By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Apr 09, 2008 at 3:33 PM
Osteria del Mondo, 1028 E. Juneau Ave., and Ristorante Bartolotta, 7616 W. State St., in Wauwatosa, are the only Milwaukee-area restaurants to earn a place among 1,000 Italian restaurants in America listed in a new Zagat guide.

A third restaurant, Kenosha's Mangia, also made the cut in the Milwaukee category.

"America's 1,000 Top Italian Restaurants" was compiled by Zagat and Buonitalia S.p.a. as a guide to the top Italian-style eateries in 53 American markets.

"It's only fitting that we produce a guide to the top Italian restaurants, since in survey after survey we see that Americans prefer Italian cuisine to any other," said Tim Zagat, CEO of Zagat Survey. "The American public deserves to know when it is eating authentic Italian cuisine and this guide pulls together the best places to eat authentically around the country."

The guide was released in late February and highlighted restaurants were included, according to Zagat statement, based on three criteria.

"The warmth of the welcome and skills of the restaurant, how genuine the restaurant's products are, and the art of using simple and original cooking techniques to bring out the excellence of Italian ingredients. Buonitalia believes that the restaurants highlighted in this guide exemplify these qualities and serve as the de facto ambassadors for fine Italian cuisine."

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.