I was a huge fan of the original Ill Mito in Walkers Point and was distressed when I heard they were closing last year. It was a great place to go for a nice special occasion dinner. I was happy when owner Michael Fekker decided to replicate his Enoteca concept that he launched in Tosa in Walkers Point instead of following through with his plan to close the place completely. I finally had a chance to eat at the Wauwatosa location of Il Mito Enoteca and can honestly say that this place will find its way onto my list of places that I regularly go to. The prices are low, the food is exceptional, and the atmosphere is vibrant yet cozy.
We made a reservation, which I would suggest anyone do especially on a Friday night. We waited in the crowded bar area for only 5 minutes or so while they got our table ready. I had a bottle of Bells Two Hearted, one of my favorite beers while we waited. Il Mito has one of those menus where almost everything looks good. It was a cold night so I wanted something comforting. It was tough to chose between the Costina di Manzo (Short Ribs braised in Chianti with blue cheese polenta and sauteed escarole) or the Osso Buccodi Vitello. I decided on the Osso Bucco. My wife ordered the special of the night which was spaghetti with mixed seafood including shrimp and clams in a light cream-based sauce.
We were steered towards an bruschetta appetizer by our waiter and we were not disappointed. Goat cheese, marinated peppers, roasted garlic, sun dried tomatoes were piled atop slices of a baugette that had been lightly toasted. While I think that traditional bruschetta is kind of boring, this version really elevated this version. The creamy tangy goat cheese worked well with the peppers and sun dried tomatoes. You also get some excellent bread and dipping oil before your entree.
My Osso Bucco was quite large and was topped with the vegetables that the veal shank had been braised with. They also give you a small spoon so you can scoop up the rich and delicious marrow from the bone. The meat was tender and the saffron risotto was creamy and delicious. The vegetables and braising liquid added a hint of acidity which balanced out the super rich meat and risotto. At 16.95, this dish is one of the best bargains in Milwaukee. The spaghetti with clams and shrimp was also outstanding. The noodles were al dente and held up well to the creamy, but not too heavy sauce. The seafood was fresh and there was a large amount of it mixed into the pasta.
The service was attentive, helpful, and unobtrusive. My only complaint was that it took a while to get our bill at the end of the meal. A recent OnMilwaukee review ripped their service and food on one visit (and liked it on another) but don’t let that deter you, this place deserves credit for serving excellent food at moderate prices. Just read the comments at the end of the OnMilwaukee review for confirmation. Il Mito Enotca has two locations. The Tosa restaurant is located at 6913 W. North Avenue and the number is (414) 443-1414 and Walkers Point location is at 605 W. Virginia Street and the phone number is (414) 276-1414. They also take online reservations at their website www.ilmito.com.
EatWisconsin Rating: 4 out of 5.
Rating Guide: 0=Absolutely terrible, avoid at all costs, 1=Bad, 2=Mediocre/Average, 3= Admirable, 4=Excellent, 5=Sublime