36 The NaTioNal CuliNary review • Sep Tember/oCTober 2018
meaT maTTerS let’s talk about veal
“It’s become richer. But it’s not gamey, it’s not beef-like,” says Adam Siegel,
executive chef/managing partner of The Bartolotta Restaurants, Milwaukee. “Whereas
before, it was just this luxurious, exotic meat that was super-delicate texturally and
milky white-pink in color.” Now that the calves are getting proper nutrition and
exercise, he adds, the meat has much more flavor and a deeper pinkish-red color.
Veal has been a staple on the menu at Lake Park Bistro for about a decade, where
Siegel features liver and cutlet specials every Tuesday and Thursday, respectively, and
regularly menus cuts such as tenderloin in summer and braised veal cheeks in winter.
He sources free-raised veal almost exclusively from Franklin, Wisconsin-based Strauss
Brands (which supplies a quarter of the country’s veal), and occasionally buys whole
calves direct from local dairy farmers.
“We really pushed the educational part at the beginning,” he says. “Veal cutlets are an
easy sell, but when it comes to a chop or tenderloin cooked medium-rare, we had to talk
Because veal is lighter than beef without the funk of lamb, Siegel takes a softer
approach to cooking and saucing. He’ll lightly grill a bone-in chop to mid-rare and
pair it with bright summer vegetables and infused oil, or bathe it in a light peppercorn
pan sauce. At Italian sister restaurant Bacchus, he’ll stuff ravioli with ground veal and
spinach and serve in a pool of beurre fondue with toasted pine nuts.