Matteo's Italian Ristorante is no longer just another entry in Rick Rodriguez's Entertainment Book.
Matteo's Italian Ristorante is no longer just another entry in Rick Rodriguez's Entertainment Book.

In search of the perfect pizza: Matteo's Italian Ristorante

For the ninth straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee, presented by the restaurants of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, dining guides, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as voting for your "Best of Dining 2015."

I learned about Matteo’s Italian Ristorante, 1608 E. Sunset Drive in Waukesha, while paging through my Entertainment Book. I still buy those books, even though I find myself forgetting that I own one until two months before it expires, every year.

One Sunday evening, upon entering Matteo’s, I noticed framed newspaper clippings sharing stories about the restaurants history and success. Behind the host’s counter are chalkboards with soups and specials for the day, posted on a partial wall that divides the counter from the bar.

The dining room was buzzing, and the servers were hustling. The Packers were on a bye week. It was much quieter this past Sunday, but business still seemed steady with dining and carry-out orders.

One of the tenured staff members, Melissa, took a few minutes to talk to me about the history of Matteo’s, which initially opened as Mateo’s with only one "T" back in 1984 but has been at its current location since roughly 1994. She believes it may have been named for an uncle of the original, and current, owner Thomas Thurner.

The restaurant has a warm supper club feel to it, with a full bar, multiple dining rooms, warm colors and plenty of wood work.

The menu includes soups, salads, panini, calzones, appetizers, pastas, pizzas, seafood and other entrees such as Sicilian steak, tenderloin and barbecue ribs. Matteo’s also features a children’s menu with pastas, chicken tenders, grilled cheese, and a burger and fries.

If you’re looking for an easy family dinner option for your home, stop by and pick up "take and bake" pans of lasagna, manicotti, shells florentine, spaghetti and mostaccioli, each including three loaves of…