Bartolotta Restaurants Returns With the Reopening of Its First Restaurant

Bartolotta Restaurants is back!

In a very welcome bit of news, Bartolotta Restaurants has announced that it is returning to operations – tiptoeing back into operation – with the reopening on July 8 of Ristorante Bartolotta (7616 W. State St., Wauwatosa). The company, which includes 17 restaurants and catering facilities, closed all of its businesses early on in the pandemic. The last three-plus months have given co-founder Paul Bartolotta time to carefully plan for the individual properties’ return, with many safety steps in place.

“As we prepare to reopen, we are grateful for the continued support of our community and our partners, but most importantly we are thankful for our team members who didn’t give up on us during this time,” Bartolotta said in a news release. “This has been a challenging time for our community but we are ready to move forward.”

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Ristorante is the first property to reopen and it’s also the company’s oldest. It opened in 1993. Executive chef Juan Urbieta will be implementing a summer menu inspired by Tuscany. A traditional Tuscan meal – of appetizer, pasta, second course and dessert – will run $59 per person. Future menus will take their inspiration from Liguria, Venteo, Sicilia, Lazio and Puglia.

Bartolotta Restaurants has also created a new socially distanced courtyard called La Terrazza.

Photo courtesy of Bartolotta Restaurants. Photo by Mike Miller

The new safety measures in place:

  • Face masks are required for both staff and restaurant patrons
  • Reservations are required, will be held for 15 minutes, and there will be temperature checks upon entry of the restaurant
  • Touchless payment options and QR codes to view menus on smartphones
  • Custom-made safety partitions between tables and booths
  • UV-C technology that “actively seeks and destroys” micro-organisms in the air and on hard surfaces
  • “Meticulously and deliberately” cleaned tables within every new reservation

Ristorante’s hours: Wed-Sun 5:30-9:00 p.m. Lunch service on Sat-Sun will start on July 11. Those hours will be noon-2:00 p.m. The lunch menu will include a $49 three-course option.

Photo courtesy of Bartolotta Restaurants. Photo by Mike Miller

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Ann Christenson has covered dining for Milwaukee Magazine since 1997. She was raised on a diet of casseroles that started with a pound of ground beef and a can of Campbell's soup. Feel free to share any casserole recipes with her.