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Cafe 4 - Mineral Point

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Cafe 4 - Mineral Point

Postby keelio » Mon May 03, 2010 12:47 pm

My wife and I took a drive to Mineral Point on Saturday for the "Clay in May" Pottery Studio tour, and popped into Cafe 4 for an early dinner. They specialize in pizzas from their wood-fired stove, which is situated in the main dining/bar area. The restaurant is in the old Chesterfield Inn in the downtown area. The dining experience was pretty exceptional...and the pizzas were very good as well. Serendipity alert...so, a summery day calls for summery music and we had Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire in the CD player. Now, how many restaurants would you expect to be playing Andrew Bird, let alone a twelve year old Bowl of Fire CD that was not well known outside of Squirrel Nut Zippers aficianados? But there it was...'Glass Figurine' from the 'Thrills' CD, playing as we received our Lake Louie Porters and a bowl of warmed olives. Pizzas are the thin crust variety with half the menu red-sauced and half white-sauced - considered individual-sized for hungry Wisconsinites. I went for the Carbonara - white sauce, topped with red onions, asparagus from the family garden of one of the waitresses (can't get more locally sourced than that!), feta & chevre, and a sunny-side up egg! Very unique - kind of like a pizza benedict. My wife ordered the Champ - white sauce, topped with caramelized onions, mushrooms, truffle oil & rosemary. Very yummy. The menu is pretty basic: antipasti, salads, pizzas, calzones, some dinner specials, and a few desserts. The decor was very tasteful and fit well with the building. Hostess and wait staff were friendly, service was well-timed and attentive, and the bill was very reasonable. Well worth the stop if you're looking for an interesting casual dining experience in Mineral Point.
keelio
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Re: Cafe 4 - Mineral Point

Postby TAsunder » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:57 am

We had a chance to visit Mineral Point this weekend. It was my first trip to Mineral Point and we really enjoyed the town. Love all of the stonework and the general feel of the place.

At any rate, we stopped in at Cafe Four and quite enjoyed it. We sampled several different dishes. We started with the cheese plate; I love cheese plates and couldn't pass up this one. The cheeses were tasty as expected and we really enjoyed their house-made preserves (cherry bourbon). Next were the "oven roses" which I would have called "pizza maki rolls" because they are basically a white pizza with various veggies rolled up and sliced into maki-like rolls then baked. I liked them a lot, and particularly appreciated the presence of fennel in them.

Next was the "four" ... a pizza about which I had reservations before ordering due to the presence of bleu cheese. Restaurants often overuse bleu cheese in dishes because they for some reason think that any dish with bleu cheese should taste like bleu cheese and not much else. I on the other hand think that bleu cheese should be used sparingly to enhance and not overpower. That was the case here - the bleu cheese was not overpowering at all and instead imparted a salty creaminess to the pizza. Yum!

We then tried the carbonara which is accurately described above as being sort of like a pizza bendict (better than it sounds!) and the "four." Very interesting; I highly recommend it. Eat it all on the spot, though, as it won't be the same experience the next day when you eat it for breakfast.

We ended with a dessert of the day, which was basically an ice cream sandwich with house-baked cookies and house-made ice cream. The ice cream featured raspberries from local farms and was excellent stuff.

The staff informed us that the "four" comes from both the number of children of the owner and the french word for oven. Given that they, like a couple of places in Madison, imported their custom oven from Italy, it seems appropriately named. Their usage of the oven is markedly different than Brutta and Cafe Porta Alba. Instead of going for the soft middle, they go more for a uniformly crispy style of pizza, so it's not really possible to do an apples-to-apples comparison. I will, however, say that they seem to be going for something more creative than what I see at those two places in their offerings. I look forward to seeing what other interesting concoctions come next.
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