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Thursday, August 21, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 72.0° F  Thunderstorm Light Rain
The Daily


KJ's Curry Bowl is one of the few Sinhalese restaurants in the U.S.

KJ's Curry Bowl occupies the former Cilantro space in a strip mall across from Memorial High School. The restaurant's fare consists mostly of nachos, burritos, quesadillas, stir-fries, fajita bowls and milkshakes. It's a veritable wish list of things you might want if you were, say, a stoned American student. >More
 The Madison dining scene in 2013

Madison stepped a little further onto the national stage as a food town to watch in 2013, with five semifinalist nominations for the James Beard awards: Elizabeth Dahl of Nostrano as Outstanding Pastry Chef, Forequarter as Best New Restaurant, L'Etoile for Outstanding Wine Program, Daniel Bonanno from A Pig in a Fur Coat as Rising Star Chef of the Year, and John Gadau and Phillip Hurley of Sardine for Best Chef-Midwest. >More
 Sol's on the Square adds a Korean dimension to downtown Madison dining

Korean culinary traditions and Korean-American experiences have mainstreamed over the past few years in a massive way. That might not be so apparent in Madison, where access has been limited. New Seoul has been open near UW Hospital for more than two decades, and was joined more recently by K-Pepper in Middleton. Sol's on the Square -- actually just off the Square at 117 E. Mifflin St. -- fills a hole in the sparse Korean-food landscape. >More
 Taqueria El Jalapeño is a big Mexican restaurant in an intimate space

So many Mexican-American restaurants, in Wisconsin at least, are sprawling temples of the combo platter, warehouses that can seat 150 in front of vats of complimentary salsa. Good service in a place like that is often undercut by the scale, creating the impression that it's all polish, no intimacy. >More
 Sherry, baby: The fortified wine joins pear for the season's trendy cocktails

The cocktail trend of the moment involves Sherry, the fortified wine from Spain. Sherry has been having such a passionate resurgence among bartenders in places like New York and London that one of the most hotly anticipated books of 2014 is wine and spirits writer Talia Baiocchi's Sherry, forthcoming from Ten Speed Press. This follows Peter Liem's 2012 book, Sherry, Manzanilla & Montilla. >More
 Singing Rooster Coffee brings a truly good cup of joe

"Let's just blame all of this on Google," says Molly Nicaise, cofounder and president of Madison-based Singing Rooster Coffee. She's recalling her nonprofit company's founding in 2009. Nicaise and her husband and partner, Christophe, had been longtime volunteers in Haiti as well as entrepreneurs, and they observed the limitations of outside aid in the country. >More
 La Nena and Fruteria Ali do simple and spicy pleasures right

A diablito is a fire-engine red, tongue-tingling, eye-popping combination of hot and cold, icy and spicy, sweet, salty and sour. Tangy tamarind syrup, chili hot sauce and salty chamoy (originally a condiment made from pickled fruit) mingle with crushed ice; the whole production is finally speared with a straw coated with a searing tamarind candy that slowly dissolves into the drink. >More
 Shining examples of fish fries within a half-hour's drive of Madison

While there are plenty of great fish fries right here in Madison, outside the city limits the ritual takes on a whole new meaning. In small towns around the state the Friday tradition runs deep; the community comes together to dine, drink, laugh and live the fry life. These fish fries demonstrate the greatness small towns have to offer, and all are within 30 minutes or so of Madison. >More
 The Spot restaurant dresses up an underappreciated block of East Johnson

Joe Tachovsky has a long history in the Madison dining scene. In the 1980s he operated a popular restaurant called Porto Bananas, located where Natt Spil stands today. Then he moved to Minneapolis and opened Chez Bananas. It was an eclectic Caribbean joint funky enough to earn mention in Jim Harrison's book The Raw and the Cooked. >More
 Madison's farmers' markets head indoors for winter, go year-round

Once upon a time, most farmers' markets lasted until Halloween. The pumpkin push was the last hurrah. No more. The Dane County Farmers' Market became a year-round concern in the winter of 2003-4. And now the smaller neighborhood markets are beginning to follow suit. More are moving indoors for sales in November and December. >More
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