really good."
Megan and Tyler â€“ who serves as the chef â€“ collaborated on the menu together.
"Megan has just as many cooking skills as I do and she has contributed a lot to the flavors here," says Tyler.
The full bar features primarily Wisconsin beers on tap along with a variety of bottles. The drink menu offers craft cocktails from a cranberry margarita to a New Old Fashioned. Many Wisconsin spirits including Rehorst Vodka are used in the cocktails.Â
Wayward Kitchen Co. also serves wine, Anodyne Coffee and Rishi Tea.
Happy hour takes place every day from 3 to 6 p.m. with food and drink specials.
Tyler says they picked the name because the word "wayward," which he defines as "unruly and unpredictable," symbolizes his vision for the business.
"Thatâ€™s exactly how I want it to be here in general," says Tyler. "A little bit of everything."
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Molly Snyder
Published Nov. 30, 2015
OnMilwaukee heard Children's Hospital was in need of socks, and so we decided to help out with a Holiday Sock Drive to collect pairs and packages of socks for infants, children, teens and adults.
Published Nov. 29, 2015
Recently, OnMilwaukee caught up with Chris March, a finalist on season four of "Project Runway," "Project Runway All-Star Challenge" and creator of the exuberant, whimsical costumes for the Skylight's "My Fair Lady."
Published Nov. 27, 2015
On a recent Friday afternoon, we stopped in for lunch at Liquid Johnny's in West Allis. No, we did not have a "liquid lunch," despite the name of the bar and restaurant, but we certainly thought about it.
Published Nov. 26, 2015
The Black Friday shopping experience is a big, mixed bag of savings and safety issues. Milwaukee's Melanie Rice and Bryan Zysk know this first-hand. One even suffered a broken foot in a brawl over a DVD player.
Published Nov. 25, 2015
Recently, OnMilwaukee's Molly Snyder went to the Brew City Bruisers Boot Camp to test her roller skating skills and bad assery. Turns out, she spent a lot of time on her bad ass.
Published Nov. 24, 2015
Candy Cane Lane will celebrate 30 years this season when it plugs in the lights on Friday, Nov. 27. They will stay aglow through Sunday, Dec. 27.
Published Nov. 22, 2015
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin offers an array of social services, including The Robyn's Nest, run by Lona Long and a team of volunteers to provide clothing and other items to kids and foster families.
Published Nov. 20, 2015
Earlier this week, after looking at tragic photos of Syrian refugee children on Facebook, Gretchen Mead decided she was going to invite refugees to stay in extra rooms in her bungalow-style home in Shorewood.
Published Nov. 20, 2015
Suddenly, the warm-and-comfy factor in bars is a big deal, and so OnMilwaukee stepped up and went out on a couple of windy, chilly nights last week to scout out some of the city's coziest bars.
Published Nov. 19, 2015
Recently, we posted a story about the now-defunct Captain's Steak Joynt chain of restaurants and many readers remembered its famous cheese fondue. We got the recipe and last night we made it.