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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Warm Welcome at Cafe La Scala

Classic Italian fare without the fuss

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On the eastern edge of Milwaukee’s trendy Third Ward, practically at the front gates of the Summerfest grounds, Cafe La Scala has been quietly turning out Italian favorites at budget-friendly prices for several years. Although located inside the Italian Community Center (ICC), Cafe La Scala has its own street entrance. The restaurant is situated conveniently close to Downtown, and provides a quiet spot for a quick breakfast, an unpretentious business lunch or a relaxed evening meal without having to contend with a crowd flocking to the newest, flashy place.

La Scala’s dining room is centered around a large U-shaped bar and a wall of windows that look out onto a sunny, pleasant courtyard giving a light, airy feel to the space. In the warmer months, guests have the opportunity to sit in the courtyard and enjoy the garden-like feel of dining al fresco, near a sparkling fountain surrounded by planters of flowers. The friendly staff and capable servers will make you feel welcome.

Recently, La Scala expanded its menu to include breakfast. Simple breakfast sandwiches ($4.95), stacks of fluffy pancakes ($6.95) and egg dishes ($5.95 -$7.95) will be sure to fuel your morning.

Changes to the lunch menu at La Scala are focused on a new, daily themed lunch buffet, a bargain at $8.50 per person. It features a taco bar on Monday, pasta Tuesday, BBQ Wednesday, Italian Thursday and fish on Friday. If the buffet doesn’t appeal to you, ordering off the menu is always an option. Try the panino ripieno, or Italian sub ($8.95), loaded with four different meats, provolone and veggies, served with fries, soup or delicious house-made potato chips. Other sandwiches and burgers ($6.95-$8.95) are also available.

Dinners at La Scala consist of simple classics like lasagna ($10.95) and eggplant parmigiana ($10.95), all served with fresh bread and a choice of soup or salad. But the real find here are the tasty hand-tossed pizzas. The crust has just the right amount of crispiness from the bottom, but is yielding on the top to keep the toppings in place. The pizzas come in 8-inch, 12-inch or 16-inch sizes and are very reasonably priced. A deluxe 16-inch pizza ($14.95), is generously topped with sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, peppers and black olives. The pizza margherita (16-inch, $11.95), topped with flavorful tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil leaves is also very good.

Live music events, like the ICC’s Summer Courtyard Music Series, are a great opportunity to try out La Scala’s offerings. Enjoy some music, drinks and food. Who knows, you may discover a new go-to place in the Third Ward. Buon Appetito!

Cafe La Scala

631 E. Chicago St.

414-223-2185

$-$$

lascalamilwaukee.com

Handicap Access: Yes