September 12, 2012

La Merenda {Milwaukee}

Wow! That's what Chris and I both said as we left La Merenda this week. It was such a fantastic meal. We don't eat out very often, but this week we had a great reason to celebrate...Chris passed the patent bar exam, which he has been studying for since January!


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It was our first time dining at La Merenda and the waitress was very helpful. She advised that we should start with 2 small plates and that on average two people typically order a total of 4-6 small plates. Receiving plates staggered throughout our meal gave it the feel of a multi-course dinner, which was nice.

It turns out that bottles of wine are half price on Mondays which was a happy coincidence. Never ones to ignore a stroke of good luck, we ordered a bottle of '06 Bodegas LAN Rioja which ended up being a great wine to sip with dinner.



We started with a bread basket from Rocket Baby Bakery, which included cranberry walnut bread with house made peach preserves. I seriously need to get to Rocket Baby soon to recreate the combination.

At a work event last month, Chef Sandroni was asked "what's your favorite dish on the current menu?" He told us it was "Goat Cheese Curds", which is La Clare Farms goat cheese smothered in Tia Paquita chorizo tomato cream sauce over garlic crostini, so we had to try it and I can see why it's his current favorite.

I discovered this summer how delicious La Clare Farms goat cheese is when it became available for delivery with my CSA box. Eating locally does not get more convenient than that!



For one of our small plates, Chris ordered "Patatas Bravas y Chorizo", which is Igl Farms fried potatoes tossed in a spicy tomato sauce, served with garlic aioli and topped with a sautéed Tia Paquita chorizo. While I chose "Farmer's Vegetables", which as you could probably guess, consists of a delicious selection of local produce.

A dessert menu was offered, and Chris said yes out of curiosity. We never order dessert, but everything had been so good that we were intrigued and ordered the tres leches cake with strawberries. Neither of us had ever heard of tres leches cake, and I was googling a recipe as soon as we returned because I really want to try making it now.

After our magnificent meal came to an end, the waitress hands us our bill and Chris says to me "how much do you think it is?" I guessed $60, he guessed $65. The total turned out to be $44; what a great value! I had to laugh when Chris said "I feel like I'm stealing."




In the article, Trifecta of Tasty Tapas Restaurants, Dave Begel says "I have been a fan of both La Merenda and Odd Duck for some time, and I have now added España Tapas House to the list of great food places that deserve regular and repeated visits."

The article intrigued me because the next Fuel Milwaukee social event is at España Tapas House on October 3rd from 6-9pm. I'm LOVED La Merenda, but am looking forward to checking out España Tapas House for the first time.

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