Why hasn't anyone reviewed this place yet? This place is Milwaukee's best kept secret. I've eaten there dozens of times and left impressed each time. Now, do not confuse Antigua with the other Mexican taco restaurants in the neighborhood. This place offers South American national dishes exquisitely prepared. Check their website for offerings, as it does change seasonally and they have recently started to offer things like enchiladas in order to compete with the nearby restaurants and keep diners happy who don't like to try new things that they are not familiar with. My all time fave dish there is the Chiles Nogada (Two poblano peppers stuffed with pork, fresh fruit and nuts, covered in a cold creamy walnut sauce and pomegranate kernels.) It is unbelievable! Then there is the Encocao de Camarones (Shrimp cooked coconut milk, peanuts, paprika, served with fried plantains.) To die for! You can't go wrong with anything they have there.
When you sit down a complimentary hot appetizer combo is placed at the table that is included with the dinners. A nice touch. This is the best place, and maybe the ONLY place in Milwaukee for cevechi, and they have it in three different styles. Everything is fresh. Hint: There is a cevechi that has been taken off the menu because many diners found it "too hot" for their tastes but you can still ask for it and they will make it. The service is always warm and gracious and prompt without ever being rushed. The desserts are all prepared on premise and I would HIGHLY recommend the flan they serve. It is cut in a slice much like cheesecake and so light and delicate. They also have *homemade blackberry* ice cream, and crepes with fresh fruit. At the end of the meal, a shot of peach schnapps is brought as part of the meal. Nice touch.
The building is newly built and the decor is light and airy, painted in warm tawny colors. Fresh flowers on the table. Nice. It is a bit hard to find the place the first time, as it is situated on the first floor, at the back end of an apartment building. There is PLENTY of parking in their lot. In the summer the patio is open but unfortunately looks into the parking lot and the busy street and the patio doesn't see much action nor is there waitress service out there.
They do have a small bar at the end of the dining room but I have never seen anyone sit there. It is not staffed with a bartender and the waitresses take turns making drinks or the owner gets up and does it. I assume during busy times maybe people sit there but we've never had to wait for a table even without reservations during weekend nights. Their selection of liquor is slim and they do not carry many of the popular brands and sometimes the waitresses don't know what the bottles look like when you order something and you have to point it out to them. Its not a big deal though and does not bother me at all. Maybe when business picks up they will have a bartender staffed full time for the bar? Check their website for their "Happy Hour" weekly drink specials. I've never partaken of the Happy Hour specials so I cannot review it, but I am sure is is a nice quiet gathering - nothing noisy or boisterous.
Oh, and they have a kids menu too! Kids don't always like to try new foods and the kids menu has some kid favorites and old standbys.
Service was so bad we walked out without ordering dinner. I had heard that the food was great there and to overlook the shabby, greasy '80s decor they have. (So I was expecting something like Caterina's - Great food. Great service. Icky decor.) We called to make reservation but were told that they were not needed. When we arrived the place was half empty but we were told to wait at the bar for a table. Hmmmm. They have a tiny bar with about seven chairs outside the kitchen hallway. We sat there forever without our presence even being acknowledged with an "I'll be with you shortly." or even eye contact. When the bartender sauntered over we were barked at with a loud, gruff "Did you want something!?!?" I tried explaining that we were waiting for a table for dinner and was going to ask for a bottle wine list to review while waiting, but before I could ask for the wine list the bartender cut me off with a loud exclamation of "HERE?!?!?" what ever that was suppose to mean and why did she have to SCREAM at us? (WTF?) My friend ordered a Martini and I asked what if any, imported or flavored sodas they carried. She *screamed* "JUST BLACK BEAR!!!" and acted like I was wasting her time. I even got the 'talk to the palm' hand in the air thrown at me in a dismissive manner. So I then ordered a Black Bear soda only to be told that you can only get soda served at the tables in the dining room!!!! (Huh?) Now I don't understand why I can only get Black Bear soda served at a table and not at the bar while we waited, so I questioned it. I was told that "This is a bar!" "Ya see this?" "It's a bar. Get it?" "A bar." and she waved her arm around wildly pointing to everything to indicate that this was a bar in case I was too stupid to notice. Then she told me she did not have any Black Bear soda at all. (Okaaaaay.) She then picked up the soda gun in the air and started waving it around back and forth like an insane person and said "Coke. 7-Up. Seltzer. That's it." So I said that since they had real Coke on the gun, I would just have that. THEN, she *screamed* they don't have Coke. Or 7-Up. Just Black Bear. (WHAT??) I pointed out that she just got done telling me there was Coke and 7-Up and I got the dismissive 'talk to the palm' hand in the air again thrown at me. I turned to my friend and said "She just told me that there was Coke and 7-Up, and now that does not exist, just like the Orange or Root Beer Black Bear soda doesn't exist anymore either - unless you are at a table. I suggested to my friend that we LEAVE. As I got up, a 13y/o who had been sitting alone at the end of the bar and texting the entire time on his cell phone, mumbled real loud "Lady you are the rudest person I've ever met." I was speechless and just stood there with my jaw dropped, and the bartender and the kid then did a 'High-Five' palm slap. (WTF?) The bartender said "You tell 'er" to the kid at the bar and then winked at a busboy standing near the hall and said "You know what I mean." and then said "You understand me." in a cryptic manner and repeated it again to him while grinning and he responded with a "Yeah, I know what you mean." I took that to mean that my food would get "messed with" by said busboy and NO WAY was I going to eat there. I have NEVER had anything like this happen to me anywhere. Ever. I eat out all the time. And tip well. Always. My friend excused the behavior as that the bartender probably thought I was being "cheap" be ordering soda even though I never drink before dinner, and no other place ever had a problem with it. I think Filippo's is probably a "family owned and run" place. (I got those vibes from the hostess indicated by her bored, vacuous stare when we walked in.) No use complaining to "management". This bartender probably has a job guaranteed for life there.