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Strange Town will open its doors to the public today, at 2101 N. Prospect Ave., at 4 p.m.
And when you take your first jaunt inside the eclectic digs, you’ll find a remarkably amiable space sporting lovely details and a chill, comfortable vibe.
Strange Town reaps the benefit of its gorgeous location in a building with historic character, expansive windows and a cozy, intimate space that lends itself naturally to the idea of casual nights of great food and conversation.
The mood is only enhanced by owner Andy Noble’s collection of vinyl, which offers ambiance with an eclectic mix of music that runs the gamut from jazz and folk to psychedelic rock.
You’ll also find a nice selection of wines, a focused beer selection and apertifs, along with an ever-changing selection of plant-based menu offerings, all of which are priced well at $6-12 each.
"Things here are going to be really dynamic in terms of food offerings," Noble notes. "So people who visit on a regular basis will really see a lot of variety in terms of what we’re serving."
On your plate
Shareable snacks – perfect with one of the bar’s apertifs – include Korean chili and coconut cashews and marinated Sicilian olives.
Smaller plates include dishes like roasted fingerling potatoes topped with heart of palm spread, capers and dill; a crudite platter served with pipian mole and hibiscus salt for dipping; and sweet roasted butternut squash with a picante poblano coulis, coconut yogurt and pepita.
Among dishes that can either be shared or eaten as an entree are hummus with roasted crispy mushrooms and house pickles served with za’atar bread; insalata di riso with basmati rice, cashew ricotta, farro, artichokes, red cabbage, toasted pecans and herbs; and a kale Caesar salad with blistered cherry tomatoes, smoked tofu and yeasted croutons.
There’s also a mushroom tartine with cashew ricotta and herbs de Provence; creatively topped Sicilian sfincione; and arancini stuffed with cashew cheese and accompanied by a flavorful herb-infused Sicilian salsa verde.
At the bar
On the beverage side, Strange Town will offer a focused menu featuring primarily Old World imported beers, wines and simple, refreshing apertifs (like Cocchi and LaCroix or LaCuesta Blanco with Tapuat kombucha and lemon, $7 each) that act as a complement to the restaurant’s fare.
On the wine side, Noble says their list focuses on natural wines, including those sourced from smaller wineries using old world methods as well as those made from organic and bio-dynamically raised grapes.
"In the end, we’re going with flavor first," says Noble. "And we are really focused on showcasing these really compelling wines at a price point that’s really affordable. The same is true of the apertifs. We’re using really simple preparations that are really refreshing."
Beginning Wednesday Oct. 4, Strange Town will be open seven days a week from 4 p.m. to midnight with kitchen hours from 5 to 10 p.m. For additional updates, give them a follow on Facebook or Instagram.
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.