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“Neighborhood Italian, Big City Flavor”

Tenuta's Italian Restaurant
Ranked #168 of 1,518 Restaurants in Milwaukee
Price range: $10 - $15
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Families with children, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Takeout
Neighborhood: Bay View
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Neighborhood Italian, Big City Flavor”
Reviewed January 22, 2013

We stopped in around 7:00 pm on a Tuesday night upon the recommendation of some friends. The restaurant was busy, but not crowded, with a middle aged (30 - 60) crowd of business people, professorial types and "girls night out" social diners. Seating was immediate and our waiter, Dimitri, did a nice job explaining the history of the restaurant, recipes and the uniqueness of each dish. The decor is comfortable but on the edge of becoming dated or a little too casual relative to the food and service value. We ordered the pepperoni and ham pizza, the mushroom ravioli and the special, Parmesan Chicken and Gnocchi.

If you're looking for New York style pizza, this isn't the place. But if you want REAL Italian, Tenuta's is it. Many pizza places seem to skip right over the crust and focus on the sauce. Not Tenuta's. The crust was an integral part of the dish that made you wonder why other pizza crust couldn't be this good. And there was no sauce. Fresh tomatoes on top added plenty of flavor.

I always order a pasta dish to see if they make their own and if they care enough to cook it correctly. The ravioli was clearly handmade and served al dente ("to the teeth") as it should be. Bravo! The dish wasn't perfectly done, but the minor inconsistencies added character to the meal - much like Alfa Romeo putting the headlamp switches above the rearview mirror. Once you figure out that this is the way it's supposed to be, you quickly become comfortable with it. One can easily see why this restaurant has a regular crowd.

The Parmesan Chicken was flavorful without too much garlic, a common mistake when cooking Italian. My only complaint was that the chicken, gnocchi and potatoes were all of similar color and size on the plate so you never really knew which was going into your mouth beforehand. Not that you care - it all tasted wonderful.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Ross B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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112 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
501 reviews
360 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
“what a great neighborhood gem!”
Reviewed November 21, 2012

Ok, word has gotten out that Tenuta's has improved over the years! In the past I found dishes over salted but now, everything is so tasty as evidenced by crowds on Fridays and Saturdays. This is a charming neighborhood spot with an amazing wine list on the chalkboard. The service is outstanding as well. We love starting with a small pizza as an app and then sharing a wonderful pasta dish - we've tried them all and the gnocchi is our favorite!

Visited September 2012
Thank CzechMate2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 28, 2012

Everything is great here. The waitstaff is efficient and friendly. Also very knowledgeable about the wine list. Everything from pizza to pasta is incredible here. I make it a point to never order the same thing twice and I have yet to be disappointed. You may need reservations on the weekends.

Visited September 2012
Thank Sarah T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oak Creek, Wisconsin, United States
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 11, 2012

Looking for a romantic and quiet place to celebrate with my husband our 25th anniversary. Well after reading the Tenuta's good reviews and highly recommended by 2 different persons, I decided to make a dinner reservation at Tenuta's.
The place is good for a family dinner, for a date, but not for an anniversary, at least not for a silver wedding anniversary. I made the reservation 3 days in advance, unfortunately the same day of the reservation had to call and changed the time of our arrival, with whom I spoke said that there was not a problem and that the table that I had previously requested (201) would be ready. When we arrived at the restaurant such table was occupied, the hosts informed us that we had to wait 10 minutes, which become 45 minutes. We were offered a different table, that i did not accept because, it was located near to the bar and in a place with a lot of traffic. You might wonder why we stayed at this restaurant after waiting 45 minutes to be seating, well, the answer is that it was too late to go to another restaurant without reservation, and I was not planning on spending the rest of the my anniversary night checking restaurants in the area.

The service was not what I expected, the waiter was very sparing at all times as if he had been forced to attend us.

We ordered a pizza as an appetizer Which was good, I ordered veal Marsala, the pasta was good, the sauce a little to sweet for my taste and the veal was hard to chew. My husband ordered chicken Alfredo and he also made a comment about the chicken being hard to chew.

We shared a Tiramisu which was OK. a little dry but OK. To bad that they don't serve espresso or cappuccino.

I will probably give it another try to this restaurant, just because of the fact that the pizza was good and the place looks nice to have dinner with your family.

Visited August 2012
Thank Carla F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
156 reviews
139 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 188 helpful votes
“A Quaint little neighborhood restaurant”
Reviewed October 8, 2012

This is a cute little Italian restaurant serving really good food and great wine. Chairs are a little small - like ice cream parlor chairs .. but aside from that.. it's a nice place to dine.

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank TheWash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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