One of Milwaukee's favorite Italian restaurants is celebrating 15 years in business. Siblings Tony and Teresa Balistreri opened Sala restaurant in 2001, with a commitment to serving Sicilian fare rooted in family tradition and fresh local ingredients.
Less than a year after it celebrated its 10th birthday, East Side Italian eatery Sala da Pranzo, 2613 E. Hampshire St., has a new name, a new menu, a new decor and a new chef/partner.
When Sala da Pranzo opened across from the UW-Milwaukee campus in 2001, it was a godsend for a neighborhood that, perhaps surprisingly, had few, if any, dining options beyond fast food. Sala da Pranzo turned 10 last month.
When Tony and Teresa Balistreri and their five siblings were growing up in Washington County, the large family ate all of its meals in the kitchen. The Town of Erin home, a converted barn, did not have a dining room. Perhaps that familiarity with ovens and stoves played a role in Tony and Teresa's decision to go into the risky restaurant business.
Some folks stick whirling plastic flowers or gnome statues in their yards, but David Jones' and Tony Balistreri's taste in lawn ornaments veers from the path of convention. The couple has three cars "planted" in their front yard, including a 1930 Model A Roadster.