Advertise on OnMilwaukee.com

In Dining

The food and the service at Lake Park Bistro are superb. (PHOTO: Eron Laber of Front Room Photography)

In Dining

The ambience makes the Bistro perfect for a romantic dinner. (PHOTO: Eron Laber of Front Room Photography)

In Dining

As you'd expect, there's no shortage of French wine. (PHOTO: Eron Laber of Front Room Photography)

Lake Park Bistro conjures gay Paree

During our most recent dinner at Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro, 3133 E. Newberry Blvd., the moon was in full circle over the dimly lit lake, casting all the bistro's diners into what could have very believably been the set of a classic romance film in France.

Couple that breathtaking view with exquisite French cuisine and professional, top quality service, and one can start to envision what a dinner at Lake Park Bistro is at its best.

In a transformed public pavilion in Lake Park, the Bartolotta Restaurant Group succeeds in what has arguably been their most successful endeavor to date. Long-standing Ristorante Bartolotta in Wauwatosa was a mere prelude to the opening of the Bistro, which is 10 years strong now, and was followed in the opening of Mr. B's Steakhouse in Brookfield, and more recently, the celebrated opening of Bacchus in the former Boulevard Inn location in Cudahy Towers.

The Bistro strives for all things French, which brings to the palate traditional cuisine with elegance and very rich flavors; butter, cream and cheese and prevalent, as too are foie gras (a delicacy of fatty duck liver which was recently banned in Chicago due to uproars by animal rights activists); charcuterie, veal, lamb and duck.

On two recent dinner visits, we found both the food and the service at Lake Park Bistro to be superb. Escargot Bourguignon en Croûte (Burgundy snails in garlic butter beneath puff pastry, $9) was faultlessly prepared, with light, flaky pastry complementing the snails, bathed in butter and peppered with minced garlic, tomatoes, and mushrooms.

Assiette de Charcuterie Maison (an assortment of homemade cured, smoked, and salted meats, $12) delivered a country liver pate, a slice of dry-cured pork sausage, French cured ham, mustard, dried fruits, and cornichon pickles with bread. The diver scallop appetizer, Coquilles St. Jacques aux Artichauts ($14) was also exquisite in a basil white wine butter sauce with Roma tomatoes and braised artichoke hearts.

Chef Adam Siegel's brilliance and his careful marriage of the cuisines of both northern and southern France continued through into the entrée selections, where we found hearty and complex contentment in the Veau Roti a la Bordelaise (veal tenderloin in a Bordelaise sauce, $34). Bordelaise is made with red wine (usually a Bordeaux), bone marrow, shallots, and demi-glace (a thick, rich brown sauce made of roux married with veal stock and slowly reduced to half), and was a lovely balance to the tender cut of Strauss veal.

The Canard "Deux Façon" a la Sauce Marchands de Vin (Duck two ways with red wine sauce, $24) featured pan seared duck breast and a confit (duck slow cooked in rendered duck fat). The confit by far outshone the duck breast, which was still excellent amidst the opulent red wine and butter sauce.

Filet mignon au poivre ($32) was the only disappointment we encountered on the menu, and not for lack of flavor or ingenuity. The filet was encrusted with peppercorns and served in a lovely green peppercorn cognac cream sauce, but was slightly overdone to a medium temperature.

Overall, however, both visits to Lake Park Bistro were exceptional. Service here is friendly and flawless, without being pretentious, and we liked that our servers did not hesitate to make recommendations on the menu.

View and ambience at the Bistro also make it ideal for a special, picture-perfect movie night out, for it features an unrivaled view of the lake and even more so, if you can catch it on the night of a full moon, you may start to dream you've fled Milwaukee for Le Gai Paree.


Talkbacks

OMCreader | Oct. 18, 2006 at 11:17 a.m. (report)

KS said: I have to agree with E.Z. about the brunch. It's a monthly routine for my husband and I, as it's value and exceptional quality cannot be beaten. It's too bad the reviewers hadn't tried the Dover Sole. I think that has to be the hallmark example of how good their food really is.

Rate this:
  • Average rating: 0.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

OMCreader | Oct. 17, 2006 at 6:20 p.m. (report)

Myke said: Great food,however it can get very loud there.Noise bounces off the walls.

Rate this:
  • Average rating: 0.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

OMCreader | Oct. 16, 2006 at 2:15 p.m. (report)

Mina said: Been there many times. The food and servce are always great! Love the brunch too.

Rate this:
  • Average rating: 0.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

OMCreader | Oct. 16, 2006 at 11:30 a.m. (report)

E.Z said: I strongly recomend their Sunday brunch. Average price is in the neighborhood of about $20 per person, but it's well worth it. It's a three course brunch (appetizer, entree, and desert) with fresh bakery and champaigne or mimosa with a view of Lake Michigan that can't be beat.

Rate this:
  • Average rating: 0.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
4 comments about this article.
Post a comment / write a review.

Facebook Comments

Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.