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Tornado: changes not for the better?

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

Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby Crockett » Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:35 pm

Stebben84 wrote:They've stood the test of time in a town of very finicky eaters. There's something to be said about that.


There are a lot of terrible restaurants in Madison that have 'stood the test of time' so lets not go too far with that logic.
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:42 pm

Crockett wrote:There are a lot of terrible restaurants in Madison that have 'stood the test of time'...

Do tell.
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby Crockett » Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:54 pm

Paisans
Rocky Rococo
Nitty Gritty
Tutto Pasta
Sa-Bai Thong
Nadia's
Dardanelle's (closed thank god)
Pedros

I could go on but I think this gets the point across.
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby TheBookPolice » Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:05 pm

Crockett wrote:Paisans
Rocky Rococo
Nitty Gritty
Tutto Pasta
Sa-Bai Thong
Nadia's
Dardanelle's (closed thank god)
Pedros

I could go on but I think this gets the point across.

No, please do. Dardanelle's IS closed, so that's not really on the list anymore now is it? Rocky Rococo is a chain, which can hardly count against Madison. So that's 1, 2, 3...SIX whole restaurants in a city of how many restaurants, exactly?

Waiting for a number that even approaches "a lot."
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby Crockett » Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:17 pm

TheBookPolice wrote:SIX whole restaurants in a city of how many restaurants, exactly?

Waiting for a number that even approaches "a lot."


Not six out of all of Madison, six out of the ones that have 'stood the test of time'.

Im not saying all old restaurants in Madison are bad (Lombardinos is awesome), just a lot of them.
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby Crockett » Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:23 pm

Porta Bella
Essen House
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby barney » Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:28 pm

So, if Tornado has gone (even further) downhill, where does one go for steak? Wonder Bar? (Not been, but heard good things)
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby Exploding Pinto » Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:30 pm

mvalfierno wrote:Going back to Tornado again this weekend. Looking forward to it. Hope everything comes together well. :D


Fantastico! Do you take spit on top of your steak or on the side?
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:40 pm

After several delays, my lady and I finally made it to The Tornado on Saturday night.

The service was excellent and the food was every bit as good as it's always been. She had a steak and I had the venison. The only slow part was getting our initial drink order, but they were super busy when we arrived (7:30) and things picked up quickly after that.

Even tried something new: the tomato bisque was fantastic.
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby Goober McTuber » Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:47 pm

I think Crockett’s idea of terrible is subjective at best.

I’ve eaten numerous times at Paisan’s and Porta Bella and never had a bad meal. Neither one is Lombardino’s, but the check is about half the size. And the food is decent.

I’ve eaten at Tutto Pasta once – I wasn’t overwhelmed but it was far from terrible.

Essen Haus is hard for me to judge as I don’t care for the cuisine.

Pedro’s? Yeah, I’ll give you that one. God-awful.
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby TAsunder » Wed Jul 14, 2010 5:29 pm

Magnus has a great steak now. Two, actually. Harvest offers several steaks. Capitol Chophouse may be pricier than Tornado but its food is also better (or was last time I went). L'Etoile usually has a steak on the menu. Samba doesn't have quite the same sort of steaks as Tornado but I do like the meat on a stick there.

As for Tutto Pasta on State Street... I don't know how long it has been owned by the same people and operated at that location, but it is by far my least favorite Madison restaurant after serious problems during several visits. Terrible service, absolutely disgusting restrooms, mediocre food that has twice been tainted before arriving at my table, bland slop food even when not tainted etc. It makes the Tornado Room look like Noma in comparison. Even though the menus are similar, the Tutto on King is significantly better than the one on State St.
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Tutto's

Postby kulgar » Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:44 am

The tree Tutto Pasta restaurants have three different owners. I think one guy started on State, added King, sold State, sold King and created Middleton. You'll notice that there are two variations of the names. The pies on King are good, no experience at the other locations.

And trashing Dardanelles after they closed, for shame. The food was decent and the wine pricing at two to three times wholesale a hell of a lot better deal than the typical five times wholesale at most Madison restaurants. And the wines were more food friendly than the Big Fruit Bombs that places like Bonfyre restrict their offerings to.

And how anyone with taste buds can eat "Italian" at Paisan's is beyond me. I've eaten at four of their five locations (through history, they only have one location) and the red sauce always has tasted like they add ground tin to it. It's a college bar set up, the waitresses can't even reach the patrons in those big booths ("please pass this down") and those dark caves so reminiscent of the University Square location are for doing nefarious deeds, not for dining. That large table for groups in the main hallway is bizarre, it's like the designer had never owned or even eaten in a restaurant and typicallly does factory floor layouts.

I'll grant that sitting out on the deck in the summer with a salad and a glass of wine is fine.
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby TheBookPolice » Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:49 am

Kulgar, I love how you manage to take a shot at Bonfyre's wine list in every one of your food posts (the ones that aren't waxing psychotic on morning buns, anyway).

What--did they take a dump in your cab sav or something?

PS - Dardanelles stunk.
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Re: Tornado: changes not for the better?

Postby Crockett » Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:02 am

I agree that the Capitol Chophouse has good steaks (and tuna). Its just hard to bring myself to a hotel restaurant for some reason.

I don't get Paisans and never will. Madison could use a good, reasonable 'red sauce' Italian place to compliment their excellent higher-end offerings (Lombardinos, Osteria Papavero).

Greenbush is good for pizza but their pastas are just ok/borderline bad sometimes.

Speaking of 'EYE'-talian. Where can a guy get a good eggplant parm sub in this town?
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Re: Tutto's

Postby Goober McTuber » Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:34 am

kulgar wrote:And how anyone with taste buds can eat "Italian" at Paisan's is beyond me. I've eaten at four of their five locations (through history, they only have one location)


I know of only three locations in their history. Frances Street, University Square and the current location.
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