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Friday, June 7, 2013

Balistreri Means Pizza

Going gourmet at the Bluemound Inn

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For Wauwatosans and West Siders, Balistreri and pizza are a classic coupling. They go together like cream and coffee. For decades, the original Balistreri’s (812 N. 68th St.) has focused on serving pizza and preparing carryouts. Balistreri’s Bluemound Inn (6501 W. Bluemound Road) has long been the pizzeria’s full-service sibling with a broad selection of Italian-American favorites and a full bar—a popular stop-off before Brewer games and a great place to gather after work.

Recent years have seen upgrades. A large deck has been added for outdoor dining in the warm months and the menu has been revamped. Pizza has always been served at the Bluemound Inn with all the usual iterations of cheese, sausage and pepperoni. Great stuff, but if you’re looking for something just a bit different, the newer gourmet pizza section on the menu is worth exploring.

The Bluemound Inn offers nine gourmet pizzas with selections including the by-now-expected margherita along with originals such as the lusciously rich white pizza with garlic butter, white button mushrooms, white truffle oil and four cheeses; the sweet-tasting fig and goat cheese with port wine, rosemary and balsamic vinegar; the zesty Mediterranean with olive oil and garlic, sundried tomatoes, feta and Kalamata olives; and even a Milwaukee pizza boasting charbroiled bratwurst, Polish sausage and caramelized sauerkraut. In all cases, the ingredients are well balanced. Each taste is distinct within the flavorful whole.

The prices are standard across the board: $18 for the ample 10-inch “junior” size; $23 for an 11-by-13-inch medium (enough to feed two starving people); and $28 for the 14-by-16-inch large (it takes a village to finish it). If you come hungry, save room for some garlic bread ($5 for five slices).

The interior of the Bluemound Inn is a cozy clutter of alcoves and backrooms expanding outward from the large bar. Although it gets loud when crowded, there are enough corner spaces to make it ideal for a romantic date. The service is always congenial. Balistreri’s Bluemound Inn is open daily for lunch, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; dinner is served from 4-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 4-11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Brunch is served on Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

 

Balistreri’s Bluemound Inn

6501 W. Bluemound Road

414-258-9881

$$

Handicap access: yes

balistreris.com