Archestratus, the first food critic, praised Italian cuisine's "top-quality and seasonal" ingredients and "fair to middling" ability to tranquilize out-of-control mayors. Today's Groupon similarly stuns, and rightfully so. For $10, you get $25 worth of Italian cuisine and drinks at Libiamo, the old-timey eatery in Schlitz Park.
Housed in the former Brown Bottle Guest Hall and Hospitality Center in the old Schlitz Brewery, Libiamo basks in the same old-fashioned elegance that made the venue a Milwaukee landmark. A gorgeous ceiling, elaborate woodwork, and chandeliers constructed from massive antlers set the classy yet casual ambience. Paintings of rustic Italy adorn the walls and the beautiful, familiar old bar welcomes patrons like a massive, wooden old friend. As befits the historic setting, you can get original-recipe Schlitz on tap, while ghosts of departed Schlitz cans occasionally roam the bathroom area. Libiamo also lives up to the building’s illustrious precedent with a menu of some of the best authentic Italian food in Milwaukee. Appetizers benefit from Libiamo’s delicious house red sauce. Try the tender spedini—Italian steak rolled with breadcrumbs and cheeses—or fried ravioli (both $7). For lunch, order up one of the delicious and crispy panini sandwiches, like the classic Italian beef ($7.95). Equally crispy are the thin-crust pizzas, including the sophisticated pesto chicken ($9 for small, $17.50 for large) or family-recipe linguine with meatballs ($8.50).
For dinner, choose from classic Italian entrees like the chicken gouda ($15.95), a generous portion of two full chicken breasts stuffed with smoked gouda and portobellos, all in a creamy gouda sauce. Savor Italian comfort food with Grandma’s Sicilian meatloaf ($13.95), an old favorite enriched with a stuffing of capicola ham and provolone cheese. Sides of garlic mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables complete the belly-warming comfort. Libiamo also pairs its fine entrees with an impressive wine list, emphasizing grapes of the Tuscany region. The friendly and attentive staff is happy to make pairing recommendations or share theories on the final season of LOST (spoiler alert: the dog is dreaming).
- We all can once again enjoy the beauty of this Milwaukee landmark with some of the best Italian fare in Milwaukee and a fantastic wine list to boot...The dining room sports contemporary colors, black linens and candles that succeed in complementing the original horned light fixtures overhead. Large, comfortable booths and friendly servers complete the picture, making dining at Libiamo a casual, homey, and classy experience, equally perfect for a date or a night out with friends. – Amy L. Carlson
- The atmosphere is amazing! There is so much great woodwork around the place and there is a great history to it. – jamelea7, Citysearch
- The food is delicious! The menu offers dishes you are unlikely to see somewhere else such as a spedini panini and Grandma's meat loaf (two kinds of cheeses and an excellent tomato sauce; moist and flavorful). The tiramisu is the BEST I have ever had, hands down. – tasty_1, Citysearch
- The flavors were well-balanced, the presentation was good, and the chef was thoughtful enough to make all three plates' food amounts add up to just-the-right-amount so we didn't have to waddle out, over-stuffed. – Tonya C., Yelp