Sampling the new Mr. B’s

By Bobby Tanzilo, Managing Editor - Published April 12, 2010 at 8:45 a.m.

Not being much of a steak person, I rarely dine at steakhouses. But I do enjoy a good steak and I had visited Mr. B's: A Bartolotta Steakhouse once in its former location on 177th and Capitol Drive in Brookfield. But, really, it's not in a neighborhood I get to much.

Last week, the Bartolotta steakhouse moved west a few blocks to the old Agave building at 18380 W. Capitol Dr. Bartolotta's John Wise spotted me at a table in the corner near the new patio and offered to show me around a bit.

Sounds like folks familiar with Agave will definitely find this space familiar, yet transformed. The outdoor dining space is new and spacious and looks like it will be a great place to eat once the weather is trustworthier.

The old bar has been cut in half, with a wall added along the back of the bar. While this shrinks the bar in this space, Wise noted that the old Mr. B's didn't really have a dedicated bar space and this definitely is a change. So is the greatly expanded kitchen -- two wood-fired ovens are required to handle the demand at the new location -- which isn't exactly open, but with a giant window is clearly visible to most diners.

We sampled a couple appetizers, including the especially delicious crispy shrimp ($13.95), which had about seven shrimp wrapped tightly in egg roll skins and fried. They were crunchy and satisfying. A pair of crab cakes ($12.95) was also delicious, with copious lump crab.

I heartily recommend the green bean and Gorgonzola salad ($9.95), which is exactly what it sounds like: crisp haricot verts with fresh Gorgonzola -- not to worry, this ain't your smelly supermarket cheese, instead subtle and creamy -- and a light dressing.

When the steak cart wheeled over, it created a conundrum, since there were so many alluring choices. In the end, my dining companion and I each selected combos that paired 6-ounce filets with (in my case) bacon wrapped scallops ($34.95) and in his, a tender piece of salmon ($35.90).

The steaks were cooked to perfection and my only complaint about the scallops was that they were too rich. But that was my choice, so I fault no one but myself for having eyes bigger than my stomach.

We paired all these dishes with a bottle of Masi Valpolicella ($29).

A flourless chocolate cake with a scoop of gelato ($7.95) and a single espresso ($3) capped the meal, which was satisfying and tasty and presented in a warm, welcoming environment. I'm not a connoisseur of steakhouses, but this is one I enjoyed enough that I just might start to frequent that neighborhood a bit more.

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