Brunch has become a ubiquitous part of weekend life in Milwaukee and it seems everyone has a favorite spot to indulge. But if you’re looking to try something new, this series is for you. We’ll be highlighting a new brunch spot every week and bringing you all the tasty details. Click here to check out all the spots we've tried!
2315 N. Murray Ave., (414) 797-1400
Brunch available: Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Reservations recommended for indoor seating
As the world wakes up again after months of being partially shuttered due to the pandemic, I’m finding a renewed joy in exploring our wonderful city anew. That means making time to revisit old favorite spots, but also to experience all the new restaurants that opened during the pandemic for the first time. When it comes to the latter, Tavolino has been high on my list.
During our recent brunch visit, their parklet patio was in full swing, and grabbing a seat just after noon offered the respite of a bit of shade, thanks to strategically placed (moveable) umbrellas.
We started off with classic brunch drinks (and coffee), ordering both a Tavolino bloody mary (with chili infused vodka, house bloody mary mix and accoutrements including giardiniera, $11) along with a limoncello mimosa made with Mionetto Prosecco and limoncello garnished with fresh blueberries and thyme ($10).
Both drinks were well executed and complementary to our meal. The bloody mary was balanced and not too salty, and the chili-infused vodka gave it a pleasant kick. The limoncello gave the mimosa a bright, smooth citrus flavor and the thyme garnish gave it a beautiful herbal aroma.
On the food side, Tavolino's brunch menu runs the gamut from creative takes on Eggs Benedict to offerings like a vegetable frittata, eggs and short ribs, ricotta pancakes, panini and breakfast pizza. There’s also a breakfast burger with an Italian spin.
All of the dishes we ordered were both creative and delicious. The Benedetto de verdura provided a fresh take on the typical eggs benedict with perfectly poached eggs, sauteed spinach, a bit of tomato sauce, hollandaise and basil pesto served on toasted English muffins ($13).
It was fresh and bright with plenty of flavor and the vegetables gave the normally rich brunch dish a bit of lift, making it feel lighter and (dare I say) healthier.
Meanwhile, pasta carbonara featured prosciutto, lardons, a creamy sauce enhanced with romano cheese and egg ($15).
This classic pasta dish is probably the most Italian way to get your bacon and egg fix, and – largely thanks to the fresh egg yolk served atop the pasta – the dish was ultra creamy and beautifully rich.
But the true indulgence was the Nutella pancakes featuring two ricotta pancakes topped with nutella and powdered sugar and served with fresh berry compote and mascarpone ($12).
So rich and sugary, this shareable indulgence featured beautifully tender pancakes (thanks to the ricotta cheese) and balance from the berries and mascarpone which softened the intense sweetness of the Nutella.
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.