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The Pasta Tree Restaurant & Wine Bar

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(23 Reviews)

1503 N Farwell Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 276-8867

Today: Closed
Tomorrow: 5:00 am - 10:00 am
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Regular Hours


Payment method
paypal, discover
Price Range
Lower East Side
Italian Restaurants, Seafood Restaurants, Restaurants, Wine Bars
Other Information

Parking: Street

Wi-Fi: Free

Bike Parking: Yes

Attire: Casual

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Cuisines: Italian, European, Seafood, Continental, Wine Bars

Alcohol: Full Bar, Wine

Takes Reservations: Yes

Outdoor Seating: Yes

Price Range : Average



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First rate every time

Have been going there for more than
20 years and have never failed to have a great meal. Truly great pasta in a unique atmosphere.



Provided by Citysearch - 
The Pasta Tree has been consistently

The Pasta Tree has been consistently great for twenty-plus years. Wonderful, simple pasta dishes, friendly and attentive service, all very reasonably priced. Nice intimate atmosphere too. Definitely recommended!



The food was incredible- even ...

The food was incredible- even my girlfriend who is very picky about italian food- was stunned and pleased!! Our waitress- Bridgette-was awesome! We were very pleasantly surprised and will definitely return!!! Nice romantic,intimate atmosphere!!



Provided by Citysearch - 

We took a couple of friends there after having a good experience a few years ago. What a difference! The wait staff must have been hired yesterday. They all looked like they were stressed out, but were not moving very quickly. They just looked liked it was thier first day.
We waited for our table at the bar, which had a big bowl of stinky cheese sitting on it, along with a bunch of glasses they must have pulled out of the dishwasher and never bothered to put away. They seemed annoyed there were people in the restaurant.
My pasta was SWIMMING in sauce, and tasted bland and fatty. None of us are overweight, but half of my body and one of my legs was hanging into the aisle.
Won't go back.



Provided by Citysearch - 

My husband and I have been starting to try new places so we thought we would bring another couple and try this place out. (March 4, 2011) WORST MISTAKE EVER. Our reservation was for 4 of us at 7pm. We waited 10 minutes just to get someone to come to our table and take drink orders. Took about another 10 minutes to actually get our drinks. We placed our order and then waited 2 HOURS ( NO LIE) for our food to arrive. The waitress was horrible never checked on us, when we asked for more bread we were ignored. Another order of drinks took the same about of time. This whol experience was horrible. The staff is obviously not well trained. If I saw a table sitting there for 2 hours with no food i would at least apologize. Nope, nothing. The food was nothing to brag about, very bland, and NOT worth about 20 dollars a plate. I wish we could get our money back!!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Do we even HAVE a waiter?!?!?!

I just wanted to share this with all of you. This is the letter I just mailed to the restaurant. I think it sums up our absolutely terrible experience.

To Whom It May Concern

On Wednesday, December 29th, 2010, my fiance, James and I decided to eat at your restaurant. We had heard FABULOUS things about it. Great food, great service great sounded like a perfect date night. We had made reservations for 8pm for 4 people, however, our dinner guests had to cancel so it was just the two of us. We decided to arrive early and sit at the bar and enjoy a cocktail. We were seated at 7:30pm at a nice, cozy table next to the fireplace. Since we spent half an hour at the bar, we already knew what we wanted. Our waiter, who never told us his name otherwise I would provide it for you, took our order, dropped off some bread and left. We continued to sip our cocktails, wondering when the bottle of wine and beef carpaccio would arrive. Suddenly, it was 8:30. We had been sitting at our table for a complete hour. Our bread basket was empty, our water glasses were empty and our wine hadn't even been delivered. What could possibly be going on? We thought. Surely, our waiter should be returning with an explanation. Alas, our waiter never even once stopped back to our table. We heard from the guests at the table next to us that your computer system had crashed. Well, it would have been LOVELY if someone had told us that. It was have been even LOVELIER if our bottle of wine had been delivered. Surely, that does not involve a computer system. At least wine and bread would have kept us in your establishment while your computer problems were sorted out. But no, we were not even given the courtesy of a refilled glass of water! We decided to wait another five minutes because someone HAD to be coming over to provide an explanation or an apology. Nope. We never saw our waiter again. I mean, we SAW him, he walked past our table many many times. I even tried to flag him down but to no avail. We were completely and totally ignored. So, after an hour and ten minutes of sitting at our table completely unattended, James and I decided to leave. Surely, as we left, at least the host would provide an apology or an explanation. Certainly, as two visibly confused and upset patrons were leaving your establishment SOMEONE would say SOMETHING to us! But no, we walked out completely unnoticed. I shouldn't say completely unnoticed. One of your other patrons stopped us to assure us that the restaurant was never like that and the service was usually amazing. ONE OF YOUR PATRONS APOLOGIZED TO US FOR YOU. I certainly hope that you see how this is a serious problem. We were going out that evening to celebrate me graduating from nursing school and passing my boards. Unfortunately, our night to celebrate was ruined by our experience at your restaurant. The staff was rude and inattentive. And you may have excellent food and wine, but we never got to have any. For a restaurant that has won so many awards and has been named the most romantic restaurant, you sure did kill the mood that night. All someone had to do was come over and ACKNOWLEDGE our presence! At least say ""I'm so sorry, we are having technical difficulties"", bring our bottle of wine over, bring more bread, hell, at least refill the water glass. Will we attempt to dine at your establishment again? Your menu looked impressive and I was incredibly excited to try the un-oaked Italian Chardonnay but I don't really know if the promise of good food and good wine can get the incredibly bitter taste out of my mouth.

Brittany Gusho



Provided by Citysearch - 
Poor Customer Relations

Yesterday, Nov. 5, 2010, my husband called The Pasta Tree in Milwaukee, WI, to make a reservation for last night. He left a message with their answering machine with the time, number in party, etc. The answering machine said they would contact us if there was a problem. Our group of four arrived on time, 2 hours before our theater time. The first person we spoke with said we did not have a reservation if they had not confirmed it. There was nothing in the recorded message that said they would confirm it. The hostess arrived while I was reading the reservation sheet to see if our name was there. The hostess rudely grabbed the sheet out of my hand with no, ""May I have that please"". I again explained about our reservation. She reiterated that we did not have a confirmed reservation, and that they had been booked for days. I inquired as to why they didn't call us to let us know. She said something about their phones dying during the day, and so they couldn't call. I'm not sure how a land line dies, and most people have cell phones. As a last result, someone could have gone to a different location to make those calls. The hostess was not apologetic and came off as this was our fault. We have a gift coupon for The Pasta Tree, but won't return to use it. Luckily, Trocadero, a few blocks away, was most gracious about our dilemma. They served us quickly and graciously, and we got to the theater in time.

Tracy M.


Not as good as it used to be

We've been going to the Pasta Tree for about 15 years. I miss the days when it was a cozy, tiny, romantic place. Some waiters and waitresses have been there for years and are excellent. The food quality is still good, but not as good as it used to be and it is much more expensive. We will still go, but probably not as often as we used to.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Mediocre at best

I live in the Brady street area and have been to the Pasta Tree twice now. The first time was enjoyable, as I was seated in their small outside area and had a friendly waitress. My most recent experience lacked many of the things I would expect when eating at an upscale Italian restaurant.

My fiance and I arrived around 9:00pm for a late Friday evening dinner and were seated at one of the two nice window tables. Throughout the meal I wouldn't consider our server bad, but maybe tired and a little unwelcoming. The atmosphere is generally fine, however around 9:30 the staff had their meals (normally I wouldn't care) and started socializing. It wasn't obnoxious, but definitely negated any ""romantic atmosphere"" that might have otherwise been present. The hostess also sat while wishing people a good night, which seemed tacky/lazy.

We shared the caprese salad, which was interesting with pesto and balsamic, but nothing special. The bread seemed to lack some freshness. I ordered the smoked salmon with spinach noodles and would not order it again. In fact, the taste was moderately unappetizing and the sauce turned into a heavy mush about half way through. My fiance loved the shrimp with vegetable cream (5 very large shrimp) and says she would recommend it.

Overall, for $18 a plate (average) the Pasta Tree is mediocre in my opinion. There are probably worse Italian places to have a nice meal in Milwaukee, but with the combination of ok service, hit-or-miss food, and a so-so atmosphere, this place is by no means going to wow you into raving about your experience.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Worst Service Ever! What a disappointment!!!

After years of hearing about this place, my husband and I finally went to check it out. We went on my birthday, and were planning to see a movie afterword. Big mistake! We were seated promptly, but then the waiter didn't come to help us for nearly half an hour. When we finally flagged him down, he said that he thought another waitress was helping us. There was no other waitress in the entire section! They were out of everything that I wanted on the menu. I finally settled for some bland, tasteless ravioli. It took another half hour for us to get our food. The waiter was rude and couldn't have cared less that we were unhappy. We missed our movie, even though we were so anxious to get out of there we scarfed our food down. I was very disappointed because I've lived on the East Side for 10 years and always heard good things about it. We will never go there again!!!



Provided by Citysearch - 
best fresh Italian ever.

Enjoyed a lovely supper on a Tuesday evening. The food was fresh and well prepared.
The Cioppino (House Specialty) was so large it could have fed two people. The prices compare to chain restaurants but not in quality. Pasta Tree's freshly prepared to order meals were super. The bread was the best we've had in a very long time. I ordered a scallop dinner and was in heaven. They melted in your mouth. My husband had the Cioppino and I have to admit the homemade pasta warms up very well as a leftover. There is also a very nice wine bar as you enter. The servers, Andrea and Mike, were great and very welcoming. Thanks for a great experience and hope to return soon. So if you read this - stop in, sit back and relax. You will have a great time.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Very Dissapointing

We had to check out what all of the hoopla is regarding this restaurant. After eating there, my wife and I don't get it. The dining area is too small. The tables are too small and very unstable. The decor is something out of a bordello. The service was very bad. The food was adequate. For those of you who think this is the best restaurant in town - you need to get out more.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Didn't live up to reviews

In town for the weekend from Minneapolis, we decided to dine here based on the recommendations from this site. Wish we hadn't. The restaurant, described as charming, reminded me of my grandmother's parlor. Walls are faux finish purple with vintage posters, two old couches against the wall serve as seating for several rocky tables. Plates are pink fiestaware, silverware is purposely mismatched. Normally would sound right up my alley but the result was more tired & dingy than charming & vintage.
The other disappointment was the food. Lettuce leaves left wet made the creamy garlic dressing seem watery. My boyfriend ordered a house specialty- a pasta with a mix of seafood. He praised the quality of the seafood but complained that there was no flavor or seasonings (plus no salt & pepper on the tables). My pesto was very good, fresh & earthy but I was tired of the flavor after 5 bites. The one high point was the service-our waitress was great especially as we arrived 50 minutes before closing.



Provided by Citysearch - 

I'm not sure where everyone else has gotten the idea that the food here is good. The salad looked like it had been prepared the day before- tons of brown, wilted lettuce that hadn't been properly dried. The tortellini wasn't bad, but the sauce (tomato-meat) was horrid. The meat hadn't been seasoned at all, and the sauce was so thin and watery there was a deep pool of standing liquid- much more and it would have looked like soup. Sure, the portions were very large, but if the food's not that good, why would you want so much of it? For $40 for two people (without any alcohol!), I expect much much better than this.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Best Italian on the East Side (maybe all of Milwaukee)

First of all the servers are great, know everything about the menus/wines and are extremely professional, the chef(s) (I heard it was one guy who cooks everyday) can make some AMAZING dishes, my fav is the smoked salmon with alfredo in spinnich noodles. The seating is close together but from what i have heard that is how it is in Italy. The atmosphere is outstanding and going to the Pasta Tree is just a great time all around. ****I saw some people mention this is a great place to take a date, I don't know if I would suggest this place for a first date, it may be too much and too romantic for at first date****



Provided by Citysearch - 
Best italian dining ever!

it was such a nice atmosphere, busy but i can understand why it had the best food I have ever tasted made with love. I would highly reccomend this pplace to anyone



Provided by Citysearch - 

I've been goin to the Pasta Tree for over 6 years! It's definately one of the most romantic places to eat in Milwaukee. The Food is out of this world!!! My husband and I honeymooned in Italy, this place allows us to keep the memories fresh in our minds. With 3 homemade pastas and any type of sauce imaginable, plus an extensive wine list and dessert menu, You cannot go wrong! True there is no parking lot and the tables are set close together, but that's the way the Italians do it! So if your just visiting or have lived in Milwaukee for years, I Highly recommend to try The Pasta Tree out.

You won't be disappointed!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Pasta Haven

I had driven by this restaurant many times with no idea as to the caliber of food and wine. Then i read the reviews in Citysearch. Glad I did!
From the outside very non descript.
All three pasta dishes were excellent and the wine list was very good with a wide variety to meet the most discriminating palette and pocket book.
Definitely a place to go back and sample the endless variety of pasta dishes and specials.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Lousy Food & Lousy Service

I found it to be very crowded and stifiling and the seating was much too close together. Moreover, our server was incredibly slow and basically non-responsive. He seemed very stuck-up and bitter. After waiting over an HOUR for our food to finally arrive (the tables next to us had been served, eaten and left already), our entrees were cold. I had ordered some sort of pasta with mushrooms, and it was very, very greasy. The cream sauce was gritty and hardened, like it had sit for too long. I thought it was much too expensive for less than minimal service, greasy, cold food and a close, suffocating atmosphere with an unaccomadating, bitter waitor.



Provided by Citysearch - 
best date restaurant in Milwaukee

the excellent service, food and wine variety, and cozy romantic atmosphere make this a great place for a date.

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