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Name your gift certificate

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

Name your gift certificate

Postby kimm » Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:43 pm

I have a wonderful boss that has offered to give me a gift certificate to any local restaurant of my choosing, and I know it will be be about $100. This is a special treat for us, so would love to hear your suggestions. In the past two years, we've cut back on dining out, so have missed many of the newer places. I'm also interested in any other nice places in the under $150 for two nice meals with drinks genre. We've done most of the more expensive carnivore spots in town (Smokey's, Tornado, Ruth's Chris, Flemings, Samba, Delaney's), and want to try somewhere we have not been before. We'll consider any cuisine.

Recommendations? I'm feeling a little out of the restaurant loop lately.
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Re: Name your gift certificate

Postby jman111 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:05 pm

I've never had a bad meal at Osteria Papavero.
Great food, great service, great people.
http://osteriapapavero.com/
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Re: Name your gift certificate

Postby rrnate » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:08 pm

Congrats! It ain't new, but I'd recommend Lombardino's as a very consistently solid eatery. It's not super high-end, but a great way to spend $100 on big dinner for two.

http://lombardinos.com/menu/MenuDecJan12.pdf
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Re: Name your gift certificate

Postby Nuder » Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:32 pm

My suggestion would be to ask them to get it from Madison Originals. Not only does it support Madison restaurants but you can use the gift certificate at all the restaurants listed on their site: http://www.madisonoriginals.com/. Lots of different places to try!
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Re: Name your gift certificate

Postby swoon_queen » Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:34 pm

I agree with jman and rrnate; both of those places are cozy, with great food and service- Osteria also has some lovely craft cocktails. But top of my list would be Nostrano. Although their fare is a little lighter in terms of portion size, the food is phenomenal. Some of the best I've had in Madison or anywhere for that matter. The intimate candlelit setting and the unbelievably imaginative desserts take it to the next level.
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Re: Name your gift certificate

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:57 am

Steenbock's on Orchard.

Based on their ala carte menu pricing, dropping a bill should be no problem.
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43 North

Postby kulgar » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:11 pm

I think you would have trouble spending that much at 43 North, the food is very good, and it's "new" in the last two months. I'm going to Lombardino's tonight but eating pizza in the bar. My foodie friends kept telling me how great it was and I kept trying it and finally gave up. THEN they said, "oh, just have pizza in the bar".
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Lombardino's

Postby kulgar » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:32 pm

NOW I know why several people told me to go to the bar and eat pizza. The food was very good, a decent wine selection. I didn't feel on display in some cheesy faux movie set like in the main dining area, the more "Cheers" neighborhood feel of the bar area has the mosaics but it works.

The continuing huge problem is the HVAC. It's either 80F with the furnace blowing straight from Hades or 55F and you feel like you're really in some basement in Roma as the tiles suggest. Dress and undress appropriately.

I'll never spend $150 here again, pizza in the bar is sufficient.
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Re: Name your gift certificate

Postby kimm » Sun Dec 25, 2011 4:52 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions. I'd forgotten about Osteria. I also love the Madison Originals idea, but at some point we'll still need to make up our minds.

I'd thought about Lombardino's, as we've only ever had pizza in the bar there, but now think we might just stick with pizza in the bar....

Thoughts on The Blue Marlin? I was reading the Sunday paper and it reminded me I hadn't ever been.
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Re: Name your gift certificate

Postby Lily » Sun Dec 25, 2011 6:59 pm

What a Santa boss!

Biagi's.

Excellent service and excellent food. Enjoy where ever you go.
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Re: Name your gift certificate

Postby kimm » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:45 pm

Anyone been to Louisianne's lately? It's been years for us, and I just remembered that I've always enjoyed it. Is it still good?
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Re: Name your gift certificate

Postby wallrock » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:58 pm

kimm wrote:Anyone been to Louisianne's lately? It's been years for us, and I just remembered that I've always enjoyed it. Is it still good?

I went earlier this fall with my sister and it was certainly as good as I remembered it to be. Their raspberry vinaigrette dressing is the best I've ever had and the piano player in the bar area made for a wonderful atmosphere. The pace of the service was leisurely to be sure, but we had a bottle of wine and nowhere better to be so it wasn't a concern.
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