Ristorante Bartolotta

Posted: March 22, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Today was my birthday and, to celebrate, I went out to dinner at Ristorante Bartolotta in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. I’ve walked by this restaurant numerous times en route to the many other restaurants in the Village—including Cafe Hollander, the Chancery, Noodles & Company, La Reve, Yo Mama! and of course, Bartolotta’s own Pizzeria Piccola—but I’ve never gone in.

I’m not quite sure why, since all of the other Barolotta’s restaurants I’ve sampled are great—the aforementioned Pizzeria Piccola, Mr. B’s, Bacchus, Harbor House, Rumpus Room, and Joey Gerard’s (home one of my favorite bloodies!). Anyway, it was time to give Ristorante a try, especially since it is practically in my own backyard.

In scoping out the menu, etc., I came across this Facebook post:

Essentially, this sealed the deal. I could have an excellent Bartolotta’s birthday dinner and a great Bloody for the blog to boot!

I realized this post was from almost a year ago, but when I ordered my drink, I asked the server, “You guys have a good Bloody Mary here, right?” “We can make one,” she responded, hesitating ever-so-slightly. This should have maybe tipped me off, but I often get that kind of response when ordering Bloodies after 7pm, so I didn’t think too much of it… until this arrived at the table:

Spice:A subtle kick.

Mix:  Unknown

Chaser: None

Fixin’s:  Lemon, lime and two olives.

Price: Unknown

The rest of my party could see I was visibly disappointed. I pulled out my phone and showed them what I had been expecting. “Are you sure that’s not from a different Bartolotta’s?” they asked. I shook my head. “That’s a year old,” they pointed out. I agreed, but reasoned, “But why would they downgrade from this,” I pointed at my phone, “to THIS?” I pointed at my drink.

Our second server stopped by to check on us. “How are the drinks?” he asked. “Um…okay,” I said. I wasn’t going to make a big deal about it, but I thought I’d just ask the question. “I was just wondering—do you have this Bloody Mary anymore?” I showed him my phone. He confessed that he was new and that he wasn’t familiar with it. I admitted it was an old photo and just said the drink wasn’t what I was expecting, especially since I am Bloody-obsessed. He said he would check with the bartender. I told him it wasn’t a big deal, but not too long after that, another drink appeared at my table.

“We’re sorry about the mix-up with your Bloody Mary,” the man said. “The photo you saw is our special one for Sunday Brunch.”

“Oh, that makes sense,” I said. I explained about the blog and how I had been excited when I saw the picture and eager to try the drink—had I not seen the photo, I probably wouldn’t have even ordered a Bloody at all, just wine with dinner. He agreed and said he wasn’t going to charge me for the drink and also hoped this new drink would make up for it.Unexpected and unnecessary, but certainly appreciated!

This drink is so new it doesn’t even have a name; it is something they are experimenting with—a main ingredient is tomato water and that’s also a cherry tomato you see floating in the drink. It has a lot of other ingredients—some of which I hadn’t heard of and some of which I can’t pronounce/spell, but the the things I remembered were the tomato water and gin.[Tomato water, in case you’re wondering, is the water extracted without the beef or seeds from the tomato.] It was definitely a lighter drink, and it was pretty good. It didn’t taste very tomato-ey at all to me and I’m not going to give up Bloodies now or anything, but I’d say they have a unique drink to play with and I’d try it again.

So, on the drink front, I went from disappointed to delighted and beyond that, everything from the food to the service was fantastic. I even got a free dessert for my birthday!

Thanks, Bartolotta’s for making my day as special as the company at my dinner table. Cheers!

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