By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Oct 06, 2010 at 10:40 AM

October is the fourth-annual Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delicious features, chef profiles, unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2010."

Over the past two weeks I visited two new restaurants for the first time and had two vastly different experiences.

One weekday, Andy Tarnoff and I popped over to check out Mizu noodle house, which opened in the old George Webb space at 1828 N. Farwell Ave.

The place looked so much like Webb's, it was a little jolting. Of course, I don't blame the new owners for not entirely reinventing the wheel in terms of booths, counter, kitchen location, etc. But, I almost expected a classic breakfast to appear on my plate.

We ordered at the register and the food was delivered to our table. Although the server was friendly, there was a distinct lack of familiarity with Mizu's menu. Especially for a new place, that's a problem.

Andy asked for a recommendation, and that seemed only to dumbfound the employee.

While I enjoyed the food enough to eat it all, I didn't open my calendar to immediately pencil in a return visit.

Mizu has potential, but schooling its employees ought be tops on the to-do list. Next, I'd trim some of the menu options and focus on making fewer, but really stellar things that will keep folks coming back.

I, like some, will give it another try, because it was so new on my first visit, but not everyone is willing to do that. First impressions are especially important for restaurateurs.

A few days later, looking for a place to brunch after a weekend morning swimming class, I remembered Blue's Egg, the new Maxie's-owned place in the old Heinemann's location at 317 N. 76th St.

Like Mizu, Blue's -- open daily from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. -- kept the basic layout of its predecessor, but completely transformed it with a stylish decor and a new counter near the entrance and a partially open kitchen. There's no doubt in this dining room: Heinemann's was yesterday, Blue's Egg is here to stay.

The service was great. With two young children at the table, our smiling server was attentive, helpful and quick on the draw with crayons, beverages and our kids' meals. And she easily answered all of our questions about the menu.

Add in some of the most satisfying brunch dishes we've had in Milwaukee -- the creamy polenta with kale, mushrooms, poached eggs and fonduta, plus a side was worth every penny of the $9.95 it cost -- and you've got a recipe for success.

We loved it so much that we tried to go back this past weekend, which brings us to the sole downside of Blue's -- at least during this honeymoon with Milwaukee diners: it's not easy to get a table without a wait sometimes.

For those that can wait it out, it's worth it.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.