Last night I met Chris there and he was already at the wine machines selecting his first glass when I arrived. It was his first visit and he now likes The Ruby Tap as much as I do.
While sipping wine we enjoyed cheese from Carr Valley and Clock Shadow Creamery, and prosciutto and salami from Bolzano Artisan Meats and Underground Food Collective. Everything tasted great and I would definitely order the same on another visit.
From The Ruby Tap we headed to Ristorante Bartolotta for our dinner reservation. One of my favorite aspects of downtown Wauwatosa is how walkable the area is...unless you're trying to cross where Menomonee River Parkway turns into State Street at 6pm, in which case you will be risking your life.
I waited several minutes at the "must stop for pedestrians" crossing and ended up just bolting across as fast I could because traffic wasn't stopping. That area could really benefit by being permanently closed off from traffic, the way State Street is in Madison.
It was our first timing dining at Ristorante Bartolotta and we were both surprised by how small the space was. Despite the tables being a little too close together for comfort, it was a very enjoyable evening and the high noise level was actually quite nice because it makes you feel less like you're a part of your neighbors conversations (which drives me crazy at Cafe Manna).
We both ordered pasta and hadn't planned to have more wine but were happy to receive two complimentary glasses from the "Wandering Wine Maker." It was interesting to hear Lorenzo's story about how he got into wine making and I appreciated that he came to our table to talk with us. Below is more information about San Martino Winery from Bartolotta's website.