Milwaukee's best Italian, 2017
Season's eatings! The weather may be getting colder, but Dining Month on OnMilwaukee is just cooking up, dishing out your winning picks in this year's Best of Dining poll. Dining Month is brought to you by Fein Brothers, your premier food service equipment and supply dealer in Wisconsin since 1929. Congratulations to all of the winners, and happy eating for all those who voted! See all the winners for the month so far here.
After losing the crown in 2015, Ristorante Bartolotta reclaimed its perch at the top of Milwaukee's Italian food heap last year. And if the 2017 results have anything to say about it, the Cream City Italian food staple doesn't look like it's letting go of that title anytime soon, as the diamond of the Bartolotta brand handily took first place for the second straight year.
If that wasn't enough, Ristorante Bartolotta also retained its hold on OnMilwaukee editors' hearts – and stomachs – coming away with their pick for the second year in a row as well.
It's not hard to see why. The intimate, welcoming little place in the heart of Tosa Village has the most authentic, most delicious and most engaging Italian – not Italian-American – menu in the city, offering up anything but predictable plates.
Tenuta's in Bay View came in closest, earning second place with a very respectable showing in the polls, while Centro Cafe, Calderone Club and Zarletti wrapped up the top five for 2017.
OnMilwaukee editors' pick: Ristorante Bartolotta
Lori Fredrich's pick: Ristorante Bartolotta
When I cast my vote for Ristorante Bartolotta, it's really a vote for the care and respect with which it treats regional Italian fare. Chef Juan Urbieta consistently produces cuisine that's created with the spirit of Italy in mind. That means fresh seasonal fare, handmade pasta, fresh fish and a rotating cast of specials that showcase the diversity of a country that's all too often drawn up under a "red sauce" flag.
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