Thirty years! The Bartolotta Restaurants is having a big birthday and the year-long celebration is just beginning.
The company “was a vision that I shared with my brother, Joe, to recreate the same family moments and hospitality that we experienced growing up, a concept we call ‘The Bartolotta Table,’ where all are welcome,” said chef/co-founer Paul Bartolotta in a press release.
First-born Ristorante Bartolotta dal 1993 – which opened three decades ago in Tosa, where its founders grew up – is set to launch a special four-course menu on Friday March 24. The menu, Un Viaggio Nel Pasato “I Classici del Ristorante,” features items that have become favorites over the years. Including pappardelle al sugo d’anitra (Tuscan wide-ribbon pasta with slow braised duck ragu).
“When we opened Ristorante Bartolotta dal 1993, our goals were simple. We wanted to bring good food to Milwaukee, and treat people with genuine hospitality, as if they were joining us in our home. These goals remain the same, and Milwaukee has, in turn, repaid us with loyal support, trust, and love for three decades. We owe any success we have to the people of this great city, and to those who travel here to experience everything we have to offer,” said Bartolotta, a two-time James Beard Award winner.
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The menu features five antipasti items, including beef carpaccio with capers and aioli; fried mixed seafood, assorted cured salami and prosciutto, and a rustic Tuscan soup with kale, potato, beans and toasted bread.
First course dishes are house-made spinach-ricotta ravioli with butter and sage; rigatoni with eggplant, tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella; the aforementioned pappardelle with duck ragu; hand-cut fettuccini with truffled cream and Parmigiano; and hand-made spaghaetti with sautéed lobster, cherry tomatoes, tarragon and white wine.
For second courses, Ristorante is offering a Mediterranean branzino cooked in “crazy water” (tomato, garlic and parsley), wood-roasted beef filet with black truffle sauce, wood-roasted Cornish hen with caramelized brussels sprouts, pan-roasted veal medallions gratineed with prosciutto, fontina cheese and fried artichokes, and a grilled seafood assortment.
Desserts are a lot of classics I have certainly enjoyed in years past: panna cotta with fresh berries, tiramisu, flourless chocolate cake with vanilla bean creme anglaise; sorbet-filled fresh fruit, and a chilled sea salt caramel pudding (budino) with dark chocolate ganache.
Other restaurants in the Bartolotta empire are Lake Park Bistro, Bacchus, Harbor House, Joey Gerard’s and Mr. B’s – A Bartolotta Steakhouse – in Brookfield and Mequon.
The group will announce additional celebratory events throughout 2023.