I live in the Brady street area and have been to the Pasta Tree twice now. The first time was enjoyable, as I was seated in their small outside area and had a friendly waitress. My most recent experience lacked many of the things I would expect when eating at an upscale Italian restaurant.
My fiance and I arrived around 9:00pm for a late Friday evening dinner and were seated at one of the two nice window tables. Throughout the meal I wouldn't consider our server bad, but maybe tired and a little unwelcoming. The atmosphere is generally fine, however around 9:30 the staff had their meals (normally I wouldn't care) and started socializing. It wasn't obnoxious, but definitely negated any "romantic atmosphere" that might have otherwise been present. The hostess also sat while wishing people a good night, which seemed tacky/lazy.
We shared the caprese salad, which was interesting with pesto and balsamic, but nothing special. The bread seemed to lack some freshness. I ordered the smoked salmon with spinach noodles and would not order it again. In fact, the taste was moderately unappetizing and the sauce turned into a heavy mush about half way through. My fiance loved the shrimp with vegetable cream (5 very large shrimp) and says she would recommend it.
Overall, for $18 a plate (average) the Pasta Tree is mediocre in my opinion. There are probably worse Italian places to have a nice meal in Milwaukee, but with the combination of ok service, hit-or-miss food, and a so-so atmosphere, this place is by no means going to wow you into raving about your experience.
Pros: central location
Cons: food just ok, little pricy
After years of hearing about this place, my husband and I finally went to check it out. We went on my birthday, and were planning to see a movie afterword. Big mistake! We were seated promptly, but then the waiter didn't come to help us for nearly half an hour. When we finally flagged him down, he said that he thought another waitress was helping us. There was no other waitress in the entire section! They were out of everything that I wanted on the menu. I finally settled for some bland, tasteless ravioli. It took another half hour for us to get our food. The waiter was rude and couldn't have cared less that we were unhappy. We missed our movie, even though we were so anxious to get out of there we scarfed our food down. I was very disappointed because I've lived on the East Side for 10 years and always heard good things about it. We will never go there again!!!
Enjoyed a lovely supper on a Tuesday evening. The food was fresh and well prepared.
The Cioppino (House Specialty) was so large it could have fed two people. The prices compare to chain restaurants but not in quality. Pasta Tree's freshly prepared to order meals were super. The bread was the best we've had in a very long time. I ordered a scallop dinner and was in heaven. They melted in your mouth. My husband had the Cioppino and I have to admit the homemade pasta warms up very well as a leftover. There is also a very nice wine bar as you enter. The servers, Andrea and Mike, were great and very welcoming. Thanks for a great experience and hope to return soon. So if you read this - stop in, sit back and relax. You will have a great time.
Pros: top notch food cooked to order.
Cons: parking, but worth looking for a spot!
We had to check out what all of the hoopla is regarding this restaurant. After eating there, my wife and I don't get it. The dining area is too small. The tables are too small and very unstable. The decor is something out of a bordello. The service was very bad. The food was adequate. For those of you who think this is the best restaurant in town - you need to get out more.
Cons: way too many to list.
In town for the weekend from Minneapolis, we decided to dine here based on the recommendations from this site. Wish we hadn't. The restaurant, described as charming, reminded me of my grandmother's parlor. Walls are faux finish purple with vintage posters, two old couches against the wall serve as seating for several rocky tables. Plates are pink fiestaware, silverware is purposely mismatched. Normally would sound right up my alley but the result was more tired & dingy than charming & vintage.
The other disappointment was the food. Lettuce leaves left wet made the creamy garlic dressing seem watery. My boyfriend ordered a house specialty- a pasta with a mix of seafood. He praised the quality of the seafood but complained that there was no flavor or seasonings (plus no salt & pepper on the tables). My pesto was very good, fresh & earthy but I was tired of the flavor after 5 bites. The one high point was the service-our waitress was great especially as we arrived 50 minutes before closing.
Pros: service was good, seated 50 minutes before closing
Cons: flavorless entree, tired decor
I'm not sure where everyone else has gotten the idea that the food here is good. The salad looked like it had been prepared the day before- tons of brown, wilted lettuce that hadn't been properly dried. The tortellini wasn't bad, but the sauce (tomato-meat) was horrid. The meat hadn't been seasoned at all, and the sauce was so thin and watery there was a deep pool of standing liquid- much more and it would have looked like soup. Sure, the portions were very large, but if the food's not that good, why would you want so much of it? For $40 for two people (without any alcohol!), I expect much much better than this.
Pros: Nice atmosphere
Cons: Very overpriced, food not well prepared, mediocre service
First of all the servers are great, know everything about the menus/wines and are extremely professional, the chef(s) (I heard it was one guy who cooks everyday) can make some AMAZING dishes, my fav is the smoked salmon with alfredo in spinnich noodles. The seating is close together but from what i have heard that is how it is in Italy. The atmosphere is outstanding and going to the Pasta Tree is just a great time all around. ****I saw some people mention this is a great place to take a date, I don't know if I would suggest this place for a first date, it may be too much and too romantic for at first date****
Cons: Not sure there are any, is a bit pricey but well worth it
it was such a nice atmosphere, busy but i can understand why it had the best food I have ever tasted made with love. I would highly reccomend this pplace to anyone
I've been goin to the Pasta Tree for over 6 years! It's definately one of the most romantic places to eat in Milwaukee. The Food is out of this world!!! My husband and I honeymooned in Italy, this place allows us to keep the memories fresh in our minds. With 3 homemade pastas and any type of sauce imaginable, plus an extensive wine list and dessert menu, You cannot go wrong! True there is no parking lot and the tables are set close together, but that's the way the Italians do it! So if your just visiting or have lived in Milwaukee for years, I Highly recommend to try The Pasta Tree out.
You won't be disappointed!
Pros: Authentic Food, Great Ambiance, Friendly Staff
Cons: No Parking Lot
I had driven by this restaurant many times with no idea as to the caliber of food and wine. Then i read the reviews in Citysearch. Glad I did!
From the outside very non descript.
All three pasta dishes were excellent and the wine list was very good with a wide variety to meet the most discriminating palette and pocket book.
Definitely a place to go back and sample the endless variety of pasta dishes and specials.
Pros: the pasta, excellent wine list, great value
Cons: , a little cramped
I found it to be very crowded and stifiling and the seating was much too close together. Moreover, our server was incredibly slow and basically non-responsive. He seemed very stuck-up and bitter. After waiting over an HOUR for our food to finally arrive (the tables next to us had been served, eaten and left already), our entrees were cold. I had ordered some sort of pasta with mushrooms, and it was very, very greasy. The cream sauce was gritty and hardened, like it had sit for too long. I thought it was much too expensive for less than minimal service, greasy, cold food and a close, suffocating atmosphere with an unaccomadating, bitter waitor.
Cons: expensive, lousy food, lousy service
the excellent service, food and wine variety, and cozy romantic atmosphere make this a great place for a date.
Pros: most romantic in town, A+ Service/atmosphere, fresh homemade pasta
Cons: no parking lot, little room to move
As far as price,ambiance,and to rate the food..... Price: Very reasonable, you are deffinetly getting your moneys worth. Ambiance: Very happening, With a wine bar that suits everyones taste buds. Alot of character, reminds me of a New York, Little Italy restaurant. There is not of alot of places that when it is crowded I like being there. When it is crowded it feels like the place to be. A perfect place for a first date. Rating of the food: A perfect 10 for the price. Each sauce is especially made for you. There is no mass production. Very delicious....... And finally Service: All the staff is very knowledged on all the dishes, and make sure you are comfortable.
Cons: Poor parking
Pasta Tree is such a great quaint restaurant it reminds me of New York. The food is always great and the wait staff is atentive and knowledgable about the food and wine! I would highly reccomend this place for a romantic date!
Pros: Great Food, Charming
Before we were married my husband chose the Pasta Tree for our first romantic dinner. Less than a year later, as we waited for delicious salads, exquisite pasta, and out-of-this-world desserts, he proposed to me with an antique rose gold and diamond ring. Romantic? Incredibly!
Pros: summer outdoor patio, attentive waitstaff, creative entrees
Cons: sometimes crowded, onstreet parking