Sunday, September 29, 2013

Yelp's Family Style Sunday with the Bartolotta Group

Prosciutto Appetizer
Zoinks. My first Yelp event. I was excited, but also a little bit apprehensive.

"What the heck? There's food, there's beer, there's wine. How bad can it be?" I asked myself. I like to challenge my insecurities so, with the assurance of the availability of liquid courage, away I went to the Yelp's Family Style Sunday with the Bartolotta Group.

Impressed more, I could not be.

Not only was it not bad, it was fantastic. I met some cool, forward-thinking Milwaukeeans who have a vested interest in pushing our cultural and culinary community forward and were recognized by Milwaukee's top restaurateur--Mr. Joe Bartolotta--as influential and important people.

Risotto - "Comfort in a bowl," said one Yelper
Joe could not have left a more positive indelible impression--he catered us with great food, drink and hospitality. He addressed his age and the awareness of Milwaukee's changing epicurean terrain and the options faced by the local diner. He gets it. He knows restaurant critique criteria has changed and recognizes the power of technology--with a few taps on a keyboard our reviews can greatly influence the future of a business--and his intent was not to buy us out, but to make us keenly aware of the challenges a restaurateur faces and ask to make those considerations before we (possibly) excoriate an establishment.

That's pretty respectable in my opinion. Joe wasn't talking only about his joints--he was talking about his competitor's establishments too.

As far as the event went, it was wonderful. We started out at Pizzeria Piccola and then had a sit-down at the quaint and authentic Ristorante Bartolotta. Beer, wine, pizza, prosciutto, Caesar salad, risotto, pasta, and desserts (flourless chocolate cake and tiramisu) were presented in, mostly, that order.

All glasses, emptied ;)
All delicious. Every entree, every bite. Not only that, but we were served with the same level of excellence the normal patron should expect.

I don't know if all Yelp Elite events are this good--this was my first--but if they are, count me in. Bartolotta's put on a wonderful event that has set the Yelp event bar very high for me. I look forward to future events and visits at Bartolotta's restaurants--they've never disappointed before and certainly did not tonight.

Thanks for wonderful afternoon, Ristorante Bartolotta. And thanks, too, for welcoming us with genuine hospitality. Every bite and sip was most certainly appreciated! :)

Joe talks openly and passionately about his restaurants.

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