By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Oct 01, 2010 at 3:03 PM

The votes are in, and the winners have been selected for OnMilwaukee's Best Dining 2010. The results of this readers' poll, including an editors' pick, are available in this series of articles that run all October long during Dining Month on

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, Balzac, 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.

You know, small plate stuff. Wonderful, delicious and ethnic food that lives up to La Merenda's name, which is Italian for "snack." Go figure. editors' choice: Balzac

2. Balzac
3. Maxie's Southern Comfort
4. Elsa's
5. Swig
6. Palomino
7. Water Buffalo
8. Dream Dance Steak
9. Cafe Centraal
10. Bosley on Brady
11. Trinity Three Irish Pubs
12. Hinterland
13. Nessun Dorma
14. Ginger
15. Heaven City