When Ristorante Bartolotta opened its doors nearly 25
years ago, many Milwaukeeans flocked to the Tuscan-charmed
restaurant in search of spaghetti and meatballs, says Jana Michaelis,
creative director of The Bartolotta Restaurants. “People couldn’t
fathom that Italian food was this elegant, rustic thing,” she adds.
But the restaurant’s popularity grew (and grew, and
grew), and authentic, Italian-inspired dishes, like the farro and
seafood salad pictured here, continue to populate the ever-evolving
menu. Executive chef Juan Urbieta says the salad’s origin hails from
the central-eastern coast of Italy, where fresh seafood is abundant.
He takes great care in sourcing high-quality, flavor-packed
ingredients, and the dish’s not-so-subtle stars — the wild-caught
prawns — are flown in from the Patagonian region of Argentina.
“They’re tender, plump, juicy (and) have that true wild flavor,”
Urbieta enthuses. Tender octopus imported from Portugal and Spain
and buttery calamari sourced domestically from a coastal town in
Massachusetts complete the salad’s seafood trio.
straightforward: The seafood is blanched or grilled; the farro — a
hearty winter grain — is boiled for 20 minutes and set over a bed of
arugula; and the dish is then dressed in olive oil and lemon juice.
7616 W. State St., Wauwatosa, (414) 771-7910,