By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Oct 13, 2009 at 11:30 AM

October is the third annual Dining Month on 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 2009."

Ristorante Bartolotta
7616 W. State St., (414) 771-7910

The Bartolotta dining empire has grown to include a range of fine restaurants in many styles, but for me there's still nothing that beats the original. The dining room is warm and inviting -- especially when the scent of the wood-burning oven heats up a winter night -- the staff is friendly and knowledgeable, the menu is good and with Juan Urbieta helming the kitchen you just can't go wrong when it comes to Italian food in Milwaukee. 

Menu: Italian.

Price: Moderate to expensive.

When to go: Check out one of the special wine dinners that pair a menu and a single winery's offerings, usually with a winemaker on hand. Also great are the special regional menus that show the diversity of Italian cuisine.

Dress: Business casual to dressy.

Don't miss: The grigliata mista di mare, with its tempting assortment of grilled shrimp, scallops, octopus, mussels and the fish of the day. Served with olive oil, spinach and lemon.

Parking: Street parking isn't usually difficult. There are also some city lots nearby.

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 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.