Milwaukee's best appetizers/small plate, 2011: La Merenda
Your votes are in, Milwaukee, and you have selected the winners of OnMilwaukee's Best Dining 2011. We're announcing the results of this readers' poll, including our editors' pick, in a series of articles that run all October long during Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com.
For the fifth straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com, presented by Concordia University. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2011."
It's not much of a secret that Milwaukeeans like their portions big, so appetizers and small plate dining choices require our city's diners to eat outside of their comfort zone. So when La Merenda simply trounces its competition by almost 20 percent over the runner-up, Maxie's Southern Comfort, you know the food is good.
And La Merenda, 125 E. National Ave., isn't exactly easy to find, which makes its status as a repeat winner in this category even more impressive.
Located in a renovated woodworking shop, owner Peter Sandroni has built the kind of place where you find Italian osso buco, Indonesian sambal goreng udang, Spanish patatas bravas or Colombian empanadas, all under the same roof.
You know, small plate stuff. Wonderful, delicious ethnic food that lives up to La Merenda's name, which is Italian for "snack." Go figure.
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: La Merenda
2. Maxie's Southern Comfort
5. Elsa's on the Park
7. Trinity Three Irish Pubs
8. Cafe Centraal
10. Bosley on Brady
(tie). Water Buffalo
12. Nessun Dorma
13. Dream Dance Steak
14. Beta by Sabor
This is such a no-brainer. Forget small plates... La Merenda is arguably the best, most consistent restaurant in the city.
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