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Italian?

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Italian?

Postby zelda » Wed Jan 11, 2006 9:07 am

I have some friends coming to town tonight, with two kids, and they would like to go to an Italian place for dinner. I believe that their budget (and mine) would point to something toward the lower end of the price scale, and nothing too weird. I am not all that familiar with this area of cuisine as I tend to not go to Italian here in the Mad City. A) I can make it easily at home, b) I am often disappointed by the (lower priced) Italian restaurants here, and c) there are so many other really interesting ethnic offerings. So, where should I take them tonight? Help!
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Postby depinmad » Wed Jan 11, 2006 9:29 am

i like porta bella and am always surprised at it's relative cheapness.
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Postby shelly » Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:29 am

How about Sole Sapori (sp?) ? I haven't been there but it seems to get good comments. Or you could try that place whose name I always forget..... the one on Bassett.... I think it is Casa Bianca. The atmosphere is rather minimal, but the food is good and not expensive. I would not recommend Tutto Pasta.
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Postby mrak » Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:34 am

It's a little out of town, but I like Avanti in Verona.

They've got a few non-Italian items on the menu, too - fairly traditional things like steaks, ribs and Friday fish fry.
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Postby Shpiker » Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:36 am

Either Vin Santo in Middleton or Papa Phil's on Monroe are our faves...
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Postby Crow » Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:38 am

I'd say Bunky's on Atwood. They do both Italian and Mediterranean, so there's some variety. It's got a nifty atmosphere and it's family friendly, I guess... not that I have kids, but I've seen 'em there and they seem happy. Prices are reasonable... not super-cheap, but what Italian place is (aside from Fazoli's)?
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Postby zelda » Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:11 am

Thanks! (and keep the suggestions coming). Yeah, Tutto Pasta on State is one of the reasons that I stopped out for Italian. Been to Vin Santo, ages ago, enjoyed it, plan on going back sometime, but I suspect it would be a bit spendy for tonight. Ditto Bunky's although for just pasta it might not be too expensive for them. Never been to Avanti or Papa Phil's but have heard good stuff about PP. Will keep Sole e Sapore and Casa Bianca in mind.... I should probably try to print off some menus for them. Love the Porta salad. What about that place (just beyond?) the beltline in Middleton - Biaggi's or something. Thanks all - you have brought up a bunch of places I had forgotten all about....
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Postby zelda » Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:16 am

Oops! That should be "stopped GOING out for Italian" ...
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Re: Italian?

Postby eriedasch » Wed Jan 11, 2006 12:30 pm

zelda wrote:I believe that their budget (and mine) would point to something toward the lower end of the price scale, and nothing too weird.

I would define lower end of the Italian pay scale to be Fazoli's, Frabonis, or Geno's Italian Deli.

I would define Vin Santo, Porta Bella, and Biaggis as closer to the high end.

Some mid range offerings I would include would be Greenbush Bar, Benvenutos, Paisan's, Geno's on State, Bunky's, Rossarios on Monona.

Obviously you are going to pay less at any of these places if you get the basic pasta and marinara sauce as compared to something with meat and/or other specialties.
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Postby GenieU » Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:28 pm

Real low down? Rocky Roccos- that way you can send the kids off to the arcade to blow some money on worthless trinkets while the rest of you actually have a conversation.

Civilized dining: Bunky's is spacious, and neighborhoody and the bathrooms are decorated with an eclectic bunch of vintage junk.
Good food tho'.

Rossarios is old Madison-with decent enough sweet Sicillian-style marinera sauce.
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Postby zelda » Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:43 pm

Tee hee. This is fun. I just spent most of my lunch hour tracking down menus and reviews of the places mentioned in the above posts. One review, from the Daily Page in 2003 said to avoid Sole e Sapore like the plague - said it was the cockroach of local restaurants. Didn't the same family have a good place in Mt Horeb or somewhere?
Just for the record, I'm not fond of Gino's on State, Rossario's, and don't even mention Rocky Roccoco's.
I've been told - by someone exiting the restaurant! - that Benvenuto's is okay if you avoid anything with their own homemade sauce on it. Um....????
I love Greenbush but not sure it would have enough variety. Note to self - go there soon.
Bunky's is sounding good. I had an excellent and reasonably priced salmon dinner there a couple years ago, but didn't care for my companion's pasta. Farfalle with house sauce? Can't remember.
So, Bunky's or Paisan's or Papa Phil's are sounding like the final 3.
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Re: Italian?

Postby Shpiker » Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:58 pm

eriedasch wrote:Some mid range offerings I would include would be Greenbush Bar, Benvenutos, Paisan's, Geno's on State, Bunky's, Rossarios on Monona.


eriedasch brought up a couple good ones I hadn't been to (or thought of) in a while- Greenbush Bar and Rosarios! Man, now I'm hungry again! Like them both... and if you have kids, Rosarios used to do a spaghetti on the table spread that I've heard kids love.
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Postby Stomach » Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:08 pm

Is Sole Y Sapori still open? I thought they closed.
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Postby zelda » Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:38 pm

Sole e Sapore must be closed. I couldn't find any listings for it. Was it where King of Felafel is now?
Really? - Rossario's is good? Maybe I went to someplace else in Monona. The place I am thinking of that wasn't really that great was in a little strip mall on Monona Drive. I thought that isolated white house place - Angelo's? - was the place where they throw the spaghetti on the table??? (Haven't been there).
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Postby Billy Shears » Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:55 pm

Crow wrote:I'd say Bunky's on Atwood. They do both Italian and Mediterranean, so there's some variety. It's got a nifty atmosphere and it's family friendly, I guess... not that I have kids, but I've seen 'em there and they seem happy. Prices are reasonable... not super-cheap, but what Italian place is (aside from Fazoli's)?

We've gone to Bunky's twice. Each time, my order was done to perfection and the wife's was basically burnt cardboard and she ended up sharing mine because it was more than I could eat.

I want to go back, she doesn't. Go figure.
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