Small plates for big appetites


Talia Gottlieb

Swig’s Steamed mussels.

Bomb threat equals happy Talia.

Allow me to explain. Security threat to Homestead equals cancelled after school activities equals no swim practice equals Talia going home early equals Talia being able to go out to dinner equals happy Talia. Obviously, I don’t sit around waiting for security breaches to my school, but the day off from the illegally cold pool was a nice touch. By the way, the pool is legitimately not regulation temperature and my feet, hands and limbs are a subtle violet at the end my two hour practices. 

After the ironically exciting P.A. announcement about the cancellations, I got to my car as fast as I could so I could rush home and take full advantage of the once in a lifetime opportunity to actually go home and rest after a seven hour school day. I got home, made myself a nice snack, took myself a nice nap, finished up my homework, worked on some college essays; it was a pretty productive day if I do say so myself. As 6:00 rolled around,  and my stomach was rumbling again from all the nothingness I had done that afternoon, I picked up my friend Carly and headed to the Third Ward for this week’s Milwaukee food-venture.

No shame; we decided halfway through the car ride where we wanted to eat. We went from burgers to Mexican to Indian then back to Mexican then to all sorts of food, everywhere from Italian and eventually back to Indian. We decided not to be ethnic and settled on a cute new try for both of us: Swig. Located on Broadway Street, this rustic restaurant specializes in wonderfully crafted small plates of deliciousness.

Luckily for us, a lot of other people have lives to deal with and responsibilities to attend to, so we were seated right away. You’d think we’d get the best seats in the house considering it was us and four other parties, but no; we get plopped down next to the giant window; the giant window slowly accumulating frost from the lovely Wisconsin winter that has started to arrive. Chilly and hungry, we opened our menus ready to be wooed- and we were.

Crab cakes.

Lobster stuffed roasted peppers.

Seared scallops.

Smoked salmon tower.

Red pepper hummus with peppadew peppers.

What are peppadew peppers?

I don’t know. But they’re good.

After much consideration (a pro/con list), we narrowed it down to three small plates and a “Side to Share”: Tomato bruschetta, Steamed mussels, Red pepper hummus, and a side of Chive mashed potato. Since we’re such dainty eaters, we decided four plates was just enough.

Who am I kidding?

The only thing stopping us from ordering the entire menu was the restriction of our zero-dollar-an-hour high school senior salary.

I must reiterate how lovely it was to be two of a total of eight people in the restaurant that night- our food was on our table before we turned into our hungry alter-egoes as we did at Kanpai. However, since they’re small plates, they came out one at a time as soon as they’re ready, but I made Carly wait to eat so I could take an artsy picture of our entire meal; she was super psyched about that.

Just so you all know, small plates doesn’t really mean “small plates.” Sure, the physical silverware is smaller than average, but there is just as much food as a full-sized meal. In other words, you can’t split four small plates and walk out acting like you did your body a service. My mistake.

After I got my perfect postable pic, we dug into our lavish meal.

The creaminess of the mussels.

The richness of the bruschetta.

The middle-eastern-ness of the hummus/pita combo.

The perfect combo of clumpiness and softness of the potatoes.

Rule of thumb: The best food with the best friend is never a let down.

$41.91 later, we were no longer hungry and very happy. But why drive all the way to Milwaukee and not stop for dessert? We took a ten minute detour to North Avenue where we went visited one of Carly’s favorites, Chubby’s Cheesesteaks, a cute little donut drive-through. We pulled up to the window where we were greeted by the young woman who clearly was not as happy to be at Chubby’s as we were, understandably so. If was confined in an eight by eight cube of dough and deep friers, I’m sure I wouldn’t be the happiest camper either. We ordered some cinnamon sugar donuts- Carly’s suggestion- and off we were back to the ‘Quon.

All in all, it was a lovely night for feasting. Thanks for reading!