Enjoy dinner at a leisurely pace at James Beard Award-nominated Amilinda, a quaint and cozy eatery that brings Spanish- and Portuguese-inspired plates and cocktails to Downtown Milwaukee. The menu may appear limited, but it is large in flavor and ever-evolving depending on seasonal fresh ingredients that are delivered to Amilinda daily.
Gregory León is the owner and executive chef of this celebrated Milwaukee eatery, and you will find him in the small street-facing kitchen cooking every evening. Chef León spent much of his youth in Venezuela before bringing his culinary talents to various San Francisco restaurants as well as working in Madrid. Chef is delightfully warm, greeting each of his guests personally, many of whom are regulars who have been frequenting the establishment since it opened in 2015 on Wisconsin Avenue. Chef León, along with Sous Chef Trevor Carper and the small five-person staff, serve up pure magic four nights a week, from 5 to 9 p.m.
Not only does Amilinda’s menu draw Spanish and Portuguese inspiration, but so does the interior. From the colorful roosters, wall tile, art murals and exposed brick to the soothing guitar music wafting over the speakers, guests feel transported to a different land. Every detail is perfection, and it is easy to see why Amilinda is a 2022 and 2023 James Beard Foundation nominee.
Chef’s kitchen is open and visible from most seats in the house. We love the sign hanging near the grill that says, “Mistakes are proof you aren’t trying.” Make no mistake about it, Amilinda is an inviting and exceptional dining experience, definitely elevating the Milwaukee food scene.
Guests can expect simple and traditional dishes with complex flavors that speak for themselves. Its starter menu features items like the bright and colorful green bean salad with al dente green beans, pickled blueberries and radish crowned with a beet-and-goat cheese dressing served in a handmade pottery dish. Beet lovers will rejoice with the Wisconsin LaClare goat cheese and beet pate starter accompanied by perfectly crisp bread in an adorable handmade wooden box. Other unique items include a Cabrales cheesecake, but don’t be fooled by the name – this is a savory dish made with blue cheese, pretzel crust and plum sauce that’s the perfect nibble throughout your dinner course.
Speaking of dinner, again a handful of dishes are available to enchant your taste buds. Delights range from monkfish and butternut squash to mouthwatering marinated flank steak with shishito peppers and roasted tomatoes. Or try the Chicken Africana with German butterball potatoes and peanut-coconut sauce. Blissful!
Guests can complement their meal with a selection from the cocktail list such as sangria, Sazerac or a seasonal drink like the fall tonic. Amilinda has a nice selection of red and white wines by the glass or bottle or craft beers, and the knowledgeable wait staff offers great recommendations based on your menu picks.
Amilinda is open for dinner Wednesday to Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. For reservations and more information on Amilinda, visit Amilinda.com.
315 E. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53202