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Friday, January 30, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 24.0° F  Partly Cloudy
The Daily


Cookbook cues: Flavors of Friuli by Elisabeth Antoine Crawford

The independently-published Flavors of Friuli: A Culinary Journey through Northeastern Italy is one of those projects I hate to call "a labor of love" because it ends up sounding patronizing, as if the book would have been better if the author cared less about it. No; Flavors of Friuli struck me as both an unlikely and an amazing book, one I came upon by accident while browsing the cookbook section at Frugal Muse in the Northgate Shopping Center. >More
 Madison food cart 2010 rankings released, new vendors slated for 2011

The final rankings for the Madison Mall/Concourse food vendors are out for the 2010 season. The top ten includes some perennial high scorers, plus a few surprises. The always highly regarded Ingrid's Lunchbox takes the number one spot, up from sixth place in 2009. >More
 Garlic lovers pitch in against global warming at Primrose Community Farm

As global warming activists, they are not among the usual suspects. They are not protesting at the Capitol, soliciting for WISPIRG or marketing hybrid cars. Instead, they're sitting in lawn chairs on an unseasonably warm October day breaking garlic bulbs into individual cloves for this fall's planting at Primrose Community Farm. >More
 Eight Seasons Grille changes up its menu -- constantly

Eight Seasons Grille has the characteristics of a great little bistro for the locals. Slightly tucked away at the corner of West Main and South Bassett streets, it has a nice patio area for outdoor seating. Jo's Tazzina, the former occupant, was a coffeehouse with modest food ambitions; this new venture appears to have grander things in mind. >More
 When sorrel met spanakopita (recipe)

Several years ago, I fell in love with a Greek phyllo-dough pie called spanakopita. I first had it at a friend's house, from a recipe based on his Greek mother's. Traditionally, spanakopita is built on feta cheese and spinach laid between flaky phyllo layers, and this was the way I made mine. Don't fix what ain't broke, right? >More
 Underground Kitchen readying for October opening

Underground Food Collective member Jonny Hunter confirms that UFC is still aiming to open the Underground Kitchen on Thursday, October 7, but doesn't want to make a hard promise. The restaurant space at 127 E. Mifflin St. has been under construction all summer, as the old Cafe Montmartre has been refurbished to house a more extensive kitchen operation. >More
 Cookbook cues: Gluten-free Girl and the Chef by Shauna James Ahern and Daniel Ahern

The memoir-cum-cookbook is not a new genre, but Shauna and Daniel Ahern keep it fresh in their new book, Gluten-free Girl and the Chef. Shauna -- the Gluten-Free Girl -- started her eponymous blog after being diagnosed with celiac disease. Danny -- he'd be the chef -- made his restaurant gluten-free after he fell in love with Shauna. Now married with a young daughter, they write to educate people about gluten-free cooking, but moreover, sensual, seasonal, creative cooking. >More
 Retro Tavern slated for long-vacant space just off Capitol Square

Curt and Matt Brink, proprietors of the Brink Lounge, have announced plans to open the Retro Tavern at 111 W. Main St., in the long-vacant spot that once was briefly home to "Que Sera" and prior to that, "Going My Way," a three-level gay bar and disco. Today the rest of the block is occupied with Genna's, the Tornado Room, the Shamrock, the Paradise and the Frequency. Nice to see that old, windowless space get new life, right? Not so fast. >More
 Nostrano restaurant prepares homegrown Italian flavors for downtown Madison

Nostrano, the name of the new restaurant soon to open at 111 S. Hamilton St., means "ours" in Italian. It's appropriate because it's the first restaurant from husband and wife chef team Timothy and Elizabeth Dahl. But "nostrano" also means "ours" in the wider sense of "homegrown," notes Tim, sitting at one of the tables in the newly refurbished space. And that's also appropriate, as most of Nostrano's food will be housemade and locally sourced. >More
 Java Jive benefit buzzes with Madison coffees and confections

This past weekend was a food extravaganza in Madison, with the Food for Thought festival reigning on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on Saturday. However, I'd like to make a brief report about one of Madison's happiest fundraisers, the fifteenth edition of which took place on Sunday morning at the Brink Lounge: Java Jive, a benefit for the Dane County Rape Crisis Center. >More
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