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Monroe Street Bistro

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

Monroe Street Bistro

Postby Strangler Lewis » Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:38 pm

Tried it out Tuesday night, third night of business.

First, as has been commented on, this is 95% the same as Brasserie V. Not a bad thing, just sayin'.

Service: Slow, slow, slow, slow. Polite and nice young lady was in way over her head. They will fix this, you can't let drinks sit empty, or tables not turn over quickly as people walk in and then leave.

Drinks: Really nice wine menu and great beer menu, crazy-ass specialty drink menu. No explanations of the beer ala Brasserie V which I kind of missed. The three best craft brews in WI are all represented: Ale Asylum, Central Waters, Lake Louie. Unfortunately with the Belgians on tap it may be hard to get to them.

Food: House salad is a little overpriced at $6, although it is wonderful. The almond stuffed, bacon wrapped figs with a small serving of greens is the same price and were amazing.

The steak/frites at Brasserie V was the best meal in town and it will be here as well. Waitress forgot the aioli, and the flatiron was very undercooked (could still see marbling in center) but it was third night, they were swamped and at medium rare it will be perfect. The hyper-seasoning of the steak combined with the searing, the pan sauce, and the roast on the aspargus is worthy of a /homergargle.

Once the kinks get worked out this will be a once-a-week place to eat, at least.

RIP Brasserie V
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Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:17 pm

I don't understand. You gave the place a so-so review, then said you'll be there once a week and ended with a short obit for Brasserie V. Strange.
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Postby gargantua » Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:31 pm

My wife and I dined there early Friday evening. Greeted quickly by a smiling hostess. Server was prompt and efficient. We went for the small plates....I agree, the bacon-wrapped date/almond thing was awesome. We also really liked the crab cake app and the cheese board. The beer list is very similar to Brasserie in terms of style and price.

We liked it a lot, and hope the market can support both places. We'll come back to MSB and also visit Brasserie...maybe we'll alternate them or something.
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Postby gemini child » Mon Sep 15, 2008 7:24 am

Went there for lunch. Way too loud. The frites were too salty and my portion was noticeably smaller than my partner's and surrounding patrons. The burger was nothing special. I cursed myself for not going to the Brasserie V.
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Monroe Street "bistro?"

Postby Osso Muriendo » Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:54 am

Tried MSB on the sept 12 and was seriously dissapointed. I found our waitress to be remarkably pretentious (especially since she was in a tank top) about both the restraunt and the menu (yes i know you use FPF meats it says so on the menu). Furthermore i found the food to be lackluster. The figs i thought were overwhelmed by the flinstonian piece of bacon in which it was wrapped which completely blotted out any possible taste of the almond. The lamb i ordered was cooked perfectly and well seasoned, unfortunately the rest of the dish was conceptualized and executed poorly. The haricot vert were crunchy to a fault, and yes i know they are supposed to be crunchy but everything in moderation people. In addition he fingerling hash was just as crunchy (and rather tasteless)as the beans and competely failed to offer a textural counterpoint. Finally MSB failed to provide anything resembling a sauce with which to tie the gooey delectable lamb with the bland crunchy veggies.

Dessert was, unappetizing, how many times have you looked at a menu at a restraunt where you just dropped 35 for app/entrees per person and found nothing better than Michaels Frozen Custard next door? There is a niche in the madison market for more upscale bistros(perhaps not on monroe street...) however from personnel to dish and menu conception to execution MSB fell flat on its face.
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Postby boston_jeff » Wed Sep 17, 2008 11:14 am

I thought it was pretty good. We sat at the bar and enjoyed many Belgian taps, frites and a decent burger. Very good service and repartee with the bartenders, nice pour on my scotch. I like the room better than Brass V, otherwise its a coinflip between the two.

Also, really enjoyed the Malthouse's Belgians and WI crafts, they might be better than both "bistros" as far as selection.
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