September 4 is the expected grand opening date for Easy Tyger, a new international small plates restaurant going into the former Mai Thai space at 1230 E. Brady St.
The management team for the restaurant includes former Bartolotta’s employees Brian Ojer and Todd Hasselbacher. Evan Greenhalgh, former sous chef at both Rumpus Room and Lake Park Bistro, will take over as chef. Financial backing for the space is being provided by Nini Buranabunyut and Dear Panyasopa, owners of Thai-Namite.
According to Ojer, the vibe for the restaurant will be unpretentious and laid back.
And, judging from the restaurant logo – which features a mysterious long-eared animal with tiger stripes and a curled tail riding a unicycle – it will be a lot of fun, too.
The remodeled space, which seats 70, will a more open design with an open kitchen and large bar on the east side of the building. Decor will be contemporary, featuring plentiful artwork, a painted tin ceiling and exposed cream city brick walls. Wrought iron columns will build in an industrial feel.
The menu, says Greenhalgh, will focus on seasonal New American style cuisine, showcasing the influences of Latin America, the Mediterranean and Asia alongside traditional techniques.
The "Nibbles and Noshes" section of the menu, priced from $3 to $8, will be devoted to bar snacks like arepas (small maize-based flatbread sandwiches, Vadouvan curry granola, and pig ear nachos.
Meanwhile, small plates, priced from $10 to $18, will include vegetable dishes like grilled haloumi salad with watermelon, frisee, radish and lemon yogurt dressing and farro bibimbop with bulgogi sauce, kimchi and optional egg
Seafood like Goan style Prince Edward Island mussels will chiles, tamarind and Garam Masala will conjure Indian flavors, while Spanish-style octopus with farro, coriander vierge, oven-dried tomatoes and creme fraiche reflect a more European flair.
Day boat scallops with creamed corn, blistered shishito peppers and herb salad with miso buerre blanc will be reminiscent of an Asian inspired seafood chowder.
Housemade pasta dishes will include ricotta gnudi with pancetta, peas and lemon brown butter and lobster nduja ravioli with herb butter and piquillo peppers.
Other dishes include confited pork belly with Manila clams, chickpeas and harissa; pan seared duck crepinette with frisee salad, pickled mustard seed vinaigrette; and braised pork cheek with herbed grits, arugula and pickled pepper salad and guajillo broth.
Lunch – which will set diners back $7-10 – will feature sandwiches like Berkshire ham and fontina on sourdough with grape mostarda and arugula and a housemade chickpea quinoa burger with chevre, carrot slaw and chermoula.
Meanwhile, the bar will put an emphasis on classic cocktails like the Blood & Sand, Martinez, Bijou, Turf Cocktail and Aviation, all priced between $8 and $12.
Between eight to ten taps will showcase a wide variety of craft beers. The wine list will focus on value-driven international selections, available by both the bottle and glass.
"We’re really aiming to serve the eclectic group of people who already hang out on Brady Street," says Ojer. "But we’re also hoping that we’ll attract even more people to the area."
Hours for Easy Tyger will be Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday brunch will be served Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Happy hour, which will feature food and drink specials. will take place daily from 3 to 6 p.m., as well as for an hour before closing.
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.