All in the family
225 So. strives to keep food fresh, made-from-scratch

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

May 15, 2015

225 So. Mia Famiglia has redecorated and changed the layout from previous restaurants in the location.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA - 225 So. Mia Famiglia Executive Chef Tomas White has taken a menu filled with traditional Italian dishes and given them a modern twist by having the option to make all of them - even the pasta and bread  - gluten free in a celiac-certified kitchen.

On May 6, 225 So. Mia Famiglia opened its doors in downtown Waukesha with a focus on made-from-scratch food, including even its ketchup and salad dressings.

Rebecca Ayala, restaurant manager and White’s cousin, said she and her family were looking for a new location with a larger kitchen to replace their Hales Corners’ Mia Famiglia that they had been in since 2001. She said they discovered the recently vacated Jackson’s Blue Ribbon at 225 South St. and felt it was a good fit. Mia Famiglia also makes and sells salad dressings and breads at area stores, such as Outpost and Grasch Foods.

The bar area at 225 So. Mia Famiglia has been redone from the previous restaurant that had been in this location.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

Quite a bit of renovation was done inside the restaurant to swap out the bold reds and blues of Jackson’s with more neutral colors. The seating arrangement and bar were also altered.

White makes about 95 percent of the dishes and components from scratch, Ayala said. He also tries to use as many local ingredients as possible, which will be made even easier with the Waukesha Farmers Market’s colorful produce. Some cheeses are made in-house, including mozzarella.

“We strive to have a menu that can be made completely gluten-free,” Ayala said.

As part of the move, the menu for 225 So. Mia Famiglia also underwent a move. Ayala said it’s more casual, like the atmosphere, and includes fresh pasta, salads and paninis. During football season, customers can watch the game while enjoying their dinner, she said.

A grand opening is planned for the future as well as daily entrée specials and a happy hour. Right now the restaurant is only open for dinner, but Ayala anticipates serving lunch down the road.

As its name suggests, 225 So. Mia Famiglia is truly a family operation. Ayala’s cousin, Melissa Tabler, is the other restaurant manager and White’s parents, Thomas Sr. and Susan, own the business.