Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare

“I’ve never had a restaurant where I’ve had to do so little cooking,” uber-chef Paul Bartolotta told us recently. “Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare is all about sourcing ingredients.” And that’s why the Milwaukee-born chef, who is fluent in his ancestral Italian, travels to Italy several times a year: to maintain relationships with the fishermen who supply his restaurant with a veritable ark of fresh fish, most of which he refers to by their Italian names. There’s scorfano, triglie bianche and even baleni, the goose barnacles that are so hard to come by in Europe that Bartolotta regularly flies into Las Vegas. Cooking can soar here, but it is best when simple, such as a fritto misto with seven types of fish, those goose barnacles (which you break open and suck) or flavorful homemade spaghetti with bottarga di muggine (the caviar-like roe of the Sardinian gray mullet). It’s safe to say that there’s no other restaurant like this one in the country. Perhaps not in Italy, either.

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Cocktail Culture


By Xania Woodman

Following the kitchen’s lead, Fox Restaurant Concepts beverage manager Mat Snapp is committed to using house-made syrups and infusions at Culinary Dropout wherever possible. “Everything tastes better when you put time, effort and energy into it,” Snapp says. His original creation, Bells & Whistles, actually had its beginnings in the kitchen, at a barbecue festival’s cocktail competition. “I wanted a cocktail that mirrored all the great things about barbecue: some smokiness, some sweetness and some heat.” Simple syrup infused with charred bell pepper and jalapeño does the trick nicely.