MILWAUKEE Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro, a Milwaukee favorite celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2020, will reopen for indoor dining on Wednesday, Dec. 9. The restaurant’s return signals another milestone in The Bartolotta Restaurants’ carefully paced reopening program, which emphasizes enhanced health and hygiene protocols for guests and employees. The Bartolotta Restaurants is also expanding days of operation for the month of December for its reopened restaurants to six days per week.

In reopening, The Bartolotta Restaurants owner, co-founder, and two-time James Beard Award winner Chef Paul Bartolotta is returning Lake Park Bistro to its roots – reimagining the restaurant as a Haute Bistro inspired by his experiences traveling the country of France and working alongside acclaimed chefs in a quartet of Michelin three-star restaurants: Chef Roger Vergé at Moulin de Mougins in the South of France on the French Riviera; Chef Paul Bocuse in Collonges-au-Mont-d'Or outside Lyon in Central France; Pierre and Michel Troisgros at Troisgros in Roanne; and at Taillevent in the heart of Paris for Owner Jean-Claude Vrinat and his Chefs Claude Deligne and Phillippe Legendere. Chef Bartolotta also completed Master Classes as part of his pastry training with Pastry Chef Gaston Lenôtre at École Lenôtre in Plaisir just outside of Paris.

“When my brother Joe and I first conceived Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro in 1995, it was a rustic French bistro,” Chef Bartolotta says. “Though it seemed odd that two Italian brothers would open a French restaurant, we believed it would complement the rustic Italian cuisine of our first restaurant, Ristorante Bartolotta dal 1993.

“What began as rustic bistro today continues to evolve into a haute bistro with our new menu and offerings.”

To celebrate the reopening, Chef Bartolotta and fellow James Beard Award winning Executive Chef Adam Siegel have crafted a four-course menu allowing diners to select their personalized culinary journey – where guests can choose from an appetizer, middle course, fish or meat entrée, and dessert – priced at $65 per person. Additionally, the walls of Lake Park Bistro shall be adorned with portraits of four of history’s most innovative, foundational, and iconic French chefs – Marie Antonin Carême, Georges Auguste Escoffier, Fernand Point, and Paul Bocuse.

“The language of cuisine is French, similarly the language of music is Italian,” explains Chef Bartolotta. “The French were the first to codify the language of food and cuisine, and outside of Asia.

“Chefs like Carême and Escoffier created the foundation of French cuisine and Gastronomy. While Chef Fernand Point at La Pyramide in Vienne, France was a training ground for many Chefs like Paul Bocuse. Paul Bocuse then became and is often cited as the first celebrity chef in the world.”

“In reopening Lake Park Bistro, we are honoring history’s great French chefs and cuisine while elevating our approach to ‘Haute Bistro’ cooking, bringing both classic recipes as well as signature dishes inspired by our travels in France. With guests taking fewer trips overseas at this time, we are excited to take them on a culinary journey to France for an evening.”

Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro will be open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, operating at 25 percent capacity – employees and guests – in accordance with statewide guidelines.

Expanding days of operation for its reopened restaurants will include Ristorante Bartolotta dal 1993 and Mr. B’s – A Bartolotta Steakhouse to expand to Tuesdays through Sundays starting on December 1; Harbor House will expand Tuesday through Sunday starting December 8; and Bacchus – A Bartolotta Restaurant will expand to Mondays through Saturdays on December 7. In addition to restaurant reopenings, Bartolotta Catering continues to safely execute various weddings as well as other business and social events at Discovery World, the Grain Exchange, and the Italian Community Center.

Each restaurant is operating under enhanced health and hygiene protocols that have become the new standard for all Bartolotta restaurants and catering facilities, including:

  • Face masks are required to be worn by staff members at all times

  • Face coverings are required for all guests during the following instances:

    • When walking in at any of the restaurants

    • When ordering or addressing a Bartolotta employee

    • When walking in common areas

  • Reservations are required (reservations will be held for 15 minutes and will be limited to 1.5 hours) and temperature checks will be taken upon entry

  • Touchless payment options and QR codes available to view menus on smartphones

  • Rearranged dining rooms that offer distance and privacy between tables; as well as custom-made safety partitions where applicable

  • UV-C technology that destroys microorganisms in the air and on hard surfaces

  • Global Plasma Solutions (GPS) Pathogen Testing is utilized in the air-handling units

  • Meticulously and deliberately cleaned tables with every new reservation

Guests can review the full Covid-19 Response Plan, see dining menus, and make reservations online at


The Bartolotta Restaurants is a nationally recognized restaurant and catering organization co-founded by restaurateur Joe Bartolotta and his brother, two-time James Beard Award-winning Chef Paul Bartolotta. Since the opening of its flagship restaurant, Ristorante Bartolotta dal 1993, The Bartolotta Restaurants group has grown to become the premier culinary brand in the Greater Milwaukee region, offering first-class service and cuisine across a portfolio of 17 one-of-a-kind restaurants and catering facilities, including fine dining, upscale casual, upscale food hall, wood-fired pizzeria, and quick-casual concepts. Additionally, its presence as a forward-thinking, respected, and community-minded company has produced a charitable arm, Care-a-lotta, which supports numerous nonprofit organizations throughout Milwaukee. More information can be found at