Casual Italian food will be the name of the game at Onesto, which opens for lunch at 221 N. Broadway in the Third Ward beginning on Monday, Aug. 18.
The restaurant, which means "honest" in Italian, aims to serve high quality rustic fare at accessible prices. And the menu reflects a familiarity to match.
Jars, Appetizers and Boards grace the top of the menu, which includes items like white bean dip with walnut pesto ($7) and fig, walnut and Gorgonzola spread ($7) as well as Burrata ($12), baked provolone ($9) and mussels with tomatoes and white wine ($12). Cheese and meat boards are available for $5 per person.
Salads include classic Caesar ($4, side; $8 main), antipasto salad with fusilli pasta and red wine vinaigrette ($11) and a fennel and zucchini salad with arugula, dried cherries, pine nuts, dill, ricotta salata and honey lemon dressing ($9).
Pastas include brisket bolognese ($18), sweet corn ravioli ($14), wild mushroom ragu with housemade gnocchi ($16) and clams and linguini ($16),
Meanwhile, main dishes feature seared salmon with clams ($18), dry aged filet with cremini compound butter and zucchini ($28), seared chicken with prosciutto and basil marinara ($18) and grilled eggplant cannelloni with basil ricotta, walnut pesto, provolone and sage marinara ($15).
The lunch menu reflects similar menu items at lower price points, along with a selection of sandwiches like meatball sliders on housemade brioche($11), as well as salami and Manchego with arugula and pickled onion ($10) roasted red pepper, confit tomato, grilled zucchini, provolone with white bean spread and walnut pesto ($10) and smoked chicken with pistachio pesto, Provolone and sundried tomatoes ($11) – all on house-made ciabatta.
Wines are available in five and eight-ounce pours (ranging in price from $8 to $18), as well as by the bottle ($32-100). Gazera Pinot Grigio, Gotham Riesling, El Rede Malbec and Annabella Pinot Noir are available on tap.
Cocktails are classic, and include the Negroni and Bellini (of course).
Tap beers include Rogue Dead Guy Ale, Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale, Milwaukee Brewing Company Louie’s Demise, and New Glarus seasonal options, while bottles include Miller Lite and Spotted Cow along with Italian choices like Birra Peroni Industriale S.P.A. Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Birra Morretti La Rossa Birra Doppio Malto.
Onesto belongs to the Hospitality Democracy family, a partnership between Joe and Angie Sorge and Marcus Investments, which is the power behind AJ Bombers, Swig, Holey Moley Coffee & Doughnuts, Water Buffalo, Smoke Shack and Zaffiro’s Pizzeria & Bar.
Onesto will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and on weekends until 11 p.m.
Lori Fredrich (Lo) is an eater, writer, wonderer, bon vivante, traveler, cook, gardener and girlwonder. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she has tried to leave many times, but seems to be drawn to this quirky city that smells of beer and alewives.
Some might say that she is a little obsessed with food. Lo would say she is A LOT obsessed with food. After all, she has been cooking, eating and enjoying food for decades and has no plans to retire anytime soon.
Lo's recipes and writing have been featured in a variety of publications including GO: Airtran Inflight Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Cooking Light, Edible Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as on the blog Go Bold with Butter, the web site Wisconsin Cheese Talk, and in the quarterly online magazine Grate. Pair. Share.