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Foodie February: Small Plates in Kenosha

2/5/2018 - Anna Hegland

Foodie
Small Plates Dining in the Kenosha, WI area is a great way to try lots of different local flavors
Small Plates Dining in the Kenosha, WI area is a great way to try lots of different local flavors
Small Plates Dining in the Kenosha, WI area is a great way to try lots of different local flavors
Small Plates Dining in the Kenosha, WI area is a great way to try lots of different local flavors
Small Plates Dining in the Kenosha, WI area is a great way to try lots of different local flavors
Small Plates Dining in the Kenosha, WI area is a great way to try lots of different local flavors

How often do you go out to dinner, look at the menu, and then think “everything sounds so good - how can I choose?” This happens to me all the time. I love going out to eat with my friends, but my food orders can go one of two ways: either I’ve known what I want at this particular place for a week ahead of time or I have no idea, get slightly overwhelmed by options, and make everyone else order ahead of me.

One of the ways I’ve tried to solve this problem (which isn’t really a huge problem, I just love food!) is by eating tapas-style meals with my friends. When we go out for dinner, we make a joint decision on a few items we’ll share as a group; this way, everyone gets a chance to try a little bit of everything and no one feels like they’re missing out.

Small plate dining like this is becoming more and more popular, with restaurants offering items that aren’t quite an appetizer, but also aren’t an entree. When I came home from London for the holidays, I was so pleased to see that Kenosha restaurants are joining in as well. It’s a great way to try multiple menu items while dining out (or, if you’re like me, a fun way to make your indecision work for you).

In honor of Foodie February, I tried out the small plates menus at three of my favorite Kenosha restaurants and now I’m sharing my favorite dishes and top tips with you. Bon appetit!

 

Twisted Cuisine

The “Shares” menu at Twisted Cuisine ranges from $10 - $15 and there is a wide variety of options available. They do change the menu seasonally at Twisted, so there may be new or different items available depending on when you go. I ordered a few different things, including the Brussels Sprout Fritters, Saganaki, and Wonton Shrimp. The Saganaki is one of my personal favorites — it’s made with a mix of Kasseri and cream cheeses, topped with lemon brandy, and comes with grilled slices of bread for dipping. Plus, it’s always fun to watch the server light it on fire at your table. Opa! This is one of the dishes I get every time I come to Twisted, it’s just that good. And honestly who doesn’t like melty cheese? I’ve been promised that it will always remain on the menu.

The Brussels Sprout fritters were new to me, but I’d been told they were delicious. Boy, was that true. The shaved veggie fritters were topped with a really tasty bacon sour cream and then generously covered in big slivers of parmesan cheese. Pair this with a glass of a crisp white wine and you are good to go. My brother (a small plate novice) said they were hands down his favorite part of the entire meal. High praise. It’s definitely a knife and fork dish though, compared to the finger-food Saganaki.

The star of the show for me was the Wonton Shrimp. Beyond just looking really pretty on the plate, arranged in a pinwheel design, these shrimp were so good. Each individual shrimp was folded into a wonton wrapped and then fried, and plated with a nest of rice noodles, and drizzled with an incredible watermelon-ginger sauce. Holy cow, guys. Next time I might order a plate of the shrimp and not share with anyone.

Pro Tip for dining at Twisted: some of the main entrees can be ordered as half-portions, or what amounts to a sharing plate size, for half the cost. We did this with the Fried Ravioli, which comes with sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes, all covered in a cream sauce and (of course) parmesan shavings. It was the perfect size to go with our other sharing plates, and it’s a nice way to try a few different entrees without committing to an entire large plate. The half portions do not include a soup or salad choice, like the full portions do, leaving you plenty of room to try more than one. There is also a digital coupon available on the Visit Kenosha website. 

 

Sazzy B

At Sazzy B, the menu is divided into Starters, Soups & Salads, Pastas, and Entrees. If you’re looking to make your own small plate experience, I’d recommend sticking to the Starters section of the menu, which runs from $5 to $15, and is a little easier to split things between multiple people. I tried the Sazzy B Hummus and Crab Stuffed Wontons, but can also vouch for the fresh Quinoa Chips and the Asian Pear Crostini, which I’ve had before. There are two crostini and a bruschetta option on the Sazzy B menu, with an impressive number of toppings. Truly something for everyone.

What I really like about Sazzy B is that you can easily find fresh vegetarian and gluten-free foods. The quinoa chips are nicely spiced, and completely wheat-free, if you’re watching out for gluten. Their hummus is filling, but feels lighter, since it comes with tons of veggies to nibble on, like broccoli, brussels sprouts, and olives. There’s also some feta cheese squares and fresh pita bread, which are both super tasty.

The crab wontons are the complete opposite, deep fried wonton wrappers stuffed with tons of cream cheese and pieces of crab. Delicious. It also comes with a Thai sweet and sour sauce that just seems to go really well with everything. (Seriously, when I’d finished my wontons, I started dipping pita chips into the sauce and it was surprisingly good.)

Pro Tip: Make sure you keep Sazzy’s weekly drink specials in mind when you’re planning your night out; between Martini Monday, Top Shelf Tuesday, Wino Wednesday, and Thirsty Thursday, it’s easy to pair your small plates with your favorite drink. Also on Wednesdays, they offer a $10 Pasta Bowl of the Night!

 

Wine Knot

The menu at Wine Knot also changes seasonally, and right now the “Small Plates” menu is full of hearty dishes that will warm you up. These plates range in price from around $6 to $15, with a mix of recognizable comfort foods and cool, new recipes that you might never have heard of (but should definitely try).

One of my perennial favorites is the Seasoned Parmesan Russet Fries. The fries come with a chipotle aioli, which has a little bit of a kick to it, but if you’d rather, you can always just ask for a different sauce on the side. Plus, fries always go with everything, and if you decide to order a large plate entree instead, they’ll make a nice side dish to split with someone.

When I sat down and looked at the menu at Wine Knot, I was most excited to try their Korean Tacos, which are stuffed with pieces of beef and shrimp, and topped with kimchi, a bit of cilantro, and a creamy sauce. The tacos come three to a plate, but if you’re industrious you can cut one in half and split this dish between two people. I won’t lie, these are also a little spicy, but I also think it really works — it’s exactly the kind of the heat I want from my tacos!

Pro Tip: Take advantage of their wine flights. You get three 3-ounce glasses and can pick from two red flights, two white flights, a reserve flight, or a “create your own” option. It’s an easy way to try new wines and if you’re big on wine and food pairings, you can have a little white wine with your Spinach Artichoke Dip and still enjoy a glass of red with the Pork Belly Biscuits.

 

So the next time you’re out at a Kenosha restaurant, try ordering a few small plate items. Extend your dining experience by ordering several rounds of tapas-style portions — pair something familiar with something brand new! Share food with friends, and enjoy some big city food culture in our very own background. Happy Foodie February!

Anna Hegland

Community Blogger

Kenosha Native with a love for baseball, ice cream, and the arts. Studied in Iowa, Italy, and England - returned to her hometown. Works for the Kenosha Public Museum and drinks too many chai lattes.

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