The most anticipated opening of the summer? Might be Pizza Man (2597 N. Downer Ave., 414-272-1745). There have been a number of soft openings in the last several days. Sources have told me that the Man will open today at 4 p.m. Remember the cavernous old digs on North Avenue (which succumbed to fire in 2010)? Downer Avenue introduces “swanky” to the Pizza Man vernacular. Local architecture firm Rinka Chung shaped the two levels of dining, including the upper level featuring exposed brick and beams. That second-level room leads to a patio dining above the sidewalk. Wine bottles are displayed on racks in areas such as the tasting/private party room. Head chef Zak Baker’s been honing the menu, which includes Pizza Man staples such as the onion ring loaf ($8), French onion soup ($8), escargot ($11), and wild boar ravioli ($20). Pizzas, on the “famous thin crust,” range from specialty pies (the Special, with sausage and pepperoni) to build your own from some 30 toppings (three sizes, $14-$25). Much more still: sandwiches, pastas (spaghetti and meatballs, pasta alla pescatora), ribs, grilled bone-in ribeye, chicken Marsala and others ($10-$48). Back in the old days, the bar menu boasted hundreds of wines by the glass. The new PM promises 600 wine varieties from California, Oregon and Washington. Eight wines on tap, too. Kitchen hours: daily 4 p.m.-midnight (bar open until 2 a.m.).
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