My annual article, 52 Restaurants for your Bucket List, was originally created to provide readers with an easy way to explore the wealth of restaurants in the Milwaukee scene over the course of one year (52 weeks). Today, as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, it provides a fun and equally compelling guide for folks who’d like to bring variety to their weekly meals while providing vital support to some of our finest local restaurants.
315 E. Wisconsin Ave., (414) 369-3683
If Spanish and Portuguese-inspired fare sounds delicious, set sails for Amilinda, a restaurant which has been serving excellent fare for just over five years now. Their digs are quaint and the menu is small and focused; but dishes rotate often, depending on what's fresh and in season, so your taste buds won’t tire. At any given moment, you could find empanadas, bacalhau (salt cod), housemade sausages or any number of tasty dishes.
Amilinda is closed this week for the Thanksgiving holiday; but I still wanted to recognize their work and offer a taste of what you’ll find. So, today I’m listing five of the best dishes I’ve enjoyed from the Amilinda kitchen over the years.
If you spy any one of these options (or their seasonal variations) on the menu, don’t hesitate to order it.
- Seasonal fish dishes: seems fish is always a good bet at Amilinda, be it cod, monkfish or the like. The dish pictured above shows a particularly excellent preparation for red grouper, which was nicely seared and served with chanterelle mushrooms, sweet roasted corn and a beautiful smokey tomato broth.
- Roasted chicken: Another option that’s consistently good is the roasted chicken. Whether seasoned with Spanish adobo or perfumed with cumin and honey, it’s always tender and succulent. In fact, I keep my eyes peeled for Chef Leon’s piri piri chicken; it’s among my favorite Amilinda classics.
- Braised pork belly: Leon has a knack for creative pork belly dishes. Last week’s featured Manila clams, Brussels sprouts, onions, bacon and pork broth. A delicious autumnal version featured sauteed fennel, apples and a cider gastrique. It was delicious.
- Pork Alentejana: This classic Portuguese dish of marinated braised pork shoulder and clams is absolute comfort food. Watch for Leon’s deliciously smokey version the next time it comes around.
- Desserts: The caramel flan is buttery and rich. And since December is approaching, watch for the peppermint bark chocolate soufflé cakes, which have a tendency to appear on the menu around the holidays. They are among the best desserts in my recent memory.
Lori Fredrich (Lo) is an eater, writer, wonderer, bon vivante, traveler, cook, gardener and girlwonder. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she has tried to leave many times, but seems to be drawn to this quirky city that smells of beer and alewives.
Some might say that she is a little obsessed with food. Lo would say she is A LOT obsessed with food. After all, she has been cooking, eating and enjoying food for decades and has no plans to retire anytime soon.
Lo's recipes and writing have been featured in a variety of publications including GO: Airtran Inflight Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Cooking Light, Edible Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as on the blog Go Bold with Butter, the web site Wisconsin Cheese Talk, and in the quarterly online magazine Grate. Pair. Share.