Michael Holloway
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New Burger Joint, New Vietnamese Cafe

Plus: Bacchus restaurant and Lost Whale bar reopening, Nessun Dorma closing for winter.

By - Nov 2nd, 2020 09:49 am
MooSa’s. Photo from MooSa’s Facebook page.

MooSa’s. Photo from MooSa’s Facebook page.

Bambu, a franchise featuring Vietnamese coffees, boba teas, Che dessert drinks and smoothies, is coming to the Oak Ridge Square Shopping Center in West Allis at 10708 W. Oklahoma Ave. The shop is set to open in mid-November. The Bambu company currently has 70 shops in the United States and Canada, with the closest Wisconsin location being in Madison. The Journal Sentinel’s Bob Dohr reports:

Owner Duc Nguyen, who’s Vietnamese, said he’s familiar with the desserts and drinks the café will be offering and said it should fill a void in the area…

Some food items, including pandan waffles, will also be offered.

The West Allis Plan Commission on Oct. 28 will review site, landscaping and architectural plans and make a recommendation on a special use permit…

The shop will be open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Most of the business — 95% — is expected to be from carryout orders, according to city documents.

But Nguyen, who owns D&E Nail Supply in the same plaza, said there will be seating inside.

“There’s going to be about 12 seats in the front area and free Wi-Fi, so anyone can bring in a laptop or anything if they wanted to quickly check email or hang out,” he said.

Bartolotta Restaurants Reopening Bacchus

Bartolotta Restaurants has announced via a press release it will reopen Bacchus — A Bartolotta Restaurant (925 E. Wells St.) on November 11 with a reimagined menu and new COVID-19 safety guidelines.

“In this new era, we are elevating the experience once more, broadening our palate with inspiration from global cultures and cuisine, while applying new standards of safety that allow guests to dine comfortably with confidence,” stated Bartlotta Restaurants Owner and Co-Founder Paul Bartolotta in a press release.

Bacchus will offer reservations Tuesday through Saturday, with two menus to choose from: a customizable three-course signature menu and a five-course tasting menu, both designed by Executive Chef Nick Wirth and Chef Bartolotta.

Some options on the three-course menu include Yellowfin Tuna Tartare, Grilled Spanish Octopus, Strauss Veal Ravioli, Seared Sea Scallops, Wagyu Beef Short Rib, Grilled Venison and Petit Filet Medallions; Dessert options include Salted Caramel Mousse, Chocolate Hazelnut Cake and a Wisconsin cheese trio. The tasting menu includes some of these same choices as well as an Amuse Bouche, chocolates and petit fours and a choice of complementary sparkling or mineral water. The tasting menu can be paired with an expansive, award-winning wine list.

The reopening of Bacchus follows the reopening of the group’s other restaurants: Ristorante Bartolotta dal 1993 in Tosa, Harbor House on Lake Michigan and Mr. B’s — A Bartolotta Steakhouse, in Brookfield.

Lost Whale to Reopen for Reservations Only

Lost Whale, the cocktail bar with an eco-conscious business model that’s located at 2151 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., has announced it will reopen on November 13. OnMilwaukee’s Lori Fredrich reports:

The bar, which has operated as the patio only, tiki-themed PufferFish since this summer, will begin taking reservations for guest visits on Oct. 31, with slots available Thursday through Saturday until Christmas Day.

Starting Nov. 13, they will revive their popular Nightmare Before Christmas pop-up, featuring new drinks every day through Christmas. Offerings will include newly inspired creations like “Bitter! Where’s That Wormswort?!” a riff on a classic Boulevardier featuring Old Overholt Bonded Rye Whiskey, Stone Creek’s  “Nightmare Before Coffee” coffee-infused Cappelletti Vino Aperitivo, Spanish Reserva Rojo Vermouth and Bittercube chipotle cacao and orange bitters.

There will also be returning favorites from last year, including “ Did Anyone Think to Dredge the Lake,” house-made eggnog with Bacardi Blackstrap Rum, Lustau Spanish Brandy and spiced with cacao nibs, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves …

Safety precautions for the newly opened bar will include 50% reduced seating inside the bar, with seats arranged to allow for proper social distancing. They have also hired Clean Living Environments to perform duct cleaning and sanitizing. The installation of a UV system will enhance safety by killing germs and viruses as air circulates through the system, while a CDC-approved electrostatic spray will be used to sanitize interior surfaces.

New Burger Joint for West Side

MooSa’s, the lakefront burger and custard stand located at 2272 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr. (previously the Bartolotta’s owned Northpoint) is getting a second location on Milwaukee’s west side. The new stand will be attached to a BP gas station off of I-94 at 405 N. 27th St. near the Marquette University campus. Fredrich reports:

With construction well underway, operator Nas Musa says they are likely on pace for an opening as soon as Nov. 10.

“We’ll try to keep the concept more or less the same as the lakefront location,” he says, noting that the inside of the restaurant will be painted in black and white to mimic the spots on the…sunglass-wearing MooSa’s cow.

The fast casual restaurant will offer counter service with a focus on carry-out and delivery. In fact, Musa says that the venue will offer delivery and – like the lakefront location – a GrubHub kiosk on site for easy ordering.

The MooSa’s menu will also stay largely the same, but guests can also look forward to an expanded burger menu in addition to offerings like wings, hot dogs, snacks and custard, shakes and sundaes.

Once open, MooSa’s will offer lunch and dinner with daily hours from 11 a.m. to 9 or 10 p.m.

Restaurant With CBD-Infused Cuisine For Downtown

Lifted and Gifted, a new restaurant specializing in CBD-infused cuisine, is set to open downtown the first week of November. The restaurant is taking over the old MKEHemp Rx Dispensary space at 706 N. Milwaukee St. Urban Milwaukee’s Juan Miguel Martinez has the scoop:

CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients in marijuana, but derived directly from the hemp plant, and used for medicinal purposes, to treat epilepsy and anxiety as well as Parkinson’s and Crohn’s disease.

The new restaurant’s use of CBD makes it unique, but “on top of that, we will be the only ones [on Milwaukee St.] doing vegan cuisine as well as date nights,” says owner Serenity Ramirez.

Date nights are when a professional chef shows a group of couples how to cook a meal in a restaurant setting, and at Lifted and Gifted, the meals will use CBD as an ingredient. There will be tickets sold to this, and a menu will be posted a week before each Data Night. Ramirez is partnering with two other couples, one of whom specializes in vegan cooking and the other in the date night project. The two couples have two previous businesses they have run, Anomaly Catering and Delicious Bites.

Nessun Dorma Shuts Down for Winter

Owner of Nessun Dorma Emily Park Sutrick announced via a Facebook post that the quaint and quiet Riverwest restaurant would shut down for the winter season effective today. While Park Sutrick applauds her staff’s hard work and the support of the neighborhood, this ultimately was not enough to continue to keep the restaurant open, her post noted:

With the change in the weather, no one wants to sit out on our patio in the cold to enjoy their carryout.

With the government not adding extra money to unemployment and no agreement on another stimulus, no one has the means to “go out” to eat.

With other restaurants opening their doors, we have suffered gravely.

I have applied for a grant that, if I am lucky enough to receive, will pay for all of the necessary PPE for us to open with total confidence that we will keep everyone who walks through our doors safe. But without that grant, we are out of time and money.

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