Meals I've Eaten, Issues I've Seen & Operations Advice


Restauranteur Training & Solutions

Madison, the town overflowing with restaurants, coffee shops, bars and micro breweries now has a great resource for food entrepreneurs! The UW School of Business, Small Business Development Center has partnered with Credible Consulting to offer a 4 week curriculum that puts food entrepreneurs ahead of their competitors in the tough food based business world. This course offers important business basics and industry expert advice for a long term, sustainable future in the industry. Setting the Table for Success is for any owner who wants to build a solid foundation for their food business- be it a food cart, cafe, restaurant or even a wholesale product. Register today! Classes start September 23rd.


Since arriving on the Madison restaurant scene in 2010 Nostrano has consistently impressed me, enlightened me about new food, wine and libations and held a place in my top 3 favorite restaurants in town. EVERYTHING they make is fresh, seasonal and hand-made with precision and delightful detail.  Nostrano is only open for "Apertivo" (their version of happy hour) and dinner. Although they are right off the square in a lovely historic building on Hamilton, they are still not on many people's radar (or at least not the people I'm telling).  It's smart of them to take part in Restaurant Week because it allows them to showcase what they do and guests can try them at both lunch (only this week) and dinner for a modest price. Another crazy smart move Nostrano makes during Restaurant Week is to create beer and wine pairings for all three lunch and dinner courses.  Beer pairings were an additional $12 and wine was an additional $15 at lunch. Nostrano also offers their popular marinated olives as a starter for $6.  Over the years, I've heard many restaurants complain about Restaurant Week.  There are various issues and reasons, but one of the big complaints of the higher end ...


Day 3 of Restaurant Week was a gloomy, misty one so I was happy to join my friend Phillip for lunch at one of my favorite Madison restaurants, Osteria Papavero.  I don't throw around the "favorite restaurant" phrase with abandon, but I do get asked the question a lot.  The answer depends on a few factors, but Osteria Papavero is always on the top of my special occasion list.  The quality of the food and quaintness of the space keep bringing me back. I have been to Osteria at least threes times in the past five years of Restaurant Week and the food never disappoints...unfortunately, this time, there was some disappointment. We started with a Farro and Pesto Salad and Wild Mushroom Soup for appetizers.  Farro is a grain similar to barley.  It was cooked to a slighty chewy al dente that pushes back just a touch when you eat it.  This is as it should be.  The farro was tossed with high quality, flavorful olive oil and pesto that was so bright it made me think of summer.


January in Wisconsin brings a bleak reality check for all of us...the holidays are truly over and the gray, cold days and depressing end to the Green Bay Packers season are here to stay.  Thankfully, Madison Magazine's Restaurant Week arrives at the same time and brings distraction. Today was Day 2 and what's better on a Monday than going out to lunch?  My companion and I chose Inca Heritage because of their interesting & adventurous menu options. We hadn't made reservations, as you often need, but when I called at 11:45 am they were gracious and happy to get us right in. Inca Heritage is located on the north end of Park Street and only street parking is available, but we found a spot right in the neighborhood with no problem (less than 1/2 blocks walk).  When you walk in the door you are greeted by the vivid marigold colored walls and the wonderfully warm and friendly staff.  Our service continued to be warm and gracious and was also prompt. For appetizers we chose the Spicy Tuna Causa


Tomorrow I have the pleasure of speaking and training members of the Waunakee Chamber of Commerce on tips to keep their home kitchens and breakrooms safe for their families and employees.  There's a lot of surprising mistakes you can make that can't set you up to make yourself or others sick!  The public is welcome! "Wake Up Waunakee" -Waunakee, WI Chamber of Commerce  October 1, 2014 Ever wonder if your own home kitchen or break room is as safe as a restaurant's kitchen?  Do you know what temperature the refrigerator should be at?  Do you want to assure you are cooking, cooling and storing your food in a safe way?  Cheri Schweitzer is a former restaurant manager and public health inspector turned restaurant consultant. In honor of National Food Safety month, Cheri will help educate us on the do's and don'ts of safe food preparation and storage.  She'll also tell some funny health inspector stories and take your questions about what restaurants NOT to eat at!  You won't want to miss this funny and informative morning that will definitely bring value and safety to your kitchen.