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The Third Ward's New Italian Joint
Onesto, in the old Palms Bistro, is part of the AJ Bombers/Smoke Shack family.

                                          Photo courtesy of Olga Thomas Photography

It’s been a busy summer for AJ Bombers owners Joe and Angie Sorge. They revved up their baking program with the new pastry shop, Holey Moley Coffee + Doughnuts in the Landmark building (316 N. Milwaukee St.). They also hauled arse to get yet another venture off the ground before summer’s end. That’s Onesto (221 N. Broadway, 414-308-1600), an Italian place next to Sorge-owned Swig. The restaurant group is not just doing doughnuts in their new bakery facility in the Marshall building. They’re making pasta and producing breads (baguettes, ciabatta) for Onesto. I have a copy of Onesto's lunch and dinner menus, and the word “housemade” is used liberally. Among the first-course items are jars filled with spreads meant to be paired with bread. They include fresh mozzarella with basil and preserved lemon, and fig, toasted walnut and Gorzonzola ($7 each). There is honey-roasted bruschetta, fresh burrata with tomato confit and walnut pesto, cheese and meat boards and a smattering of salads (arugula prosciutto to antipasto). Pastas -- meatballs and pasta, sweet corn ravioli, and brisket bolognese -- are available at lunch ($10-$12) and dinner ($14-$18). The lunch menu also has sandwiches ($10-$11) like meatball sliders (shown in the photo), while the dinner menu has protein-based main courses ($15-$28) such as a dry-aged filet with cremini compound butter, and seared scallops with caramelized cauliflower, pistachio pesto and fennel ($22).

The Sorges' approach to the interior, designed by Flux Design, was to warm it up, with vibrant art and blown-glass lanterns. The space (formerly Palms Bistro) came with Cream City brick and lots of wood. Hours: Sun-Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

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If you spot a restaurant opening or closing, post it on the comments section of my column, or e-mail me directly: ann.christenson@milwaukeemag.com

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