Osteria del Mondo has garnered numerous awards, is one of Milwaukee best restaurants and is one of my all time favorites, but it’s time for it to move on.
Owner Marc Bianchini (Osteria del Mondo, Indulge, Cubanitas and COA) said he’s closing his signature restaurant and exploring new locations for the eatery, which opened in 1994.
The restaurant will remain open at 1028 E. Juneau Ave. through September but possibly through February 2012, depending on when the landlord secures an appropriate replacement.
"While the current location has served us extremely well for the past 16 years, dynamics in the restaurant business have changed and the current space doesn’t fully fit my vision for Osteria moving forward," said Bianchini, in a statement.
"We will be moving to a smaller, high-profile urban site to continue Osteria’s tradition of excellence." Osteria Del Mondo is one of Milwaukee’s most lauded restaurants, most recently named one of Zagat’s / USA Today’s top 25 hotel restaurants in the nation.
As I’ve written before, I would have my final meal at Osteria. So, I hope he finds a great, new location. I've had many memorable meals at Osteria del Mondo: Easter brunch with family, anniversaries, birthdays, even a New Year's Eve.
I've dined there with about every person that I'm close with, including many who are no longer alive. The food is always amazing and there's Milwaukee history nearly dripping from the walls. Plus I love the tagliatelle verde al ragu. So, for me, this location closing is a bit sad.
Yet, as Bianchini told me in the past, Osteria has challenges in its current space (which he doesn’t own). It’s outdated, has a very old kitchen and to redevelop it and make improvements as a tenant just doesn’t make sense. So, he’s reached an agreement with the landlord to move on.
The landlord for the current Knickerbocker space, Kira Kleynerman said that she's seeking a new tenant to replace Osteria.
"This space has been a Milwaukee restaurant cornerstone for 40 years -- first with Sally’s steakhouse and then with Osteria. This is a prime and easily identifiable location within an upscale residential area, thirsty for a great neighborhood restaurant." (Kleynerman noted, in a news release, that anyone interested in leasing information, can e-mail a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
I know Marc personally and won’t be surprised when he retools and reopens a new signature restaurant. I’ve always thought he should have a "Bianchini’s" in Milwaukee, so maybe that’s what’s next for Osteria. For now, though, Milwaukee will miss Osteria del Mondo when it closes at the Knick. We’ll keep you updated once a new location is announced.
In other Bianchini news, construction is set to begin on a new Bianchini restaurant, the first outside the greater Milwaukee area, in Libertyville, Ill.
"Construction will begin in the next few weeks and the restaurant will open in late summer or early fall," said Bianchini.
For competitive reasons, Bianchini wouldn't disclose the specifics of the restaurant but assures that, "the Libertyville restaurant is an exciting new concept, something completely different from any of our existing properties."
In addition, Marc and Marta Bianchini will open a second Cubanitas restaurant "south of the border" in Illinois. "We really think Cubanitas is primed for expansion," said Bianchini. "It’s very likely we could see a second Cubanitas within the next 18 months."
Anne and I had our first date, our wedding dinner and have been at every Osteria Anniversary Dinner (except when we were in Nicaragua for our 10th wedding anniversary) for lo these many years. Osteria is our home. We have also hosted many, many Marquette University dinners with Marc and Marta. The Veal Ragu, the Short Rib, many of the Apps, and certainly the Saltimboca are favs...but really, the ebb and flow of the menu over 16+ years has always been wonderful. We still miss some of the original bar tenders. And, of course we've always loved Brian. Love you Marc and Marta...can hardly wait till we hear where you will be...You'd fit well into The Sovoy...I suppose the old Moceans is too big....Wherever you go, we'll be there.
I don't know how they can "kick it up a notch", but with Marc's expertise, I'm looking forward to some kind of wonderful! I hope they can keep it in the same vicinity. My favorite Italian bistro to dine. Break A Leg Marc!
You guys are right - two words: veal ragu. I wish Osteria was open for lunch!
Good luck Marc.
4 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jeff Sherman
Published July 18, 2014
I've always said that a city is only as good as the stories it tells. And, I believe we all have a responsibility to tell good stories about greater Milwaukee. We're the caretakers of our community and the messages and vision we project matters. Of course, it also matters what others say about Milwaukee, too.
Published July 18, 2014
Want to know how to brew beer in the comfort of our your home? There are classes around town and a start up called UBrew that offers hands-on homebrewing classes.
Published July 17, 2014
Agents and their families flock to Milwaukee every year this week, and each year I love the buzz that's created by adding 11,000 temporary residents to Downtown Milwaukee.
Published July 16, 2014
It's Wednesday, so that means Westown in greater Downtown Milwaukee. Today, it also means the new Night Market from Newaukee on the parking lot between 4th and 5th on Wisconsin Avenue.
Published July 14, 2014
Not only is the Third Ward Colectivo full of great food, coffee and beer, it boasts something that really sets it apart and makes it even more of a destination - sparkling water on tap. I know, I know it's not that exciting. But it kind of is.
Published July 11, 2014
One-bedroom (and a few studio) apartments are being built at the The Mayer Building, at the corner of St. Paul and Water Streets in the Historic Third Ward.
Published July 11, 2014
Milwaukee fashion pioneer Ma Jolie / Footgear quietly closed its doors at 2583 N. Downer Ave. at the end of June. The retailer that sold both men's and women's fashions, jeans and footwear had been at its East Side Milwaukee for 39 years.
Published July 10, 2014
Even though it's a few weeks past Father's Day, I had to share this video from Louis C.K. It's good stuff and no matter how you see fatherhood, your father or the kid(s) in your life you should share this and embrace the message.
Published July 7, 2014
Milwaukee gets some love on the Japanese variety show, "Niriijo Jean." See it here.
Published July 7, 2014
On Tuesday, July 1, Michael R. Lovell took office as Marquette University's 24th president. He succeeds interim President Robert A. Wild, S.J., to become the first lay president in university history. And while Lovell's inauguration won't be held until Sept. 19, in the run-up to his first day as president, Lovell took the opportunity to talk to OnMilwaukee.com about his UWM days, plans for Marquette, Milwaukee and more.