Osteria del Mondo heads east this month. Beginning today and for the next four weeks, the lower East Side Italian restaurant celebrates the 20th birthday of New York's famed San Domenico eatery by serving its menu.
San Domenico -- in New York City and in Imola, Italy -- are legendary in fine dining circles. But in Milwaukee, perhaps even more so, because two of our best restaurateurs / chefs -- Marc Bianchini and Paul Bartolotta (and Ristorante Bartolotta's Juan Urbieta, too) -- earned their stripes under the tutelage of Tony May in New York and Valentino Marcattilii in Imola.
"San Domenico has always been my favorite restaurant and one of the best restaurants on the planet," says Bianchini, who recently returned from serving as a featured chef at San Domenico New York's 20th Anniversary Celebration and announcement of the restaurant's new location in Madison Square Park. It is currently situated on Central Park South.
"It was an honor to be invited to cook at their 20th Anniversary Celebration and as part of that, I'm bringing a taste of San Domenico back with me."
Osteria is dubbed "San Domenico -- Milwaukee" for July and its menu features three appetizers, three pastas, three fish entrees, three meat dishes and three desserts from the San Domenico menu. The dishes can be ordered a la carte or as part of a five-course tasting menu.
Bianchini -- a New York native that also runs Cubanitas and Indulge here --- served an exclusive externship at San Domenico New York in 1989. He returned there as a sous chef after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America and later spent several months at the Imola restaurant in the Emilia-Romagna region, considered by many to be the culinary heart of Italy.
"Eating at San Domenico in Italy and New York becomes a memorable event," says Bianchini. "It's something I want Milwaukee to experience."
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.