Another Bay View gem is on the cusp of welcoming guests back for full-service dining.
Odd Duck, 2352 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., which has been closed for dine-in service since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, will be opening its doors to diners beginning May 11 at 4 p.m.
Dining will be available by reservation for indoor dining at eight socially distanced tables, plus first-come first-served bar and patio seating. In compliance with local ordinances, Odd Duck will require masks to be worn by guests except while seated and dining.
A big change for the restaurant is that it will return to its former “no carry-out” policy, a choice that stems from both a desire to serve customers in the best possible way and the reality of a small space where accommodating both dine-in and carry-out is a challenge.
“For us, it’s just not logistically possible to do both, and do them both well,” says co-owner Melissa Buchholz. “We have a small space and a small kitchen, so we need to focus on what we can do well.”
On the menu
But diners who choose to take advantage of indoor and patio dining will be treated to an extraordinarily well thought-out (if slightly abbreviated menu) which Buchholz says has been carefully planned to accommodate the full complement of restaurant guests.
“We’ve created a really stellar Odd Duck menu filled with both familiar and challenging things,” she says. “And we are likely to change things out a little less often to start, relying more on specials and one-off dishes.”
The menu includes eight meat-based options and eight vegetable options including seared sea scallops with chrysanthemum greens, oyster sauce, green chili condiment and peanuts ($17); pan roasted lamb with eggplant baba ganoush, haloumi, harissa, pickled grapes and marcona almonds ($15); a south indian fermented rice pancake with asparagus, salted mango pickle, cucumber raita, pea shoots and dry peanut chutney ($12); and hot fried cauliflower with celery dilly bean salad and blue cheese ($12)
How to reserve a table
Dining will be available on a first-come first-served basis at the Odd Duck bar, as well as on the restaurant’s back patio, which is equipped with nine tables.
Buchholz says that, as summer approaches and business increases, they will be reinstating their parklet in front of the restaurant. It won’t be used for dining, she says, but rather a place for parties to wait (and enjoy a drink, if desired) when no patio or bar seating is available.
Indoor dining at eight tables is available by reservation through Resy, an online reservation system which Buchholz says will provide the best way for guests to guarantee dining at the time of their choice. Fifteen minutes will be set aside between each reservation to accommodate enhanced sanitation measures between parties.
Reservations can be made for parties of up to eight people, with table allotments of one and half hours for parties up to two guests; one and three-quarter hours for parties of three to four; and two hours for groups of five or more. Guests are encouraged to call the restaurant at (414) 763-5881 after booking a reservation if they believe their party will need more than the allotted time for dining; requests for extra time will be honored as possible.
“This is an intense time,” notes Buchholz. “To open a new restaurant is intense. But to reopen an old restaurant again is also intense. But we’re going to try our best to offer the best possible experience to everyone who chooses to dine with us.”
Beginning May 11, Odd Duck will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. The bar opens at 4 p.m.
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.