Joe Bartolotta grew up in Wauwatosa and spent time working in restaurants in New York before returning to his hometown. He opened his first restaurant, Ristorante Bartolotta, with his brother Paul in the village of Wauwatosa in 1993. Garnering a four-star review by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel soon after opening, Ristorante Bartolotta has consistently been rated the best Italian restaurant in Milwaukee and has received a DiRoNA Award from Distinguished Restaurants of North America.
Joe followed the success of Ristorante Bartolotta with the opening of Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro in 1995. The restaurant received another four-star success with the DiRoNA Award from Distinguished Restaurants of North America, and Executive Chef Adam Siegel won the James Beard Award for Best Chef Midwest in 2008 for his work at Lake Park Bistro.
In 1999, The Bartolotta Restaurants opened an Italian-style steakhouse, Mr. B's, in Brookfield. In 2006, Mr. B's received a DiRoNA Award from Distinguished Restaurants of North America, and in 2013, Mr. B's was named one of America's Top 20 Steakhouses by The Daily Meal as well as one of the top steakhouses in the country by Food & Wine Magazine.
In 2004, Joe opened Bacchus, A Bartolotta Restaurant, located in the historic Cudahy Tower, offering a commanding view of Lake Michigan and The Calatrava. The restaurant received a four-star review by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and features a 750+ bottle wine list and a menu that changes seasonally to use the freshest ingredients available.
Following the success of Joe's diverse restaurants, The Bartolotta Restaurants launched another successful venture, Bartolotta Catering & Events. Bartolotta Catering & Events is the exclusive caterer for three of Milwaukee's premiere event spaces; Boerner Botanical Gardens, Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin on Milwaukee's lakefront, and The Historic Grain Exchange in Downtown Milwaukee.
A long-standing partnership with the Milwaukee County parks enabled Joe to launch Milwaukee’s only custard and burger stand on the shores of Lake Michigan, called Northpoint Custard in 2009. That same year, Joe partnered with SSP America to create a casual pizza and pasta restaurant, Nonna’s, at Mitchell International Airport, and a second Northpoint Custard stand and Pizzeria Piccola soon followed. The Rumpus Room, a European-inspired gastropub, opened in October 2011 in downtown Milwaukee, and the Bartolotta’s newest venture, Joey Gerard’s – A Bartolotta Supper Club, opened in Greendale in August 2012 and in Mequon in October 2012.
In addition to playing a key role with The Bartolotta Restaurants’ philanthropic arm, Care-A-Lotta, Joe currently sits on the boards of many local organizations, including the MATC Advisory Board for Culinary Arts, VISIT Milwaukee and UW Stout Hospitality. Most recently Governor Scott Walker appointed him to the Wisconsin Center District board. Joe actively supports the Wisconsin Restaurant Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and organ donation awareness. He and his wife Jennifer together support Schools That Can, Meta House, and the Wisconsin Humane Society.
Joe is a recent recipient of the MCFI Community Trendsetter Award, the 2012 Liver Foundation Silver Cleaver Award, the 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Upper Midwest Award for Hospitality, and the VISIT Milwaukee Lamplighter Award.
Paul brings more than 20 years of culinary experience to offer his vision, expertise and strengths in new business development to The Bartolotta Restaurants. This partnership was formed in collaboration with his brother Joe, the co-owner of The Bartolotta Restaurants. The brothers opened their first restaurant, Ristorante Bartolotta, an inviting, authentic Italian cucina in 1993. Today, The Bartolotta Restaurants own and operate eight award-winning fine-dining restaurants, two fast-casual concepts, as well as The Bartolotta Catering Company which operates out of Boerner Botanical Gardens, Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin and The Grain Exchange.
In 1980, Paul graduated from the Restaurant and Hotel Management Program at Milwaukee Area Technical College. His cultural education began with New York restaurateur, Tony May, owner at the time of the Rainbow Room and founder of Gruppo Ristoratori Italiani, the international food society devoted to maintaining the traditions and standards of classical Italian colleagues. Initially instituted as a six-month tour of duty for Paul, this stint evolved into a seven-year education of the highest order. Working in some of the country’s most prestigious restaurants, the aspiring Chef studied all phases of managing a first class restaurant.
Paul was Executive Chef/Managing Partner of Spiaggia, located in Chicago, from 1991 to 2000. He developed his culinary artistry in some of Europe’s most distinguished restaurants. Winner of the coveted James Beard Best Midwest Chef Award in 1994 and The James Beard Award for Best Chef Southwest in 2009, Bartolotta directed Spiaggia to every major national fine dining award. The honors include a Four Diamond Rating from the American Automobile Association, the Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRoNA) Award and numerous Critics Choice Awards from Chicago Magazine. Spiaggia has been honored with the prestigious Insegna del Ristorante Italiano del Mondo, presented to Chef Bartolotta by the President of Italy, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, in May of 1997. Spiaggia received the unprecedented and coveted four-star rating from bothThe Chicago Tribune and Chicago Magazine. No other Italian Chef has been awarded four stars in any major market in the United States.
Paul's latest venture is Bartolotta’s Ristorante di Mare, located in the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. This world-class restaurant serves fresh seafood flown in daily from Italy. With a stellar wine list and high reviews from national press, Paul has created a piece of Italy in the desert.
Adam Siegel is the James Beard Award-winning Executive Chef of Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro and Bacchus, and he oversees the restaurant group’s entire portfolio of restaurants as Bartolotta’s Corporate Chef.
Adam began his culinary career at very early age, when he worked at his stepfather’s restaurant in Chicago. He attended culinary school at Kendall College and received his formative training at Spiaggia under James Beard Award-winning chef, Paul Bartolotta. Paul went on to become Adam’s mentor has helped guide Adam throughout his career ever since.
Adam spent three years at Spiaggia and then moved to San Francisco to study for three years with the acclaimed Chef Julian Serrano at Masa’s. A year in Italy followed, where Adam worked at the Michelin two-star Ristorante San Domenico di Imola with Chef Valentino Marcattilii. He then returned to the U.S. to help open Olives in Washington D.C. with James Beard Award-winning chef, Todd English.
Paul Bartolotta knew Adam was the ideal choice when Lake Park Bistro was in need of a Chef de Cuisine in 2000, and Adam spent the next couple of years mastering the art of French cooking. Adam was named Executive Chef of Lake Park Bistro in January 2003 and began traveling to France when he could, working with chefs such as Yves Camdeborde at La Regalade and Pierre Jay at L’Ardoise in Paris.
Adam added a second Executive Chef title behind his name when he took over as Executive Chef at Bacchus in 2005. In 2008, following in his mentor’s footsteps, Adam won the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Midwest, after being nominated two years in a row for the prestigious award.
Adam acts as Corporate Chef for The Bartolotta Restaurants, playing a lead role when the company opens a new restaurant, as it did with Harbor House in 2011 and Joey Gerard’s in Greendale and Mequon in 2012. And as a managing partner of the company, Adam sits firmly at the helm of the restaurant group along with Joe and Paul Bartolotta, working each day to ensure that they’re delivering the best cuisine and the best dining experiences available in Milwaukee and beyond.
When he’s not in the restaurants or at the corporate office, Adam enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids.