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Eats
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Our favorite eats of 2008
A look at some of the standout dishes around Madison this year
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Two items on the menus at the Muramotos around town make the cut for our reviewers' favorite eats.
Two items on the menus at the Muramotos around town make the cut for our reviewers' favorite eats.

Anyone's diet can use dishes both untried-and-new and tried-and-true. Here are 10 of our favorite foods from the course of a year's restaurant reviews, in alphabetical order.

They'll surprise you, then appease you.

  • Ackee and codfish at David's Jamaican Cuisine
    David's follows the standard recipe: boiled ackee, sauteed onions and tomatoes, and salted cod. Black pepper and salty fishiness are the dominant flavor notes....David's ackee and codfish should be considered a city culinary treasure for its uncommon and authentic nature....For the first time in the history of Fringe Foods, I joined the Clean Plate Club. (Kyle Nabilcy)

  • Apple RumBurger at Alchemy Cafe
    A one-third-pound patty layered with applewood-smoked bacon topped with a sweet onion rum relish, Wisconsin cheddar, lettuce and tomato, all on a beautiful homemade raised roll. (Jerry Minnich)

  • Bahia fish stew at The Cabana Room
    A rich and aromatic tomato base...included bay scallops, shrimp and red sea bass, all enlivened by chiles and almonds. (Jerry Minnich)

  • Curry coconut cream sauce at Kushi Bar Muramoto
    "I could keep a bottle of this curry coconut cream sauce in my fridge," my date remarked. "And put it on everything, from rice to noodles." It really is that good. (Adam Powell)

  • Bagels at Gotham New York Bagels and Eats
    There is a subtle sweetness to them, a satisfying crunchy crust and a brown patina that is the sign of a real, well-loved, artisanal bagel, and each rendition has its own distinctive tones. Maybe best is the sesame seed bagel, because each sesame seed is a little world of nutty, toasted flavor. (Raphael Kadushin)

  • Fried chicken at Doug's Soul Food Cafe
    The fried chicken is dipped in egg and flour batter and deep-fried in vegetable oil. The crust is substantial and delicious. There are few finer things in the world than a properly prepared wing of fried chicken, and the difference between a poorly prepared fried bird and a good one is akin to the difference between Boone's Farm and a Chteau Lafite Rothschild....this is a must-order. (Adam Powell)

  • Gumbo at Liliana's Restaurant
    The ingredients were authentic New Orleans, melded with fire and love. They included tasso, a hot-smoked Cajun "ham" (actually a shoulder butt) cured with cayenne and garlic; lardon, which is simply a small strip or cube of bacon; and andouille, the classic Cajun (originally French) pork sausage made with coarse pork and chitterlings, smoked with peppers, onions and wine. (Jerry Minnich)

  • Lamb stew at Restaurant Muramoto
    Tender lamb tossed with tomato, zucchini, bell peppers and onion, in a dusky, complex, subtle curry. (Raphael Kadushin)

  • Pizza at Pizza Brutta
    The crust that comes out of that oven is perfect: light, pillowy around the edges, and almost airy in the center, with just enough delicate chew.... If sweet, freshly peeled tomatoes are used as a base, they are used sparingly -- though a large number of Brutta's pies are white, which means they are merely crowned with a virgin olive oil that sets off the refined flavor of the kitchen's toppings. (Raphael Kadushin)

  • Pumpkin ravioli at Harvest
    Wrapped around sweet pumpkin puree and shining with sage butter, the fat ravioli were, simply, perfect. (Raphael Kadushin)

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