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“Neighborhood Gem”

Tenuta's Italian Restaurant
Ranked #148 of 1,520 Restaurants in Milwaukee
Price range: $10 - $15
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Families with children, Local cuisine, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Takeout
Neighborhood: Bay View
Cary, Illinois
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Neighborhood Gem”
Reviewed March 18, 2013

Tucked away in a south Milwaukee neighborhood is Tenuta's, a quaint, fabulous Italian restaurant. Upon entering one is reminded of something out of the "Godfather" as you are greeted by a large bar with a room attached that contains several, inviting tables. Our server impressed us all evening with her timely visits to our table and her knowledge of each menu item and how they were prepared.

We started with a roasted cauliflower soup. A wonderful puree with a subtle taste of the vegetable.

Tenuta's has a full-service bar with a very nice selection of wines by-the-glass.

We ordered the Veal Scallopini and Chicken Piccata. Both dishes were served with sauteed spinach, oven roasted potatoes, and plenty of garlic. The Piccata was finished wonderfully with a lemon wine sauce with capers and the Scallopini with white wine sauce. Both the veal and chicken were fork tender and perfectly prepared. Portions were just right.

This is a place that when you look around you notice that everybody is very happy to be there. We also noticed an announcement on the wall that Tenuta's was voted by the readers of Milwaukee Magazine to have the best pizza in town. Many of the diners were eating that pizza served on large used, tomato cans.

Our server recommended the Tiramisu for desert, best we ever tasted.

One suggestion, make reservations. After 6:00 PM this place is full. Dinner for two with two glasses of wine, one desert and two coffees was under $70. A real bargain for the quality of the food, wine and service.

We can't wait to visit Milwaukee and Tenuta's again.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Huskieg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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115 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    64
    29
    9
    7
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Lakewood Ranch, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Nice little neighborhood Italian restaurant”
Reviewed March 7, 2013

We have been here twice now and the food does not disappoint! I enjoyed the ravioli fungi with a marsala cream sauce on my last visit and wanted to lick the plate it was so good. It has a nice wine list too. It is not a large place, so I would recommend reservations on the weekends.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank travelswithbeau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mequon, Wisconsin
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Good but not Great”
Reviewed February 18, 2013

My husband and I had heard very good things about this restaurant so we decided to try it out. The staff was very friendly and the service was excellent. The atmosphere was not what I expected. It definately is not a place to go if you want to have a conversation or catch up with some friends. The food was average, but maybe I was expecting amazing, or maybe we just went on a bad night. If we are in the area we would go back, but I would not make a point of going out of our way to dine their again.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Charlie53092
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 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
Helpful?
1 Thank Ross B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level 6 Contributor
507 reviews
365 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
Helpful?
Thank CzechMate2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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