Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Bartolotta Lake Park Bistro


Recommended Posts

All of this year's (2008) nominated chefs for this Best Chef Midwest (Tim McKee of La Belle Vie in Minneapolis; Colby Garrelts of bluestem in Kansas City; Isaac Becker of 112 eatery in Minneapolis; and Alex Roberts of Restaurant Alma in Minneapolis) have a thread dedicated to their restaurants, but the winner, Adam Siegel of Bartolotta Lake Park Bistro in Milwaukee does not.

Has anyone been to this restaurant? Of the five nominees this year, Bartolotta Lake Park Bistro is the only one I haven't eaten at.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

I attended a large rehearsal dinner at Lake Park Bistro, two years ago. The food was wonderful and served beautifully. This is not easy when 60 people are served at the same time.

The restaurant is absolutely beautiful with tremendous energy.

They were about to host Jacques Pepin for a fund raiser for inner city cooking scholarships. It would have been a wonderful opportunity, but I do not live in Milwaukee.

Tim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll chip in as someone who has dined there 5-6 times. I think it is an excellent restaurant. I don't think there is anything that I have had there that I have been disappointed in. The service is among the best in Milwaukee.

Some of the best dishes I have had there include:

Oeuf Mollet aux Asperges which is a salad of sauteed asparagus with a fried whole soft cooked egg, frisee lettuce, and black truffle vinaigrette.

Escargots de Bourgogne en Croûte Escargots in garlic-parsley butter and baked with mushroom and diced tomato under a flaky puff pastry crust.

Canard “Deux Façons Duo of duck with the breast pan-seared and the leg slow-cooked “confit” served with sautéed spinach, Provencal potatoes, and red wine sauce. (this is my all time favorite dish here)

The steak frites (they use hanger steak) is also a great dish.

Their Sunday seated three-course brunch is the best in the Milwaukee area. You can read my full brunch review at my website, EatWisconsin

From what I have heard from a few people is that if you really want to see what Adam can do with a little more leeway in the menu, go to Bacchus (where he is also the Executive Chef) where he isn't restrained by the "French Bistro" concept at Lake Park Bistro.

Explore the food, beverages, and people of Wisconsin EatWisconsin.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Here's a review I posted elsewhere. I stand by my disappointment at Lake Park Bistro, but fully recognize that it may have been a fluke. repoman's recommended dishes all sound fabulous.

I wish I'd liked Lake Park Bistro more. I was really looking forward to eating here since it had won a James Beard Award this year.

Was there as a party of 7 for my fiance's birthday. We were visiting from out of town. His mother had a reservation, but also wanted a table with a view of the lake. No problem, we were told, it would be 30-45 minutes. 60 minutes later, we were still at the bar. I was starving. Asked the bartender for some bread. She brought over two pieces and some butter, but forgot the butter knife. Meanwhile, the hostess said that the other party was "just finishing up." We finally sat down an hour and a half later. Ugh. This was a Wednesday night, too, and I didn't think they would have been that busy. Alas.

We ordered a bottle of red wine. It was flat, and had a sour/metallic aftertaste at the end. At least three of us tasted it, unsure, as the sourness was very faint. The wine smelled fine but was not as strong or bright as it should have been. We asked the server if he could taste it to see if we were just imagining it, we didn't want to make a scene or be bothersome. He hesitated, didn't taste the wine, and said it wasn't an issue, they could replace the wine, and he would need to see his manager first. It struck us as a little odd that he didn't want to taste the wine to see if it was truly gone bad. He left, came back, and did offer to replace the bottle with another wine, about $10 pricier. We got a second bottle, and all was well. But at this point, I was starving since we hadn't even gotten bread service yet. Uck.

No amuse (had seen an amuse mentioned on other reviews on Chowhound). Luckily the appetizers came quickly. My fiance's brother ordered the escargot, which came in a cast iron plate with indentations in it, covered with a big puff pastry circle. Smelled divine, and tasted pretty good too. My fiance ordered a special, foie gras with apples and some sort of basalmic/red wine reduction and black truffles. I had the "regular" seared foie along with the rest of the group. Frankly, his foie was MUCH better, more interesting and complex. Mine was good but was missing the umami punch that the other dishes had.

For mains, my lamb loin was perfectly cooked, but a bit boring, both in concept and execution. It was a nice piece of meat, but underseasoned and not very flavorful. It got better when I added some salt, but I felt like I'd chosen a loser. My companions, though, did much better. The filet mignon was great and had wonderful sugar snap peas, nice and crispy. The special was a perfectly cooked sockeye salmon where the flavor of the salmon really shone though. Great piece of fish, great piece of beef, but my lamb was just there. Boring, and especially frustrating when everyone else's dishes seemed much better. Worse, too, because I was thinking of the duo of duck, also, but the server talked me into the lamb loin.

Suddenly, they brought several desserts to the table, compliments of the house, since we'd waited so long to be seated. A nice touch. These were all quite good but not as good as some of the desserts I've had elsewhere. A great molten chocolate cake with the mintiest mint ice cream I've ever had. An excellent cherry tart that was not too sweet nor too sour. A hazelnut praline dome. Chocolate mousse with peanut butter (with a candle in it for the birthday boy). A really nice creme brulee. And a special of strawberry mille-feuille.

Did I order badly? Lake Park Bistro just didn't seem impressive. A let-down of a meal. And I've eaten out a fair bit in Milwaukee (Bacchus, The Social, Trocadero, Nanakusa, etc.) and my favorite restaurants in NYC are Babbo, Momofuku Ssam Bar, Craft, Gramercy Tavern, Balthazar, Eleven Madison Park...so I was expecting something more, perhaps, more than I should have.

Unfortunately, I just wasn't that impressed by Lake Park Bistro, at least with the dishes that I ordered, despite them being noted on the menu as the chef's signature dishes. A shame, since I LOVED Bacchus when I went. I was expecting to be impressed and came away merely satisfied.

Edited by kathryn (log)
"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure
Link to comment
Share on other sites

my favorite restaurants in NYC are Babbo, Momofuku Ssam Bar, Craft, Gramercy Tavern, Balthazar, Eleven Madison Park...so I was expecting something more, perhaps, more than I should have.

Sorry you had a bad experience there. Lake Park Bistro is my favorite nice restaurant in the City and I hate when people have bad experiences at places I like. I don't think that you ordered wrong because at a place like that they should execute everything well. I guess I would steer you towards the Hanger Steak Frittes or the Duo of Duck next time...if you chose to go back.

Also, I think if you want to see Adam Seigel shine, Bacchus may be a better option since he isn't restricted by the French theme at Lake Park Bistro.

While I love Lake Park Bistro, I hate to say it but even some of the best restaurants in Milwaukee pale in comparison to places I have eaten in San Francisco, Napa, Las Vegas, New York, or Chicago. As good as I think it is, Lake Park Bistro probably wouldn't be able to crack a top 25, probably top 50 best restaurants in New York list. So maybe your expectations were kind of high. If Babbo, Craft, Gramercy Tavern, and Eleven Madison Park were to open in Milwaukee they would be in the top 10 restaurant list instantly because there are so few restaurants of that caliber here.

Milwaukee diners are fickle. You won't find much crazy stuff here. How many restaurants around here serve sweetbreads, foie gras, truffles, or roasted marrow bones? Is there anyplace even close to approaching what you see at Babbo or Momofuku? Not that I have found.

Explore the food, beverages, and people of Wisconsin EatWisconsin.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been to Lake Park Bistro any number of times.

I like it for what it is...but it's important to understand what that is is.

It's a fantastically beautiful restaurant serving bistro standards...usually well-executed. But no more than that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kathryn,

I am sorry that you were disappointed. One note: the waiter's actions when you asked about the wine were completely normal and appropriate. You weren't satisfied with the wine and most good restaurants will replace it, no questions asked, whether it was indeed "off" or not. (Imagine if he had said, "No, the wine is not off. It just isn't very good. Enjoy your meal.") You should have been charged the cost of your original bottle, though, not for the more expensive replacement.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Darren72, that makes sense. I guess that part that struck me as odd was the person who ordered the wine wasn't completely confident in his assessment, and just wanted confirmation from the server. And our server kept telling us that he could replace the bottle, rather than agree or disagree.

I've never had a bad bottle of wine happen to me before, and I was a guest at the dinner, so I just sat there and watched the exchange. It was a little humorous, after the fact.

Edited by kathryn (log)
"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I was there 2 July for lunch. See my Flickr set for photos.

The $24 for three course pre-fixe lunch menu was very boring, though all the items we ordered were well executed. $24 is not a bad deal, but York Street in New York charges the same for lunch and is much more innovative and exciting.

It's a fantastically beautiful restaurant serving bistro standards...usually well-executed.  But no more than that.

Bistro standards is exactly how I would describe it as well. But dow does a chef serving just the standards win the James Beard?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

my favorite restaurants in NYC are Babbo, Momofuku Ssam Bar, Craft, Gramercy Tavern, Balthazar, Eleven Madison Park...so I was expecting something more, perhaps, more than I should have.

Sorry you had a bad experience there. Lake Park Bistro is my favorite nice restaurant in the City and I hate when people have bad experiences at places I like. I don't think that you ordered wrong because at a place like that they should execute everything well. I guess I would steer you towards the Hanger Steak Frittes or the Duo of Duck next time...if you chose to go back.

Also, I think if you want to see Adam Seigel shine, Bacchus may be a better option since he isn't restricted by the French theme at Lake Park Bistro.

While I love Lake Park Bistro, I hate to say it but even some of the best restaurants in Milwaukee pale in comparison to places I have eaten in San Francisco, Napa, Las Vegas, New York, or Chicago. As good as I think it is, Lake Park Bistro probably wouldn't be able to crack a top 25, probably top 50 best restaurants in New York list. So maybe your expectations were kind of high. If Babbo, Craft, Gramercy Tavern, and Eleven Madison Park were to open in Milwaukee they would be in the top 10 restaurant list instantly because there are so few restaurants of that caliber here.

Milwaukee diners are fickle. You won't find much crazy stuff here. How many restaurants around here serve sweetbreads, foie gras, truffles, or roasted marrow bones? Is there anyplace even close to approaching what you see at Babbo or Momofuku? Not that I have found.

very well put

At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since. ‐ Salvador Dali

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...