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Chicago’s Rosati’s Comes to Milwaukee’s East Side

A good place for pizza, bloody marys and watching sports

Jul. 19, 2016
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Rosati’s Pizza, a Chicago pizza chain approaching 200 locations, has set itself up at its new Lower East Side Milwaukee location as a prime spot for watching whatever big sporting event is happening that week. I popped in for Game 7 of the NBA Finals a few weeks back and was pleased at how energetic the atmosphere was. I’m curious to see what Rosati’s will look like this upcoming football season when it’s packed with Packers fans.

Rosati’s interior is cleverly designed. I was hard pressed to find a seat in the restaurant that didn’t offer a view of at least a couple of their seemingly infinite televisions, which make it perfect for folks who want to follow multiple games occuring simultaneously. I’ll be there for the first weekend of March Madness for sure. 

Their bar is standard for a sports bar pizza spot, with the notable exception of the excellent house-made pepper vodka they use in their bloody marys, which, for the not-faint-of-heart, can be taken on its own for a surprisingly spicy, boozy blast.

With respect to pizzas, Rosati’s offers three different kinds: thin crust, double dough, and deep dish. Your mileage will vary with all three, depending on what you want out of your pizza. 

The thin crust—my favorite—has a nice crispness to it, and the crust holds up to numerous toppings without getting soggy or droopy. Their cheese is less salty than many other pizza joints, so the acidic and sweet tomato sauce really shines through.

The double dough crust is thicker and features a hand-rolled edge that’s not really like anything I’ve seen before. At the risk of sounding like a philistine, I’ve never been a huge crust guy, but I can appreciate it for what it was: doughy, warm and soft, a nice complement to the busyness that a pizza can so often offer.

And then, of course, there’s the Chicago-style deep dish, which takes around a half hour from ordering and seems bottomless. This is knife-and-fork pizza done well, with the crust taking on the consistency of a slightly overcooked quiche: some carbs hidden away beneath a pile of sauce, toppings, Mozzarella cheese and pomodoro tomatoes on top for good measure.

As far as specific pizzas go, their Godfather ($17.99-$30.99), with hot Italian sausage and Giardiniera alongside garlic and onions, is pleasantly spicy; build-your-own pizzas are available with 20-plus different toppings. Their appropriately named jumbo wings ($6.99-$25.99) are filling and juicy.

Rosati’s is a promising new spot in the Lower East Side that’s best suited for catching a game, but with strong enough food options to warrant a visit from even the least sports-inclined person. 

Rosati’s Pizza

2238 N. Farwell Ave.

414-224-0199

$-$$$

myrosatis.com/milwaukee

Handicapped access: Yes

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