We shared the news about a forthcoming restaurant from Milwaukee chefs Dan Van Rite of Hinterland and Daniel Jacobs of Odd Duck in February.
Now we’ve learned that the restaurant, which will be called DanDan, will be a modern Chinese-American restaurant that has sights set on an opening in mid-July.
Originally, Van Rite and Jacobs hoped to purchase Hinterland Erie Street Gastropub; however, when terms could not be reached on a lease for the space, the partners turned to the current restaurant location at 360 E. Erie St. in the former site of Tulip, the Turkish restaurant which closed in July 2015.
According to Jacobs, details of the menu are still in development. However, the chefs describe it as a restaurant with "a Chinese soul with a Midwestern sensibility," and Jacobs notes that it's likely to include a variety of noodle dishes, pancakes, dumplings and house-made sauces, all made with a focus on local ingredients from area farms.
The name, a play on the two chefs’ names as well as the noodle dish with origins in Chinese Szechuan cuisine, reveals a bit about the spirited, fun atmosphere with which the two accomplished chefs hope to infuse the new restaurant.
The space will also reflect a fun themed interior. Renderings from the design team show red and black accents, table, bar-side and banquette seating. The proposed capacity is 125 in the main dining area, with up to an additional 30 seats on the patio.
A second phase in the build-out for DanDan will include a "restaurant within a restaurant." The second concept, which will provide an outlet for both chefs to create innovative and creative dishes, will resemble a chef’s table or "dinner party," according to Jacobs, and will feature a menu that departs from the Chinese American theme. The concept – which will bear its own unique name and a private entrance – will operate primarily on weekends, offering up to 20 guests a tasting menu style experience.
DanDan will be open Tuesday through Saturday, opening initially with dinner service only and adding lunch, carryout and delivery at a later time.
Jacobs also notes that, prior to the restaurant’s opening, DanDan will be hosting a series of pop-up preview dinners at locations around town during the months of May and June.
Also watch OnMilwaukee for additional details, including previews of the menu and space, as they develop.
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.