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Tempest Oyster Bar

Where are you eating and what do you think? What's opening, closing, succeeding, failing?

Re: Tempest Oyster Bar

Postby barney » Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:32 pm

For me, it's not the food poisoning. As a midwesterner who grew up in northern Wisconsin, it was awfully hard to find good saltwater seafood/fish that wasn't either not that fresh or super expensive, so I just never developed a taste for it. (except for salmon, because who doesn't like salmon?)

Lake fish, otoh, I could eat by the ton. Walleye, bluegill, perch, yummy, yummy, yummy!
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Re: Tempest Oyster Bar

Postby Gulfguy » Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:19 pm

Tempest is beautifully built and Henry is a true asset to the local dining scene. Virtually everything we've had in 5 visits has been impeccably presented and an outstanding dining experience. The prices are higher than Red Lobster and Ocean Grill; so go to one of those if you can't appreciate quality dining as reasonable prices. Its a steal compared to Chicago and even comparable Milwaukee restaurants. As to Magnus, the place went broke. How difficult is that to understand?
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Re: Tempest Oyster Bar

Postby hellogoodbye » Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:11 pm

I'm curious if any of the Magnus bar and dining regulars have been to Tempest? Magnus seemed to have a small but fairly loyal crowd. I always thought it was the jazz that attracted them but can't say for sure. Without live music, particularity jazz, I'm curious if those folks have any reason to give Tempest a try?
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Re: Tempest Oyster Bar

Postby Crockett » Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:05 am

Gulfguy wrote:How difficult is that to understand?


How difficult is it to understand that your bartenders are rude and the space - while beautiful - has no soul?

Also, seafood doesn't have to be 'impeccable' or insanely expensive to be good. Plus, Tempest prices are on par with Chicago prices if you ask me. Or damn close from what I've seen.

Magnus may have gone broke but so did the Scandinavian place; and so will you if you don't keep your hubris in check.
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Re: Tempest Oyster Bar

Postby TheBookPolice » Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:35 am

Crockett wrote:Magnus may have gone broke but so did the Scandinavian place

FWIW: same place.
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Re: Tempest Oyster Bar

Postby narcoleptish » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:35 am

Gulfguy wrote: The prices are higher than Red Lobster and Ocean Grill; so go to one of those if you can't appreciate quality dining as reasonable prices. Its a steal compared to Chicago and even comparable Milwaukee restaurants.


I appreciate Henry too and I'll recommend the place for the quality of the food, but in MADISON, WI $11.25 for a low-end martini is a little unreasonable and when you splurge for the six dollar side salad that doesn't come with the meal, it should consist of more than some greens and a sliced radish.
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Re: Tempest Oyster Bar

Postby TAsunder » Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:52 pm

Magnus was a James Beard Semifinalist the year it closed. The food was among the very best in Madison. I do want to go to Tempest but I am not sure it is fair to try to compare it to Magnus.

The prices don't seem unreasonable on their website, but if the "entrees" are miniscule and without sides, then they are surely unreasonable.
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Re: Tempest Oyster Bar

Postby Crockett » Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:00 pm

TheBookPolice wrote:
Crockett wrote:Magnus may have gone broke but so did the Scandinavian place

FWIW: same place.


Right, so I'll assume they didn't 'go broke' until they changed to Scandinavian fare.
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Re: Tempest Oyster Bar

Postby TAsunder » Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:53 pm

Crockett wrote:
TheBookPolice wrote:
Crockett wrote:Magnus may have gone broke but so did the Scandinavian place

FWIW: same place.


Right, so I'll assume they didn't 'go broke' until they changed to Scandinavian fare.


I don't think it had much to do with the menu choice. I think it had to do with the economy and the impending construction. A lot of Madison upscale restaurants are struggling.
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Re: Tempest Oyster Bar

Postby city2countrygal » Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:14 pm

Who wants to eat oysters in winter? The only successful oyster bars I've seen have been in tropical climates. Magnus was great because they offered prime oysters along with their strong menu, as mentioned by TAsunder. They also had all 3 for me: bar, music, and food. I had oysters at Magnus in winter, my anniversary is in February, but I also appreciated being able to order a top-notch meal at that time as well, not just expensive fish a la carte.

I'm totally offended by Gulfguy's post for two reasons, maybe three reasons if you count pompousness. (1) Don't lump Ocean's Grill together with Red Lobster. OG is a Food Fight place, but it is not a chain. (2) Don't presume you know everything about Restaurant Magnus. If I remember correctly, the owners were working on another restaurant that was linked to the high-speed rail that never happened thanks to Walker. Employees I know genuinely enjoyed working at Magnus, and by the sound of Crockett's post, I don't know if that's true at Tempest.

I love seafood, all edible seafood, raw or cooked any way you can make it. I did, however, have a scary experience with seafood last year (anaphylactic shock resulting in loss of consciousness and a concussion). Therefore, I will pay more for good, quality seafood, as with other quality foodstuffs. I will not, however, pay to go to a restaurant and be treated like crap from the staff. You will not find me at Tempest if that's the kind of service they have, no matter how beautiful the décor or how exquisite the oysters are. And esp. if Gulfguy hangs out there.
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Re: Tempest Oyster Bar

Postby indycoyote » Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:49 pm

I bought a QUART of great oysters from the Fabian Seafood truck this week over at Steve's on University...$24....better than any oysters Tempest can fly in, period. The only thing better than oysters and beer is pussy!
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Re: Tempest Oyster Bar

Postby city2countrygal » Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:36 pm

Um, all comparisons aside indycoyote, this Fabian Seafood truck that you speak of, is it a white, boxy truck that says "SUPREME SEAFOOD" in black letters on the side?

I mean, how many seafood trucks cruise around the Madison area? I've purchased a lot of fish from that one (all frozen) and definitely recommend, if it is indeed the same one.
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Re: Tempest Oyster Bar

Postby indycoyote » Mon Oct 24, 2011 4:53 pm

No, this is the fresh seafood truck that is periodically at Steve's Liquor on University Ave.(They don't cruise around town, they just stop here and have been doing so for 25 yrs.) Nothing frozen with Fabian Seafood, all fresh. They typically sell 3 sizes of fresh shrimp, 4 types of picked blue crab(claw meat, dark meat, backfin and lump), raw shucked oysters (in season), and crawfish tails (in season)...plus when the red fish are running, they sell them whole. As someone who loves to cook and loves fresh seafood, Fabian is great and saves a lot of $$ from restaurant dining. Alas, they are here from April to late October. They said they might make one last run in 2 weeks if the weather holds up!
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Re: Tempest Oyster Bar

Postby city2countrygal » Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:25 pm

indycoyote wrote:this is the fresh seafood truck that is periodically at Steve's Liquor on University Ave.


Thanks for the info indycoyote! Is there a specific day of the week this truck shows up? I'd like to try to catch it the last time they come in October.
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Re: Tempest Oyster Bar

Postby TheBookPolice » Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:41 pm

city2countrygal wrote:Is there a specific day of the week this truck shows up? I'd like to try to catch it the last time they come in October.

Steve's tends to publicize the seafood truck on its email list.
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