|Rumpus Room entrance with menu located outside|
Last month my friend Tiffany and I got the opportunity to check out Bartolotta’s Rumpus Room as part of the #mkefoodies group. I have heard great things about this place and that the ambiance is casual sheik with hearty, manly food options.
We luckily found close parking right on Water Street in front of Coyote Ugly and walked a block over. Walking to Rumpus Room, we walked past the large outdoor patio area that is completely covered but still allows diners to enjoy the view of Water Street. We walked in the front door and the end of the large bar stood in front of us. It had a library ladder that can roll down the wall to get at different bottles which I find very cool. Bel Air Cantina has one for their tequila library. The bar ran a long ways down the wall with pub tables across from it. Beyond that were some dining tables. Just to the right of the entrance was the Charcuterie area that our group was in.
We were then welcomed by the ever-friendly Lori and Pete who organize our lovely events. We filled out our name tags and joined the group. Low benches lined two walls and mini-flat wagons were used as tables. The ceiling is dark tin and the wooden floors give the place an intimate feel. We saw that there were some appetizers available for us to try, so Tiffany grabbed a plate and put some devilled eggs, nuts and pickles on the plate. We grabbed a sample of the Firkin beer which was New Belgium’s Somersault. I had had this beer before, but coming fresh from the Firkin, it was delicious.
|Charcuterie area with cute wagon tables|
|View of bar from Charcuterie area|
|Love the ceiling|
We sat on one of the benches and looked at the lengthy drink menu divided by liquor. We were quickly greeted by a friendly server who explained some of the beers to me that I wasn’t sure of. I decided on G. Schneider & Sohn Avenitus Weizenbock from Germany with an ABV of 8.2%. It was absolutely summery and delicious. After checking it in on Untappd, I realized that I knew of the beer from my time at Sentry Liquor. It tried the deviled egg and it was nice and creamy with a little taste of vinegar that added extra zip. The nuts had a bit too much spice on them for me and I left the pickles for Tiffany. She loved them.
|Deviled eggs, pickles and nuts|
We were treated to a Charcuterie demonstration by the chefs where they explained the meats that they slice for sandwiches and plates to enjoy with cocktails. The slicer that they use is a hand-cranked slicer that can get meats slices as thin as tissue paper. To get a slicer like this in your collection, you need to have about $5,000 on hand. We then got to sample one of the meats that they sliced. Excuse my layman terms as I don’t remember exactly which meat we tried but it was some sort of cured salami. It was absolutely delicious with just enough spice and I know that I will be coming back for some cheese, charcuterie and a cocktail if nothing else.
|The $5,000 slicer|
|Cured meat that was sliced paper thin for us.|
|Lunch menu items|
Next they demonstrated how they make their Barrel AgedCocktails: Polly Gonna Say and El Viejo. I tried a tasting of the El Viejo and it extremely smooth and delicious but I think the ¼ ounce that I got was enough for me. I am not a dark liquor fan and the base is an Armagnac.
|Tiffany trying El Viejo|
|Me with my El Viejo tasting|
Tiffany ordered the Polly Gonna Say as her next cocktail and I went with a Lakefront Summertime. I had had it in a bottle but it was on tap, and of course it was very refreshing. We were then treated to bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, chicken wings and a basil flatbread. The chestnut was quarter sized with a nice piece of bacon on it. It had a nice crunch to it and plenty of smoky flavor. The wing was too spicy for me even with their scrumptious blue cheese crème fraiche. I gave the rest to Tiffany. She said they were perfectly seasoned. I loved the flatbread with EVOO, tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. This was my favorite. The basil was finely chopped into thin strands and cooked to a crisp and the crust was soft on the top and crispy on the bottom.
|Spicy chicken wing with blue cheese creme fraiche|
The chefs then brought out some of their cheeses they offer and I saw that they had the cheddar with the stripe of blue cheese that I had at Melthouse Bistro and I told Tiffany she had to try it. She isn’t a big fan of a lot of blue cheese but she agreed that this cheese is divine.
As we were getting ready to leave, Bartolotta’s thanked us for coming and surprised us with swag bags that included Rumpus Room shirts, a coaster, info about their restaurants and a coupon for a free beer at our next visit. I’m not sure if I would come back for the food unless I came with a few people and we shared plates. The dinner menu does seem a bit heavy and rich so I would want to just try a bite or two of a few things. It is a bit above the price range that I can afford for dinner at the moment too, but I highly recommend people to check this out for a cocktail or charcuterie alone!