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Eyetalian

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Eyetalian

Postby boston_jeff » Fri Aug 10, 2007 10:59 am

Since moving to Madison in Feb. have yet to try any of the Italian offered (aside from sandwiches and pizza). Tonight, the wife and I are doing Papavero, basically chosen by location and affiliation with Cocoliquot which we enjoyed.

Any recs for additional places? I've heard Lombardino's and Bellini's are good, just not so sure about my sources. Not interested in pizza/basic pasta joints more like a place that serves authentic Italian meat/fish and pasta dishes with a decent wine list. So not the Olive Garden, but it doesn't have to be a super expensive place either. Anything from fine dining to rustic hole-in-the-wall is doable for us.

Thanks, these threads have been very helpful in our quest to blow our paychecks on good food and booze. After starting with French-inspired and steakhouses, its time to move on to Italian. Maybe we'll do sushi next?
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Postby TAsunder » Fri Aug 10, 2007 11:17 am

I have not been to Peppino's, but it got high marks from TDP reviewers, so that might belong on your list. Bellini is weak. Very disappointing food.

Lombardino's is genuine upscale dining and in a league of its own. Osteria Papavero is good too, a distant #2 in my book. I often say Lombardino's is the best value for dining in madison. I have been there so often, though, probably 10 times in the past year, that it's time for me to pick a new place for that moniker probably. Still, I went a few days back with family and it was great as always.

We got the calamari, mediterannean salad, ragu, orecchiete, eggplant napoleatana, and pork tenderloin. All were excellent.
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Postby boston_jeff » Fri Aug 10, 2007 11:19 am

Sounds really good, we'll do that next.
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Postby boston_jeff » Mon Aug 20, 2007 12:56 pm

Finally tried Papavero, really quite good. Nice list of predinner/postdinner drinks and wines, and very authentic Italian food. Menu is a bit limited, but all in all a good place, if not exactly a good deal. Like Cocoliquot focusing on small plates, although we ordered 3 firsts and 3 seconds with dessert and ended up bringing some home.

The place was pretty dead on a Friday night, as it seems like many are these days. I'm guessing its tougher to book a reservation during the school year though.
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Postby bassbari » Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:32 pm

I have said this several times and still feel the same, theGreenbush Cafe is still one of my favorites.
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Postby depinmad » Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:43 pm

i was having dinner at an italian restaurant in appleton one night. i think the place is called victoria's.
anyway, the waitress was telling us what dressings were available for the salads, and she actually said "eyetalian" as one of the choices.
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Postby TheBookPolice » Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:51 pm

depinmad wrote:i was having dinner at an italian restaurant in appleton one night. i think the place is called victoria's.
anyway, the waitress was telling us what dressings were available for the salads, and she actually said "eyetalian" as one of the choices.


That's Appleton for ya. Close enough to Green Bay to still get the flavor.

Victoria's, however, is pretty tasty. Big servings.
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Postby juanton » Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:04 pm

Although not a 100% Italian menu, try Bunky's on Atwood. I really dig their spaghetti and meatballs.

They are carrying on the tradition of Josie's(?) spaghetti on a board.

They also have mediterranean stuff as well.
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Postby depinmad » Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:05 pm

TheBookPolice wrote:
depinmad wrote:i was having dinner at an italian restaurant in appleton one night. i think the place is called victoria's.
anyway, the waitress was telling us what dressings were available for the salads, and she actually said "eyetalian" as one of the choices.


That's Appleton for ya. Close enough to Green Bay to still get the flavor.

Victoria's, however, is pretty tasty. Big servings.


indeed it is, indeed they are.
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Postby gargantua » Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:31 pm

I'll whole-heartedly second the motion for the Greenbush Bar. Another good place, out in Middleton, is Vin Santo.
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Postby Kenneth Burns » Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:53 pm

Lombardino's is great. You must try it.
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Postby boston_jeff » Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:03 pm

Lombardino's is next, Greenbush and Bunky's sound good too. Thanks everyone.
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Postby GenieU » Tue Aug 21, 2007 9:00 am

Papa Phill's on Monroe st. is a favorite of ours-Simple menu, Fresh Pasta, Awsome Lasagne.

Also very partial to La Rocca's on Willy-EggPlant Florentine is now Finally in season! The Pasta Al Vita is a wonderfully filled out variant of Linguine and Clam sauce...Excellent Pizza Too.

Had a good meal once at Cafe Belle Italia on Sherman-Your basic neighborhood Sicilian-style fare.
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Postby cubanat » Thu Aug 23, 2007 7:18 pm

Although the Yankees have yet to catch the Sox this year I will still give you the lowdown on all things Italian in Madison: I like La Rocca's for a low-key family place. They are nice folks with decent food at fair prices. Bunky's is ok but not as Italian as it could be...they serve hummus & tabouleh! Greenbush has great pizza but all else including the service SUCKS and they are crazy expensive once you add 3 toppings onto a large pie and i'm talking over 20 bucks for a large thin crust with salami, onions, & ban, peppers...ridiculous. For simple pastas in a cool setting try RP's Fork & Spoon in the Willy St. Area--very good for lunch and obviously fresh pasta...OVERALL, Lombardino's is the best in town. A chef/owner that not only is passionate about the food he serves but that still works the kitchen almost every night is unheard of these days. They bring it in every dish on their menu ( that changes every 2 or 3 months!) Papavero & that pizza place next to that gym try hard and are ok but only if you can't get a seat at Lombardino's. Enough said.

If you want to do the home-thing then buy your stuff from Fraboni's. The one in Monona is the bomb. They fill the cannoli shells after you order it from the counter. They don't even do that on Arthur Ave. and I know they don't do it anywhere in Boston (maybe in Providence)...
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Postby radtek » Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:53 pm

Papavero & that pizza place next to that gym try hard and are ok but only if you can't get a seat at Lombardino's. Enough said.



Are you talking about Cafe Porta Alba next to Capitol Fitness? If so, I've been there. They say it's authentic Neopolitan pizza. I've read great reviews and so I went there. I believe we must have went on a bad night. Service was horrible and they even apologized for it. The pizza was at best, okay. I love thin crust, wood fired, and fresh ingredients. I was not impressed with this. I want cheese on my pizza. I guess they don't work that way in Naples. I'm not apologizing for being from Wisconsin. We like cheese. So, if you go there, don't expect much cheese on your pizza. The tiramisu however, was excellent. I think it was the best I've ever had. Having had such a bad experience there though, the dessert is not enough to bring me back.
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