MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus:         Newsletters 
Friday, November 28, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 15.0° F  Light Snow Fog/Mist
Collapse Photo Bar

Summer Restaurant Week

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

Summer Restaurant Week

Postby Henry Vilas » Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:58 pm

The next Madison Restaurant Week is coming soon. July 24-29. Many of the same as in the past, with a few new additions. About half seem to have salmon on their menus. We are thinking of hitting La Brioche True Foods and Steenbock's on Orchard for dinner.
Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 20164
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all

Re: Summer Restaurant Week

Postby Stebben84 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:41 pm

I'd love to go, but may pay will soon be drastically cut. Sorry small business owners. Sorry to turn this political but it's the truth.
Stebben84
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 5118
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:59 pm

Re: Summer Restaurant Week

Postby sadiekat » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:07 pm

I've never participated in any of the Restaurant Week events, which is almost unbelievable. My "wonder" is whether it's a good experience, meaning a fair sample of the offerings, without shortcuts and a B game. What say you?
sadiekat
Senior Member
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Summer Restaurant Week

Postby QuantumWeaver » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:40 am

Sadiekat -

That definitely has NOT been my experience. This is an opportunity for these restaurants to draw in a crowd that might not normally consider them for a variety of reasons (price, new experience, etc.).

Every meal that I've had during restaurant week has been excellent and as good as when I've gone back to pay full price for my meal.

Try it out - I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
QuantumWeaver
Senior Member
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:21 pm

Re: Summer Restaurant Week

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:59 am

I did go to Harvest one year and I did think it was their B game. It was good, but not great.
Stebben84
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 5118
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:59 pm

Re: Summer Restaurant Week

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:12 am

When Larado's was on the list during a past restaurant week, I thought that even with apps and dessert, it wouldn't be worth 25 bucks. One year we went to Fleming's and we had the smallest tenderloin filet I ever saw, although it was very tasty. Their wines will double the price. The $15 lunch can be quite the deal (Ocean Grill in the past) and is big enough to skip dinner. Inka Heritage never disappoints.
Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 20164
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all

Re: Summer Restaurant Week

Postby Athena » Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:30 pm

I did Lombardino's for the Winter Restaurant week and it was great. They had a lot of specials to tempt you to spend more than the $25 set price. Quivey's Grove does some good stuff in the Stable Grill that is nicer than their normal menu.

I'd love to do 43 North or Fresco this time, but I'm broke and getting a big pay cut soon too :cry:
Athena
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 262
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:33 pm

Re: Summer Restaurant Week

Postby Henry Vilas » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:33 am

Waited too late for Steenbock's on Orchard. All full for the week. Going to La Brioche True Foods (I still think the name is way too pretentious) tonight. Probably have the mussels.

I see Graze is still listed, although they have not posted a menu.
Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 20164
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all

Summer Restaurant Week - Monday night

Postby kulgar » Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:11 pm

Walked by Graze, Osteria Papavero and 43 North and it looked like there was space available at all of them but not positive, could have just been tables turning.

Ate at 43 North and the 1st course was generous, definitely not a B game offering. The trout was exquisite as was the short rib main course. I found the game hen a bit too over spiced for my taste but I'm a "less is more" kind of foodie and it was not objectionable. Awesome chocolate based dessert.

But the awful news about the dessert is that Dan Almquist, pastry chef extraordinaire, is reportedly moving to Chicago. I'm going to miss his creations that have come close to replacing the memory of David Bacco. He was lured away by a woman, not by a new position.

The wine list at 43 N still has some variety to it, enough Old World wines to balance the New World wines that dominate the restaurant scene in Madison.
kulgar
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 141
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 6:18 am
Location: wherever I am is the location

Re: Summer Restaurant Week

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:22 pm

Ms Vilas and I enjoyed our dinner at La Broiche (True Foods) last night. She had the beef skewer and I the mussels. We wanted to see their regular menu, so we checked out their website. As their dinner menu is seasonal, the latest is not yet up. Will check back later.

But they do have a whole page on feng shui and the fast chi - medium chi - slow chi in the dining area. Come on, they are in a strip mall next to a nails place and a Super Cuts. As I said before, pretentious.
Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 20164
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all

Re: Summer Restaurant Week

Postby bdog » Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:49 pm

My girlfriend and I went to the Melting Pot with 3 other couples on Sunday and had a sub-par experience. When she spoke with the manager about the service and experience not being up to the same standards as previous visits, she was told "well, it's restaurant week and we're busy".

She followed up with the owner and got the same response.

She's been to a lot of other places for restaurant week and had great experiences.
bdog
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3295
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:26 am

Re: Summer Restaurant Week

Postby LindsayNicole » Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:51 pm

My RW experiences have been hit-or-miss.

Definitely "B" game at Harvest, and I've been during Restaurant Week three times. It's the only way I can afford it there, but really it's not worth it -- pesto pasta? Bo-ring.

In the past I've liked Fresco, Lombardino's, Capitol Chop House for lunch (dessert = so good), Osteria Papavero for lunch and Inka Heritage. I would be willing to try Sardine and Lilliana's but have not yet. Fleming's is overpriced no matter when you go.

This year we did dinner at Osteria, which was excellent all the way around -- I went off RW for the fig/robiola/prosciutto appetizer and the soft shell crab, but my folks had fantastic seafood (a mixed app and sea bass ravioli) and a grilled hanger steak that was nicely medium-rare. I loved the butterscotch pudding for dessert.

Last night we tried Steenbock's. Apps were very good -- mushroom risotto with a kick of truffle oil, summery salad with beets (and a weird foam -- boo), and lobster bisque, which while probably not "local" as the menu proclaimed, was rich without being heavy and almost caramelly-sweet. I liked the entrees too: duck breast with parsnips and carrot; a rich, meaty pasta with more truffle oil and (the best) a small portion of sea scallops. The desserts were not good. The pineapple upside down cake was a bit dry with a weirdly textured, almost gummy attempt at "brittle" on top. The strawberry shortcake was OK but not up to par with the rest of the food and the chocolate cake bites were boring and came with mint gel, which made all of us think of toothpaste. My friend ordered it without.

The Graze RW menu looked pretty great when we stopped in for drinks last night, though I admit I can't remember specifics.
LindsayNicole
Senior Member
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 5:19 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: Summer Restaurant Week

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:00 pm

LindsayNicole wrote:The Graze RW menu looked pretty great when we stopped in for drinks last night, though I admit I can't remember specifics.

I notice the restaurant week site finally put up the Graze menu, shortly after I posted about it being missing.
Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 20164
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all

Re: Summer Restaurant Week

Postby TAsunder » Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:02 pm

Graze's menu was good, but not as good as the RW menu I last had there. Maybe the best giant chunk of pork belly I've had - but mostly because it had a nice crispy texture and normally I get tired of flabby pudding pork belly texture when presented as a huge chunk. But anyway, last year, I had a very, very good pork schnitzel and nothing came close to that this time. Last time also featured the caramel brownie sundae dessert that's now on the regular menu. It was there this time as well but less exciting since you can get it daily.

kulgar: I like the 43N desserts as well, but not as much as the desserts as Nostrano, which is the current standard as far as I am concerned. You should give them a try if you haven't already. It's sort of the opposite situation there - pastry chefs from high-end chicago restaurants who moved to Madison.
TAsunder
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4783
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2001 1:21 pm
Location: Near East Side, Madison

Re: Summer Restaurant Week

Postby swoon_queen » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:09 pm

Went to Osteria Papavero for Restaurant Week the other night, and it was impressive as always. Highlight was the app, which included an oyster on the halfshell that was by far the biggest and tastiest I've ever had in Madison, along with a perfectly caramelized scallop with delicate salsa verde and a pickled herring type preparation.

Osteria is our standby for restaurant week; I love that they keep their "no reservations" policy as well as their regular menu during the week. Everybody wins- I get to enjoy great Osteria food (including their butterscotch budino, which is one of the best desserts in Madison) for $25 and my bf gets to eat whatever he wants rather than be confined to the limited menu. I've gone the last 4 restaurant weeks and find they always bring their A game.

I agree with LindsayNicole about Harvest. I have tried Harvest only twice, and only during Restaurant Weeks, and both times have had subpar experiences that left me underwhelmed and puzzled as to why they have such a following. I understand the challenges inherent in getting involved with RW, but I think restaurants would be wise to consider that Restaurant Week patrons will likely become regulars if they like what they sample. For example, I had never tried Fresco prior to a lovely RW venture a few winters ago, and I have gone back for great food and cocktails many times since. Same with Lombardino's. I do wish we'd get our act together to make advance reservations for Samba's Restaurant Week deal- it's a good value.

And I wanted to chime in with TAsunder that the Nostrano desserts set the bar (and high) for Madison desserts.
swoon_queen
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 352
Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2006 1:23 pm
Location: east side

Next

Return to Restaurant News & Reviews

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR
Created with flickr badge.

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar