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Friday, August 1, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 68.0° F  Fair
The Daily

FOOD AND DRINK

Madison's new breed of bartenders: The Italian Florist, Kevin Trottier

"I'm the florist and I also helped paint," says Trottier of his duties at Osteria Papavero. Another Madison bar veteran, he began craft cocktailing at the restaurant when his Italian customers started bringing in their homemade liqueurs for him to try. >More
 Madison's new breed of bartenders: The Future Sommelier, Ruben Mendez

"I like my drinks wet," says Mendez, when asked about his personal preferences. "I like lots of vermouth in my martini." He goes on to explain: "I had a customer at Daddy-O who liked Lillet in his martinis, and that really got me started on vermouths." >More
 Madison's new breed of bartenders: The Arty Upstart, Matt Young

It has been a big year for Young. After training at Merchant for only a few short months, he became a finalist for Bombay Sapphire and GQ's "Most Inspired Bartender" of 2011. It is a premier industry contest, with over 3,000 bartenders competing. The drink he created for the contest was The Stalker, which included Bombay Sapphire gin, fresh celery, Luxardo Maraschino, bitters, Dolin vermouth, simple syrup and lemon juice. >More
 Crema Cafe does breakfast, brunch and lunch up right

Crema Cafe sits at the end of a Monona Drive strip mall, with plenty of traffic whizzing by. It has all the makings of a little undiscovered coffee shop that locals and a handful of regulars swear by -- except this place is anything but undiscovered. It's fair to say that with Crema, the word is out. >More
 Chicken pot pie is perfect... for sharing (recipe)

After comfort-food-loving Paula Deen's exposure as a diabetic, I had to ask, "Gawd, am I turning into Paula?" When it comes to indulgence, I'm guilty as charged: bacon-pecan pie, buffalo mac 'n' cheese, and now a pot pie. Like a bumbling bear, winter brings out the calorie-seeking beast in me. Before I know it, I'm rifling for prim parsnips, sweet fennel and the dowdy but delicious rutabaga to tumble between a schmaltzy crust with chicken and a lemon cream sauce that mentally jogs my mind ahead to spring. >More
 More than Valentine's Day: Mid-February treats for the mated and the single

Apparently Valentine's Day originally memorialized several Christian martyrs and was not connected to romance at all. Although anyone who's ever fallen in love can identify with the martyr theme, it also speaks to not getting too hung up on Cupid -- just go for the spoils, and they are many. >More
 Madison eats agenda: A Divine Evening, Vegantines, Beer and Chocolate, Chocolate Buffet

This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach. >More
 Season of the noodle: Slurp nine of Madison's best bowls

This time of year, when the ground is frozen and the Farmers' Market is reduced to selling mostly hope, there is a surprise culinary bright spot -- the noodle bowl. This is its season. Whether you're returning hungry from skiing or sick and in need of a little love in a ladle, no food is more comforting or better for reviving the senses than noodles in steaming broth or stock. Here are a few of the best slurps among Madison's ever-expanding options. >More
 JD's cart finds campus location, Dickey's Barbecue and other restaurants prep to open

You never know when a new eatery will rescue a hard-luck spot (the Great Dane on Jupiter Drive and the Coopers Tavern on the Square, for instance). The short-lived Limon, at 317 N. Bassett (formerly home to the Copper Gable Café), has given way to JD's, a brick-and-mortar version of the well-known late-night food cart at State and Broom. >More
 Madison eats agenda: Vanilla, Groundhog Day chili, Souper Bowl XVI, Super Bowl Brunch

This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach. >More
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