By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Apr 04, 2023 at 11:30 AM

Ruta’s Indian Cafe wrapped up their final service at Crossroads Collective, 2238 N Farwell Ave. on March 31.  But a brand new concept is already brewing for the former Indian cafe space.

Nute’s Café is the name of a new globally inspired farm to table concept that’s slated to open on Friday, April 21 offering a menu of healthful salads and warm bowls to sandwiches, smoothies and a rotating selection of soups.

Behind the new concept is owner and chef Jonute Svien, a military veteran whose menu is inspired by various factors, from his multi-layered heritage and love for travel to his passion for  high-quality locally sourced ingredients.

“My mother was an inspirational cook, and as soon as I was old enough, you’d find me in the kitchen cooking her favorite Mexican dishes alongside her,” says Svien.

“As an adult I felt inspired to travel to my home country of Romania, and then anywhere else a plane could take me. I’m proud to have built a menu showcasing my passion for international cuisine.”

As a result, the menu at Nute’s Cafe will feature a variety of offerings from refreshing mango lassis, and yellow coconut curry bowls to smokey, spicy chipotle pork and Italian sandwiches.

The goal for the menu, Svien notes, is to prioritize fresh, nourishing ingredients from local farmers. In fact, much of the produce featured on the menu will come from Springdale Farms in Plyouth, Wisconsin.

Svien, who launched his first food truck in 2015, put his career on hold to serve in the U.S. Navy in 2016. Released on medical discharge after an on-duty accident in 2019, the chef says he felt strongly about getting back to cooking and pursuing his dream to open his own restaurant.  The new cafe at Crossroads Collective is part of that ongoing journey.

His journey also includes ongoing efforts to honor his fellow veterans. Svien says he is honored to invite the Milwaukee veterans community to an exclusive veterans-only soft opening of Nute’s Cafe on April 20 between 1 and 6 p.m. Moving forward, he will also offer a standing 10% discount to veterans who visit Nute’s Café.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

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.