By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Jul 17, 2023 at 1:01 PM

It’s as important as ever to support the amazing collection of local restaurants that we have in our beautiful city. And there’s no better way to do so than making a commitment to patronize them throughout the year. To guide you on your journey, I’ve composed a list of 52 amazing restaurants. Try just one of these every week and you’ll have visited them all by the end of 2023.  View the full list here OR download an abbreviated printable PDF file.

Ristorante Bartolotta
7616 W. State St., Wauwatosa, (414) 771-7910
Regional Italian

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If you’ve not been to the Bartolotta flagship restaurant (or if it’s been a while), you owe it to yourself to pay a visit. A Milwaukee staple for 30 years, Ristorante thrives not only as a result of its delicious food, which pays homage to the diverse cuisines of Italy, but also for its cozy, well-appointed space and from-the-heart hospitality.  I'd recommend taking a seat on La Terrazza, Ristorante's beautiful patio, and allowing the atmosphere – along with your meal – to whisk you off to the Mediterranean.

Menus at Ristorante change on a monthly basis, each highlighting a specific region in Italy. Beginning Wednesday, July 20, the menu will take guests on a culinary tour of Napoli (Naples), the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest city in Italy. 

Dishes will include starters like “Purpetiello” alla Luciana featuring stewed octopus with tomatoes, olives and capers; pastas including Candele alla genovese (pasta tubes served with beef onion ragu and Parmigiano-Reggiano) one of the most traditional dishes in Neapolitan cuisine; and entrees like Baccala all’antica, Atlantic cod stewed with prunes, apples, raisins, oregano and white wine. It's a dish that reflects the flavors popular during the Roman occupation of the region. Top off your meal with something summery like Delizia al limone, a trifle layered with limoncello curd, lemon olive oil biscuits and citrus compote.

Any way you spin the bottle, it’s a win for your tastebuds.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.