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The Backstory: Gregg and Clarissa Edwardsen met and fell in love while working at the same restaurant in Chicago. Gregg, a Wisconsin native, and Clarissa, who grew up in Oxfordshire, England, opened an Italian restaurant together in a place that reminded them both of the small towns they grew up in. At Vin Santo in Middleton, they’ve watched diners fall in love, get engaged, marry and have children. “That’s part of the history,” Gregg says. “We’ve had a lot of fun watching families grow.”
The Vibe: You might’ve walked past this humble storefront a dozen times and not noticed it, but Vin Santo has been on Hubbard Avenue for 19 years. Hanging on one wall is a framed print of Frank Sinatra, who looks out over an intimate 14-table dining area.
The Menu: This place has hardly changed, to Italian food purists’ sweet delight. There are menu items offered since it opened. “I think we’d have a revolt if we took them off,” Gregg says. Two such items are the ravioli Vin Santo stuffed with spinach and artichoke hearts with a sun-dried tomato cream sauce, and the Scampi Gabriella, which is a plate of large shrimp sautéed with pancetta, garlic and scallions in a white wine cream reduction over linguini.
The Must-Try: Confession: I’ve made a trip to Vin Santo just for a glass of red wine at the bar and a heavenly (and gigantic) plate of tiramisu. The towering piece of pound cake soaked in espresso is topped with a pillowy mascarpone cheese custard. Vin Santo also offers an in-demand bread pudding.
The Bottom Line: Valentine’s Day is upon us. Vin Santo is the place to bring that special someone, order a bottle of Italian wine and enjoy the atmosphere and fare of the Edwardsens’ sweet little restaurant.
7462 Hubbard Ave., Middleton, 836-1880