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Thursday, December 25, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 33.0° F  Overcast
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MADISON RESTAURANT NEWS & REVIEWS

FOOD AND DRINK

Restaurant picks around Madison for a low-key New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve. So much pressure. Let's say you were supposed to get reservations for Sujeo's pork and oyster extravaganza, or to Chez Nanou's intimate French meal -- but by the time you picked up the phone, they were booked. >More
 Doolittles Woodfire Grill brings contemporary touches to American fare

The cynical among us may, during these holiday months, look at the paved expanse of East Towne with scorn. It's cold, hard commercialism all right, a shopping mall and a bunch of bank drive-throughs and scads of national chain restaurants. The hopeful among us? They're packing into Doolittles Woodfire Grill. >More

FOOD AND DRINK

King of Falafel carries on with carryout

A reader called to suggest I check out the new King of Falafel outpost in the Amstar gas station at the corner of Olin Avenue and South Park Street. Thank you, reader. You had me at "gas station." >More
 The new New Seoul

Elements of the Korean aesthetic have been surfacing in dining contexts all over the nation since David Chang began working marinated barbecue and kimchi into the menus of his chowhound-destination Momofuku restaurants in New York City. >More

BEER

A six-pack, of sorts: My absolute favorite Wisconsin beers of 2014

This year we've seen brewery openings and expansions, new faces behind the brew kettles and top-notch Wisconsin-made beers. Not all are available in bottles, but if they were, it would make for a memorable six-pack. >More
 The best Wisconsin beers and breweries of 2014

Growth continues to seem boundless for craft beer in Wisconsin. Once again, the last 12 months have offered brewery openings and expansions, new faces behind the brew kettles, and plenty of memorable beers. These developments are evident around the state, while the region surrounding Madison continues to build a reputation as a brewing destination. >More

BEER

Beer Here: Czar Brew Russian Imperial Stout Aged in Oak Bourbon Barrels from Sprecher Brewing

The first cruel taste of winter seems to be arriving with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. And in cold, wet and snowy weather, rich and strong beers are well suited to take the chill away, or at least fend it off for awhile. >More
 Octopi Brewing gets go-ahead to build in Waunakee

Plans for Octopi Brewing Company are moving forward, though not in the location originally envisioned by founder Isaac Showaki. On Monday evening, the Waunakee Plan Commission unanimously approved a site plan for the contract-focused brewery, which is to be built at 1220 Uniek Dr. on the east end of the village. >More

BEER

Ashley Kinart takes over as brewmaster at Capital Brewery as its expansion plans proceed

Capital Brewery has a new brewmaster. The Middleton-based brewery announced Thursday that Ashley Kinart has been promoted to the job as it embarks on a major expansion phase. She is the first woman to hold the position in a Dane County craft brewery and is among only a few female brewmasters across Wisconsin. >More
 Beer Here: Ole Eagle Porter from the Grumpy Troll Restaurant and Brewery

I'm a big fan of porters, especially when they come with a good story. The style emerged some 250 years ago as a beer of the English laboring class. These brews nearly vanished in the United States, though, until they were revived by homebrewers several decades back. And it was these homemade beers that deserve some credit for Ole Eagle, a traditional porter now on tap at the Grumpy Troll. >More

READER REVIEWS:

This was our first visit and it was good. I had the mahi mahi and shrimp and it was really good. My husband has the se ...
I have to be honest... I love and I do mean LOVE Monty's Blue Plate Diner. I typically eat there at least several times ...
My second sampling of chili from Daisy did not disappoint; spicy and thick, this vegan chili burst with corn (my favorit ...
Absolutely delicious scones, and I'm not big on scones. Many other delicious bakery items as well. They also have great ...
Delicious and fresh food, attentive service, with a classy and comfortable atmosphere.
Can't wait to try more than just their pizza. But don't get me wrong: their pizza is fantastic. Try the parmigiana.
Excellent lunch! I had one of the specials which was a Tilapia dish featuring cherry tomatoes from the farmers market. ...
You know what you're going to get at the Weary, and thats exactly why its so popular. Consistently good local food, con ...
I love the Chicken Souvlaki- wonderful chicken kebob, meat has been marinated and seasoned, not too salty- just right. ...
Try the shrimp fried rice--tons of shrimp for not a lot of money!
It has been remodeled since it was The Union House and it is looking really classy! Good music too. Unfortunately it i ...
Not sure where the previous reviewer was eating, but it does not sound like the restaurant I frequent on a weekly basis. ...
My husband and I went to Nostrano for our anniversary and I think it was probably one of the 10 best meals I've had. Th ...
With my first spoonful of soup came slight disappointment - this dal lacked the smoky richness of my favorite dals at Hi ...
The wood-paneled interior proved endearing, the service was friendly and prompt, and the beer, of course, was delicious. ...
Awesome NOLA style take out. The shrimp po'boys are not overly stuffed, seasoned expertly and on a great toothsome yet ...
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FOOD NEWS

The Madison dining scene breaks new ground in 2014

Madison dining seems to be heading for new territory, and that territory is (envelope please...) East Washington Avenue. >More
 Madison Area Chefs Network to host week of culinary events in March 2015

The Madison Area Chefs Network is gearing up for its next big event: a week of chef-centered events at participating restaurants slated for March 9-15, 2015. >More

ISTHMUS DRINKS

Teatime with cocktails

Nothing's more tame than a soothing cup of tea, but add the world's most popular beverage to a cocktail and its simplicity gets an exciting makeover. From summer's sweet spiked iced tea to fall's hot toddies, tea is an unsung hero of mixology that enlivens and structures an amazing variety of drinks. >More
 The ideal autumn six-pack of Wisconsin-centric beers

Autumn beers fall between the lighter lawnmower beers of summer and the stronger, snifter-sipped brews of winter. My ideal fall "pick six" lies somewhere between the lazy days of summer and holding onto a really cold one...with mittens. >More

SPIRITS

Don't bog yourself down with a big wine on Thanksgiving

For Thanksgiving, think light. The meal is big, and it's often a slog, lasting for hours. What you're looking for is something to lift you along through the green bean casserole and inevitable uncomfortable political conversations. >More
 Cocktail contenders: Madison ups its mixology game for good

This year, Madison's cocktail scene reached a crucial tipping point. Two of the biggest restaurant debuts, Rare and Cento, both have a serious craft focus to their bars and are significant new contenders. >More
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