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Saturday, January 31, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 34.0° F  Overcast


An assured Oliver's Public House dresses up the farm-to-table scene

A farm-to-table restaurant with a serious craft cocktail program -- it's so basic a formula nowadays that it elicits yawns. In big markets, menus barely acknowledge farms anymore; it's taken for granted that a decent restaurant will source impeccably and locally. And craft cocktails are a given. >More
 Mashups on tap for MACN Week

MACN Week, the Madison Area Chefs Network's new food event to take place March 9-15, is shaping up to be a kitchen-hopping extravaganza. There are still more events to be confirmed and details to iron out, but already there's much to look forward to. >More
 Restaurant picks around Madison for a low-key New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve. So much pressure. Let's say you were supposed to get reservations for Sujeo's pork and oyster extravaganza, or to Chez Nanou's intimate French meal -- but by the time you picked up the phone, they were booked. >More
 Memorable Madison menus in 2014: From brunch to Rabelasian meat dinner

"Oh, who that ever lived and loved can look upon an egg unmoved?" asked the poet and humorist Clarence Day. It's a valid question, one that I asked myself repeatedly at two fantastic brunch contenders this year. >More
 Layla's Persian Food serves distinctive and singular dishes

Layla's Persian Food is a cheery, quirky basement space appointed with eclectic odds and ends -- mirrors, rugs, mismatched furniture and bright French blue chairs. It's hidden away under the Madison Hostel, and the small room holds a scant handful of tables. >More
 Don't bog yourself down with a big wine on Thanksgiving

For Thanksgiving, think light. The meal is big, and it's often a slog, lasting for hours. What you're looking for is something to lift you along through the green bean casserole and inevitable uncomfortable political conversations. >More
 Cocktail contenders: Madison ups its mixology game for good

This year, Madison's cocktail scene reached a crucial tipping point. Two of the biggest restaurant debuts, Rare and Cento, both have a serious craft focus to their bars and are significant new contenders. >More
 Red wines for leaf piles

Wine is as seasonal as the food we eat. In the summer months, we consume a lot of bright, high-acid foods such as fruits and tomatoes. These are perfect for white wine with bracing acidity. As harvest brings its rich flavors and we start to eat more root vegetables and heavier sauces, we naturally turn toward robust reds. >More
 Hip pan-Asian joint Sujeo is on everyone's mind

Asian food has boomed in the last decade. There are not only simply more Asian restaurants in the U.S., but high-profile chefs have found inspiration in Asian flavors to create newfangled fusion cuisines. >More
 Eating on the UW-Madison campus for under $8

State Street is synonymous with UW-Madison, and some all-time favorite Badger hangouts have been on University Avenue. But when Isthmus asked our food crew to reveal their favorite campus eats under eight bucks, the choices turned out to be largely along Regent Street from Park to Monroe. >More
 Asian Sweet Bakery offers more than just pastries

Chinese baked desserts are less sweet than Western-style ones. There's no immediate sugar rush the way there is when you bite into, say, cupcake frosting or doughnut glaze. This can be a surprise for Americans, who are used to syrupy toppings and an instantaneous jolt that crescendos into a blood-sugar rush. At the same time, Chinese savory pastries can skew a bit sweet, and if you're not accustomed to honeyed meat or candied curry, the flavor combinations can short-circuit binary expectations. >More
 The Wisconsin supper club cocktail

Supper clubs are a Wisconsin birthright. The ritual of relish trays, wedge salads, prime rib and fish fries on Friday is part of the state's unique culinary and social heritage. Often family-run for generations, the establishments have a timeless quality. Much of their appeal is that the clock, suspended in an atmosphere of relaxation and tradition, is frozen at some point before the 1960s. >More
 Hard cider is sometimes beer and sometimes wine, and worth exploring

Once an infinitesimal part of the beverage market, hard ciders have seen great increases in sales over the last several years and are starting to register in the consciousness of American consumers. Much of that growth has been with women. But more aggressive marketing campaigns are attempting to lure millennial men to the alcoholic apple juice party. >More
 Rare Steakhouse gets the meat right, but service and sides waver

Rare Steakhouse, the newest offering from Noble Chef Hospitality (Capital Tap Haus, Buck and Badger, Ivory Room), looks like the prototypical steakhouse. There's the beautifully appointed mahogany dining room, the opulent red leather booths, a tedious wine list full of big Napa cabernets, doting waiters in white jackets, and exclusive private dining. >More
 Madison Meat Matrix

Sure, there's more to consider in choosing a steakhouse than "value," but how do the cuts at various venues compare in terms of price? Madison Meat Matrix lays it all out for you. >More
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