Holiday Party Planning

October 16, 2018

Party Tips from Bartolotta Pros

Holiday party planning is in full swing and our team of catering managers is busy ironing out all of the details for upcoming corporate and social celebrations. With so many options in the city, it can be hard to narrow down the location let alone all of the details that follow, from party favors to menu options. Fortunately, our team is one step ahead and with years of experience, we are ready to help you make your holiday party one to remember. A few of our experts are excited to share some of their ideas.


Connie Bolle, Director of SalesFrom Connie Bolle, Director of Sales, Bartolotta Catering & Events at The Italian Community Center

Where is the best place to host a corporate holiday party?

The most important thing is to pick a location that is convenient for your guests. Also, consider complimentary parking with easy access, so your guests don’t have to stress during the winter months about transportation, snow, ice, etc. We also always encourage safe celebrating, so having a dedicated Uber/Lyft pick up spot encourages no drinking and driving. Explore a new location each year to keep the holiday celebration intriguing, and look for a location with a simple design so you can create a custom theme look that fits your vision and budget.

What kind of food should people offer? 

I love tapas-style receptions so that guests can sample different cuisines, and you can easily include a variety of flavors that will appeal to everyone. Choose "wintry" comfort food like marinated short ribs, a hearty pasta of pastry dumplings with brown butter and roasted winter root vegetables. Shine bright with your cocktails, like espresso martinis or salted whiskey hot chocolate!

What kind of décor do you recommend? 

Décor can be made easy with a coordinated holiday theme and linens from our favorite vendors such as BBJ Linen and Windy City Linens. Guests can choose from sparkly silver sequins or a festive birch wood design that feels like the Wisconsin deep woods when paired with fresh evergreens and glowing candles. 


From Cristin Hildenbrand, Catering Manager at Mr. B's - A Bartolotta Steakhouse - Mequon 

What type of food would you recommend?

There are so many options, but I think featuring local Wisconsin cheeses to impress employees, friends, or clients at this year's holiday gathering is a great way to showcase local talent. A few that I love include Hook's from Mineral Point, Saxon Creamery from Cleveland, Sartori in Plymouth, or Uplands Cheese Company in  Dodgeville. 

What are some fun trends people should consider?

We had a group do a murder mystery dinner and they had an amazing time! I also see people do a lot of heavy appetizers and set the room up with cocktail tables instead of dinner tables. This is a great way to try a lot of different things and is a little less formal. I also think a whiskey or scotch group tasting could be fun, and we have such an amazing collection.

Would you recommend a daytime or evening event? 

Both can be great options! During the daytime, we have a great view of the river, and evening events are so cozy and warm! 

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