bacchus octopus

Restaurant of the Week: Bacchus

Bacchus – A Bartolotta Restaurant is located within the Cudahy Tower in Downtown Milwaukee, offering modern cooking in a newly-renovated, vibrant setting, with a menu emphasizing seasonal ingredients and a wine list that is consistently praised as one of the most extensive in the city. Helmed by veteran Executive Chef Nick Wirth (a Wisconsin native), Bacchus offers exclusive spaces for private events, including a glass-enclosed Conservatory, Boardroom and Library dining spaces.

Bacchus is a high-end establishment, perfect for date night, a celebratory dinner or an intimate evening catching up with family or friends. The energy is upbeat, classy and complete with friendly and attentive wait staff. Bacchus has a very clean, crisp and sleek aesthetic, accented by a gorgeous wine wall in the main dining space that’s difficult to keep your eyes off of. The table dividers were so low profile, they fit seamlessly into the design of the restaurant and there’s a even fabulous conservatory dining space, with stunning views of Lake Michigan.

Since 2006, just two years after opening, Bacchus has been consistently named to the Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence winner. The restaurant was also named one of America’s Top 100 Wine Restaurants by Wine Enthusiast in 2017. 

The Signature Menu at Bacchus is a three-course meal; if you’re here for the wine, your server knows the perfect pair for each course. We recommend the grilled Spanish octopus or poached Kauai shrimp salad for your first course. The octopus is cooked to perfection, and the salad is an impeccable balance of tropical flavors to complement the shrimp. The main course house favorite is the petit filet medallions, cooked to your preference and accompanied by spinach cream wild mushrooms, potato pave and topped with espresso steak sauce – is your mouth watering yet?

Try the steak with a glass of Francios Labet Bourgogne Rouge, Pinot Noir or if you prefer a drier red, the Riccitelli “The Party” Malbec is another great match. Lastly, for dessert, we enjoyed the German chocolate and house-made ice creams (your choice of one, two or all three flavors).

Photo credit: Bill Milne

In addition to the three-course Signature Menu, Bacchus diners also have the option of enjoying a five-course Tasting Menu or three-course vegetarian lineup. Plus, tarting May 18, the restaurant offers a trio of wine dinners this summer:

May 18: Food & Wine of Spain Dinner

The fourth-annual Bacchus Food & Wine of Spain Dinner will transport guests through Spain with the flavors featured in Chef Wirth’s curated six-course dinner menu, paired with Spanish wines selected by Wine Director and Certified Sommelier Joseph Kane. Tickets are available for purchase on the Bacchus website starting at $135 per person, plus service charge and tax.

June 9: Adelsheim Oregon Wine Dinner

The team will highlight the unique wines of Oregon-based Adelsheim Vineyards with a diverse five-course pairing menu, created to pair perfectly with five wines from Adelsheim Vineyards selected by Kane. Tickets are available for purchase on the Bacchus website starting at $125 per person, plus service charge and tax.  

June 24: Hourglass Napa Wine Dinner

The team will feature the wines of Hourglass Vineyards with a five-course pairing menu by Chef Wirth accompanied by four selections of Hourglass Vineyards wine curated by Kane. Tickets are available for purchase on the Bacchus website starting at $150 per person, plus service charge and tax.

Bacchus is open Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. For more information about Bacchus, visit

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