Posts Tagged ‘Food’


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.


This evening I'm giving a presentation to the Council of Independent Managers at The Madison Club. I thought I'd share one of the topics I'll be discussing here on the blog: How can we ALL be more safe in our OWN kitchens? How safe is your kitchen?  What grade would I give it if I came and did a private health inspection?   The FDA estimates that there are about 48 million cases of foodborne illness annually –that's 1 out of 6 Americans getting sick each year. These illnesses result in an estimated 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths every year. That means 60 people in each of our 50 states will die this year just from something they ate! Here are the top priorities restaurants have in place, and the ones YOU should too, to keep your family safe?   #1 Wash Your Hands (before, between & after prep) Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, sneezing, handling pets, handling raw meat, smoking, eating or basically touching anything besides the food you ...


Day 1 of Restaurant Week- Quivey’s Grove

Well it's that time again...January in Wisconsin.  The holidays are over and so is Green Bay Packer football. It was 7 degrees out today.  That's almost too cold to go outside. We're bored. Let's eat! Restaurant Week is a great excuse to get out of the house and try a few new restaurants in Madison.  You get three courses so it's a great way to sample the restaurants offerings and decide if you want to go back again.  I'll be blogging everyday this week so continue to tune in. Day 1- Lunch at Quivey's Grove.  Quivey's is pretty quintessential Wisconsin. I mean you get to eat comfort food and drink beer in a stable.  Fun, but those stone walls aren't insulated very was chilly where we were sitting.   Here are the menu options we had.  We chose the Parmesan Potato Puffs and the Chopped Romaine Salad for our 1st course. The Potato Puffs were average and needed to be a bit more done in the center. The Truffle aioli was a delicious touch. The Chopped Romaine Salad tasted just like a summer ...