July 08, 2012

Wauwatosa - Heart of the Village

Yesterday, I spent time in an area of Wauwatosa known as the heart of the village, which is a great area for both shopping and dining.  I started at the Tosa Farmers Market, which I blogged about yesterday, then made my way to a few stores, while taking photos of some favorite restaurants along the way.

The Little Red Store is Wauwatosa's oldest commercial building. I've passed by it many times because I park nearby when I dine in Tosa, but had never been inside until yesterday. Officially, the building serves as the community's visitor center.

The reason this building is the oldest is because in 1895 a devastating fire broke out in the village. The Little Red Store structure was saved only because it was on the south bank of the river.



I purchased a book for $3 called Walking Wauwatosa in the Little Red Store that I think would appeal to anyone with an interest in architecture. I'm looking forward to returning to Tosa to follow one or more of the suggested walking tours.

Next I stopped at Oro di Oliva, which is my favorite olive oil and vinegar shop. They also have a store in Whitefish Bay, and they just opened in the Milwaukee Public Market. They're often at the Tosa Farmers Market, but I didn't see them selling this weekend.



From there I made my way to The Little Read Book which I have been meaning to check out for quite some time. It's directly across the street from Pizzeria Piccola, where I frequently dine, and yet yesterday was my first time there.



Their storefront window says "Celebrating 26 Years as an Independent Bookseller." As much as I love the ease of shopping from Amazon, I still love shopping at bookstores. Especially local independent booksellers.



I found quite a few things I was interested in, and ended up buying a blank journal and a book called A House Somewhere: Tales of Life Abroad. The latter appealed to me because Chris and I lived abroad in Birmingham, England for two years.

My favorite restaurant in this area of Wauwatosa is Le Rêve Patisserie & Café. You will not be disappointed if you dine here and do not forget to save room for dessert. You will receive a reminder as you walk past their gorgeous pastry display case when you're seated.



On a day when you're not dining at Le Rêve, head to Yo Mama! for delicious frozen yogurt. Their cake batter frozen yogurt topped with raspberries is delicious.



In nice weather, the patio dining at Cafe Hollander can't be beat. I saw several pooches patiently waiting for their owners to finish brunch while I was there. I don't have a dog, but I would venture a guess that it's one of the few places that allows dogs while dining outside.



Despite my frequent dining in Tosa, there are a couple restaurants that are still on my list of places I'd like to try. Like Firefly, which has a great happy hour reputation. Did you know that Wauwatosa is the Potawatomi word for firefly?




I haven't been to a Bartolotta restaurant yet that I haven't liked, so you would think that I would have dined at Ristorante Bartolotta by now. I've heard great things about their Northern Italian menu, and really should get there soon.



Just before leaving Tosa, I noticed a sign for a new place. The Ruby Tap is a wine bar and shop that should be opening soon. I've never heard of a place where you use machines to pour your own wine, so I'm looking forward to stopping in.
 

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