The dining department here at Milwaukee Magazine is always excited about a new restaurant in the wind. And the wind is predicting this fall for the opening of The Tandem (1848 W. Fond du Lac Ave., also known as the former Wally Schmidt Tavern). The building dates to 1893 and has been vacant since 2010. Caitlin Cullen – who has worked at Bavette La Boucherie, among other local restaurants – is The Tandem’s chef/operator. Before the restaurant officially gets off the ground, Cullen is hosting her first pop-up dinner – Monday, July 18 at Amilinda (315 E. Wisconsin Ave.).
The four-course pop-up meal is sold out (drat!), but Cullen intimates that more pop-ups will follow. Her menu looks mighty diverse – steak chimichurri to Thai curry to daily specials served family-style – and the dish you’ll probably hear most about leading up to the opening is fried chicken. Cullen will have three kinds – Dominican roasted, “Georgia fried” and what she called “spicy Memphis fried” (brined in hot sauce and dipped in wet cornstarch batter). It’s the Memphis-style chicken that Cullen is serving at the Amilinda pop-up, along with sides like mac and cheese and braised bitter greens. She’s also doing a house pickle plate, salad course and a tart cherry upside-down cake for dessert.
While you’re thinking about fried chicken and other possibilities that come with The Tandem, read more about the former Wally Schmidt Tavern in this story from our July 2016 issue.