An honestly good time at Onesto! (Did ya catch that?)
How about party of one at “ONEsto“? I’m feeling pretty punny today, friends!
Some people do not enjoy dining alone, but I have never really had a problem doing so. I think having to travel for business so much throughout my career taught me to feel comfortable as a “party of one”. Back in the day, I would bring a book with me and sit at the corner two-top table at which hosts and hostesses would inevitably seat me. I’d read and casually eat my food while servers seemed to try to rush me out. I never really knew if it was because they were feeling uncomfortable for me, or if they were just trying to turn the table – probably a bit of both.
Nowadays, let’s face it. I have my nose stuck in my iPhone – either playing “Words with Friends”, checking social media sites, returning emails, or taking photos to include in blog posts like this. I really do feel that my “smart phone” has had the opposite effect on my intellect!
Anyhow, onto the story of my experience at Onesto, which opened last summer. My first adventure on Sunday was to finally get out and see Next Act Theatre’s final show and final performance of the season… “Ten Questions to Ask Your Biology Teacher about Evolution”. A WONDERFUL show, and it featured local actors I’ve come to know, as well as a Chicago-based actor whom I had as a houseguest for the first two weeks he was rehearsing the show. So, you know I really did want to see Kyle in the lead role much earlier, but business travel and personal issues delayed my seeing the show. (and, many thanks to my Next Act crew for giving a(n unnecessary) special mention in the program!)
I loved hearing the remarks from audience members, both at intermission and after the show. As a board member, I found that folks really appreciated providing me their points of view, their personal experiences, and the reactions to the theatre space in general. It was a great afternoon! But, I was hungry by the time the show ended! That’s when I decided to head over and try Onesto (which was mentioned to me by my favorite gal at AJ Bombers).
When I walked up to Onesto, I was greeted with “Ker?” by the gentleman at the door. Simply amazing to me since I am just barely coming up on two years in Milwaukee! Matt and I met at AJ Bombers a while back, and we know each other over Twitter, but I didn’t really think he would recognize me out of the blue! What a warm welcome!
And, a cool spot! Check out the artwork that’s for sale when you stop in!
It was a gorgeous day, so I sat at the last seat at the bar, near the open windows facing N. Broadway Ave.
As he walked me to my seat, Matt gave me a few recommendations (Mussels with Linguini, Bolognese with meatballs, Butternut Squash Ravioli), but he also mentioned that Jason (behind the bar) would “take good care of” me. So, as Jason greeted me, I promptly greeted him back and handed him my blog card. Jason verified that he understood the “instructions” and quickly went on his way.
He served me a glass of the featured wine:
Then, I was served up a happy hour special – free Honey Roasted Bruschetta (roma tomato, basil, housemade ricotta) – and I bonded with Jason over his pronunciation of the word “bruschetta” – we both learned to pronounce it with a hard “k” sound rather than a “sh”. It’s the simple things, folks!
When my entree was delivered, it was actually one of the dishes Matt had mentioned during our brief chat. I was served the Bolognese (housemade spaghetti, topped with brisket) and served with two pork and grass fed meatballs (Oh My Goodness! I thought I was completely in love with the au gratin potatoes (served under the grilled beef tenderloin) at Millioke, but I now have to share my heart with these meatballs!)
I mentioned that I was hungry that day! I hadn’t eaten anything substantial until I went for this late lunch / early dinner. This was a LOT of food, but it was so tasty! Homemade spaghetti and meatballs – with brisket to boot! I was absolutely full by the time I was finished.
That didn’t stop Jason from bringing me (another free of charge item) a decadent dessert! Flourless chocolate olive oil cake with pistachio brittle (perhaps the best new discovery of recent times!). Y’all, this cake…it was almost like eating pudding! So smooth and creamy. But, the brittle was the true hero, in my opinion!
I advised both Jason and Matt that I would be sending the bill for my gym membership after having this meal! It’s a miracle I had the energy to walk Riley and then do some work that evening. I probably should have given into a carb crash and called it a night!
It was a perfect Sunday afternoon, and I thoroughly enjoyed dining solo while catching occasional conversation with both Jason and Matt throughout the afternoon. They’re just lovely men and very friendly.
To sum it up: great service + great food + great atmosphere = a great time! I’d love to know if you’ve been to Onesto and if you have a favorite dish!