Onesto Milwaukee Wisconsin Restaurant Review

“Onesto, which means “honest” in Italian, serves a modern twist on Italian fare with an emphasis on fresh, handmade, flavorful cuisine. We also feature an approachable wine list and a craft cocktail menu.

Onesto Milwaukee Wisconsin

Onesto is the type of place you are going to want to visit more than just once.

It has everything you could want from a dining out experience from the atmosphere to the food itself. This place isn’t one you are going to want to sleep on.

Atmosphere

You can not get better views than Onesto.

Settled in the Third Ward, it sits in arguably one of the most beautiful neighborhoods of Milwaukee. There isn’t a single bad view when you sit outside or inside. 

The building itself has cream bricks, which is part of Milwaukee’s history itself. Cream City brick is a cream or light yellow-colored brick made from a clay found around Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the Menomonee River Valley and on the western banks of Lake Michigan.

It has a spot for everyone. Belly up to their giant bar that sits to the left of the restaurant or take a seat to the right and dine over a candle. Upstairs has beautiful views, and I suggest trying to sit by the windows if you can – the definition of dinner with a view.

Outside tables offer you a chance to eat literally on the sidewalk and if you come during the warmer months it is something I defiently suggest.

They also have a little window that you can order stuff to go from including coffee and desserts.

Onesto radiates a vibe that is high-end but approachable. It will work as an excellent option if you want a place to impress people from out of town.

Ideal for work meals and also is a great date spot. With candles on each table, it can really set the mood. Don’t be fooled though, Onesto isn’t one of those candlelit places that make you want to whip out your cell phone to read the menu. Candles throughout provide a romantic vibe without being the only source of light. If its a first date, you will in fact, be able to see what color their eyes are.

The Drinks

Onesto - Milwaukee, WIsconsin Cocktail

Onesto has a wide variety of drinks to choose from.

  • Wine – bubbles, white, and red
  • Bottled beers
  • Tap beers
  • Cocktails

For the wine, you can choose from 5 oz, 8oz, and bottles, and they do offer reserve wines.

They also offer wine on tap which isn’t a common thing you often see, especially around Milwaukee where all taps seem to be filled with beer.

Why do they make wine on tap? They do so for a wide range of reasons from environmental friendliness to quality. It also reduces wine’s carbon footprint tremendously, by reducing the usage of glass bottles, wood corks, paper labels, and cardboard transportation. Some even say it taste as fresh as the barrel it was made from.

The cocktails are always my first look at how a restaurant is going to shake out in terms of quality level. If they put the time into their cocktails then you know they are going to take even more time into the food.

They have perfected just about every drink and have everyone’s favorite cocktails including – Melegrano Mule, Italian Margarita, Basil Smash, Seasonal Sangria, Broadway Sour, and two different types of Manhantanns.

Cocktails only run $12 which means you can get one or two and try a few different flavors. Between me and my significant other, we tried four different ones and they were all amazing. I recommend the Third Ward which is the classic take on Manhattans.

The Food

Onesto offers some made from scratch Italian food – it is in fact Italian for “honest,”. They make all of their pasta daily and offer gluten-free options as well as vegetarian options. Those with seed or nut allergies can eat here without fear because they label everything!

With any dish you can do add ons with options including:

  • Caramelized cauliflower
  • Fingerling potatoes
  • Meatballs
  • Chicken Breast
  • Salmon
  • Scallops
  • Season soup

Onesto puts a modern twist on Italian cuisine that’s fresh and flavorful. Located in the heart of the Historic Third Ward, they pair handmade pasta with an outstanding wine and craft cocktail list, elegant service, and a unique menu that has been frequently named among the best Italian in Milwaukee.

I typically eat vegan, and Onesto is a space that makes Italian food without being heavy-handed with things like oil, butter, or cream. Trust me, if they were, my body would tell me instantly.

Being someone who doesn’t eat dairy or meat on the daily means, I have a bit of a sensitivity to it. I love that Onesto makes Italian that won’t make me feel like I just ate a gallon of creamy dairy or ingredients that make me feel like I had a food baby.

They have three different menus to choose from including cafe, lunch, and dinner.

Cafe Menu

The cafe menu is paired with a cafe window that you can order from outside, and it is an excellent option for those who are on the go or need something quick. The cafe menu has everything you would expect from coffee and tea to bakery treats.

You can also order to-go lunch from the cafe window that includes salads, sandwiches, pasta, pieces of bread, and extra sauces.

Lunch Menu

The lunch menu is an excellent choice for those who may want to try something from their dinner menu but want to save a few bucks and a few calories for the day by trying it in their lunch size! If you love it, go back for dinner and get a large portion next time.

Unlike the dinner menu, the lunch menu offers sandwich choices including meatball sliders, seared chicken, and grilled cheese. All of their sandwiches are served with chips.

Their dine in lunch menu is going to have a bit more options than the to-go one so that is something you will want ot keep in mind when choosing to do their lunch dine in or to-go.

Dinner Menu

Onesto offers a menu with the perfect amount of items. Often, when I step into an Italian restaurant, there are so many options, it can be an eye sensory overload. This usually leaves me feeling overwhelmed, and then I typically just feel like ordering my go-to menu items because I can’t even begin to dive into what each dish contains after taking the ten minutes just to read the titles.

Onesto has the type of dinner menu that keeps it simple with enough variety that there is sure to be a dish for everyone. The menu hits every type of pasta, sauce, and entree you would want from an Italian restaurant if you were told you could only pick your top 5 favorites forever.

I LOVE that the dinner menu also allows you to add the option of the extra protein, including their caramelized cauliflower. This makes it so every dish is customizable to your wants, needs, and dietary preferences. If only more places woke up and would decide to do this then eating out would be so much easier for those who watch what they put into their bodies.

The dinner menu is going to be where you have the most choices when compared to the other menus and the portions match the bigger price tag.

The menu is clearly labeled so those with allergies or dietary restrictions don’t have to flag the server down before you consider what you want for dinner, and it is all around very user friendly.

The Service

This is my first restaurant review in a while, and it’s an odd thing when you sit back and think about it. Not only do you consider service as it used to be, but you now consider service as it coexists with COVID and all things pandemic related. Talk about a tough job to have at a tough time.

Hats off to our waitress, who was running around and still killing it all while wearing a mask. Political views aside, wearing a mask makes being a server a bit more complicated, and I would have a tough time talking, walking, and running around trying to give the best customer experience possible while wearing one of them. It is a whole new ball game, and I surely wouldn’t want that job or responsibility, but our waitress nailed it!

She made us feel comfortable the whole time and talked loud enough through the mask that we didn’t have to ask her to repeat anything.

I felt like all proper precautions were taken in terms of COVID protocol and while they do require masks around the restaurant you don’t need to wear it while you are seated at the table. Just wear it if you are going to the bathroom or running to the bar for a drink.

COVID business aside our waitress was super helpful in guiding us through the menu since it was our first time there. She asked what our palate typically goes for and made suggestions based on that and the fact we wanted to be adventurous and of course try their best selling items!

Book An Event

Seated:

75 guests

Reception-style:

150 guests

Elevator:

No

Restaurant Buy-Outs:

Yes (Sun-Thurs only)

Sales Tax:

6.1%

Service Charge:

22%

Parking:

Street parking (free after 6pm)
Parking structures within 2 blocks
(Milwaukee St & corner of Water & Chicago St)

Resturant Info

221 N Broadway
Milwaukee, WI 53202
414-308-1600
[email protected]
Hours:

Piccino Window Café: 7:00am – 2:00pm
Lunch & Dinner: 11:00am – 9:00pm

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