Milwaukee's best wine list, 2010: Pizza Man
"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs -- including guides, the latest trends, rapid bar reviews and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!
The votes are in and the winners have been selected for OnMilwaukee's Best: Bars & Clubs, 2010. Find readers' results in 50 categories, including an editors' pick, in this series of articles that run daily in the Bars and Clubs section of OnMilwaukee.com.
The results came as no surprise to the editors here at OnMilwaukee.com. Pizza Man has won "best wine list" honors by large margins in this category for more years than we can count and 2010 was no exception.
What we didn't count on, obviously, was the tragedy that occurred Jan. 19. Pizza Man, along with the 10 apartments above it and neighbors Cush Lounge, Grecian Delight and Black and White Cafe, was completely destroyed by a six-alarm fire, which has since been ruled arson.
Pizza Man owners Mike and Deanna Amidzich say they plan to reopen Pizza Man in a new East Side location. In the meantime, its fans can celebrate this small victory as the bar and restaurant once again secures its ruling title as Milwaukee's favorite wine list. It's a gentle reminder of how great an institution the East Side icon has been to Milwaukee wine enthusiasts over the decades.
The pizzeria boasted a huge list, with more than 500 selections from California, Washington and Oregon available by the glass or by the bottle. It received the Wine Spectator's "Award of Excellence" more than a dozen times.
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Dream Dance Steak
4. Vino 100
5. Nessun Dorma
8. Dream Dance Steak
9. Thief Wine Shop and Bar
10. La Merenda
11. Capital Grille
13. Flemming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar
14. Chez Jacques
18. The Cheese Bar
19. Osteria del Mondo
Pizza Man's food was better than average, in my opinion. And their pizza was easily in the Top 20 in Milwaukee, perhaps more in the bottom half of that ranking, though. In other words, they had good food but not the best. So what kept me going back again in again in addition to the good food? Two things: 1) location; and 2) the building. The Eastside location was nice and handy. But that building was pretty neat. In the summer, I loved sitting out in that back patio. And in the winter, it was equally as nice to venture inside -- sort of like you were entering a cave or something. I loved those wooden booths and the narrow aisles, too. If you were to have taken the building and location away from Pizza Man, I'm not all that sure if I'd have frequented that place as much as I used to. It was the good food, location and building all working together. So if the owners decide to re-establish themselves in the old Chancery on Downer, I'm not sure if that's going to do it for me. Like I said, their food was good, but not good enough to be the main draw. In my opinion, Pizza Man was Pizza Man because it had all three of those ingredients working together, almost like a "team" effort. I have no idea what building would make a good fit, but I see Pizza Man in an old converted house, or something crazy like the basement of an old church. Something out of the norm. I just can't see them in the old Chancery site.
The Pizza Man group said old Chancery on Downer is already taken. Hey OMC - how about a article on what's going in there?
There has been much debate on the Eastside of what to do with the old Chancery site. The most talked about is a hotel. Probably a better place for Pizza Man is the old Bartolotta's on Downer next to the Original Pancake House.
Hopefully, Pizza Man's new location will carry the title on for many years to come.
if they are looking for a new east side location they should go to the old chancery on downer...im sure the downer ave business district people would love it. cant wait to have another slice of milwaukee!
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