Good news arrived this morning from Bartolotta Restaurants. The company will reopen two more restaurants – Harbor House and Mr. B’s: A Bartolotta Steakhouse Brookfield – in the next few weeks. Harbor House will reopen on Thursday, Aug. 20. The Brookfield location of Mr. B’s is slated to reopen on Wednesday, Sept. 2.
These strategically timed reopenings follow the return of Ristorante Bartolotta dal 1993 in Wauwatosa, the company’s oldest property. It reopened on July 8, and owner Paul Bartolotta says he has been there almost every night, visiting 85% of the tables to “show gratitude and listen to the diners and filter through the compliments,” he says. “We have to earn [diners] back and prove we are upgrading and getting better. Good enough is not good enough. We have to exceed their expectations.”
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That idea of earning the diner back is behind the strict, detailed safety protocols Bartolotta Restaurants has put in place. The restaurants operate at 50% capacity to “ensure high standards of social distancing,” says Bartolotta.
In preparation for the return of Harbor House and Mr. B’s Brookfield, all the managers of the restaurants were given thorough training at Ristorante Bartolotta. “When we get to a table, we make sure diners are getting an experience,” says Bartolotta. “We are taking them on a journey.”
Exceeding expectations and keeping diners and staff safe are both reasons, Bartolotta says, that they resisted “the temptation to throw all the restaurants open at once.”
Like Ristorante, which debuted a socially distanced courtyard called La Terrazza, the two restaurants will feature elevated outdoor experiences.
Here’s a look at both:
Harbor House (beginning Aug. 20)
The New England-inspired restaurant (550 N. Harbor Dr.) will offer live instrumental jazz nightly inside the restaurant. It will be performed by the Mark David Duo, Wed-Sun 6-9 p.m. The interior has been upgraded to have an intimate feel for each table. To achieve this, they’ve added bespoke custom dividers, palm trees and flowers. The floors have also been redesigned. Chef/owner Paul Bartolotta and Harbor House executive chef John Korycki collaborated on the “reimagined” menu, incorporating Paul’s recipes from Cape Cod, Nantucket, New Bedford, Martha’s Vineyard, Newport and Boston. The new menu items include cod cakes with remoulade sauce, New England lobster shrimp clam pot, roasted oysters, Sam Adams beer-battered seafood basket, striped sea bass and Neptune’s skate wing. Dishes returning from the Harbor House menu include herb roasted Bay of Fundy salmon, North Atlantic cod and South African lobster tails. The lunch menu will feature Main lobster rolls, a crab cake sandwich, fish tacos, summer vegetable fettuccine, and lobster, burrata and asparagus.
Hours: Wed-Sun 5-9 p.m.; Sat lunch 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; and Sun brunch 11 a.m-2 p.m.
Mr. B’s: A Bartolotta Steakhouse Brookfield (beginning Sept. 2)
The restaurant (18380 W. Capitol Dr., Brookfield), open for indoor and outdoor dining, has a newly redecorated patio that features an external fireplace, new linens and attractive greenery. Chef Amanda Langler heads up the menu, which offers a selection of steaks. Beverages include an extensive list of bottled red wines. Details about the dining menu will be released in the coming weeks.
Hours: Wed-Sun 5-9 p.m. Additionally, guests with a reservation after 8:30 p.m. can order wine at half-off.
Bartolotta Restaurants enhanced safety protocols *Face masks are required to be worn by staff members at all times
- Face coverings are required for all guests, two years of age and older, during the following instances: when walking in at any of the restaurants; when ordering or addressing a Bartolotta employee; when walking in common areas
- Reservations required (reservations will be held for 15 minutes and will be limited to 1.5 hours) and temperature checks will be taken upon entry
- Touchless payment options and QR codes available to view menus on smartphones
- Rearranged dining rooms that offer distance and privacy between tables; as well as custom-made safety partitions where applicable
- UV-C technology that destroys microorganisms in the air on hard surfaces
- Meticulously and deliberately cleaned tables within every new reservation
You can make a reservation online at bartolottas.com, and also read the company’s COVID-19 Response Plan.