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Hinterland unveils new tapas lounge menu

Tapas - it's all the rage. Really, it's a brilliant concept for both your waistline and your wallet. Those Spaniards had it right all along.

The trend has recently caught on in Milwaukee thanks to trailblazer Peter Sandroni and his restaurant La Merenda. Ginger also recently opened in the former space of Barrosa. I've heard they have a few new-restaurant kinks to work out though.

Hinterland, already known for its top-notch cuisine, introduced a tapas lounge menu about two weeks ago. Located at the corner of Eerie and Water Street, both the restaurant and bar cater to a trendy Third Ward crowd. With not an entree in sight on the dinner menu under $29, the new tapas menu allows a much larger group of Milwaukeeans to partake in the foodie fun.

The small plates are artfully prepared using fresh ingredients resulting in savory flavor combinations. Even better, the plates are priced just right ($3 - $12) so that you can try a bit of everything.

My companion and I ordered the sesame-crusted crab cakes ($9), the fish taco ($3), braised pork taco with jicama and chorizo ($4) and the flatbread with caramelized onion, mushroom, goat cheese and watercress ($12). Every bite of everything that we had was phenomenal.

The crab cakes were thick, meaty and very light and the flatbread was sweet, rich and crispy. The tacos were both excellent, prepared with crunchy red cabbage and a cilantro-lime aioli.

When the bill came, I was perfectly satiated. I noticed that my Rehorst dirty martini was the most expensive item we ordered. It's okay, it's good to support the local guys; and the olives were hand-stuffed with blue cheese. That's well worth the $14.75.

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Talkbacks

nbdeal | March 20, 2009 at 12:59 a.m. (report)

Tofuking clearly works for Joe Sorge... Sysco actually brought what ever it is that you think Swig is doing... Tapas, appetizers, mezzi, anitpasti. It's all the same. Every culture through all of history has "small plates" to say that this is copying is ridiculous. Swig did what they did because that was what Sysco had to offer. I'm sorry that smaller portions of Hinterland's regular menu "isn't your cup up tea". I'm sure you will soon be telling us Rishi Tea ripped off Lipton.

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lks | Feb. 11, 2009 at 3:18 p.m. (report)

All tapas are small plates but not all small plates are tapas. Tapas are spanish small plates as has been discussed. Italian small plates are called antipasti; American small plates are appetizers.

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jkashou | Feb. 9, 2009 at 2:43 p.m. (report)

35497 BTW - I personally think they shouldn't be called Tapas unless it is Spanish food. It's a Spanish word and a Spanish concept. But really, can't we just be inclusive?

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jkashou | Feb. 9, 2009 at 2:42 p.m. (report)

35497 Hinterland's menu is called "Tapas Lounge Menu" - it's their menu, they can call it what they want. Yes, please explain this precise difference between tapas and small plates.

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AriGold | Feb. 9, 2009 at 12:29 p.m. (report)

Tofuking, not trying to be difficult, but I have two questions...

A) Is it really copying? Are all places that do $1 PBRs "copying" someone else who did it first? Are companies that make Drills copying the first company that made a drill? Isn't it just offering something that works? And isn't it great to see companies adapting with the economic climate, instead of "toughing out" something that isn't working until they go out of business, ultimately hurting their waitstaff, bartenders, suppliers, etc.?

B) You still haven't explained the difference between Tapas and Small plates. Please explain why the "tapas" at Hinterland, are, indeed small plates.

Again, not trying to be difficult. I am seriously curious as to what the difference is. I am a meat and potatoes guy and naive when it comes to these trendy of ways of eating.

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