Posts Tagged ‘Service’


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


Day 4 of Restaurant Week- Brocach

Monroe Street has become a great place to eat and shop again after many years of multiple vacancies and poor fits.  On a cold day or night, there’s nothing better than slipping into a cozy little pub or coffee shop to sit and sip with friends and eat comfort food. Brocach on Monroe serves up warm service, a welcoming atmosphere and hearty portions. I was lucky enough to join seasoned blogger and expert, Brian Lee, the creator of Eat,Drink,, for lunch. I consistently use his website as my resource for coming up with where to go and what to do in Madison-very comprehensive and super easy to navigate. These were our Restaurant Week Choices at Brocach.   We chose the Fire Roasted Prince Edward Island Mussels & Duck Fat Fried Fingerling Potatoes for our first course. The mussels came with a Beurre (butter) fondue for dipping and garlicky sourdough toast. Yum!  Usually mussels are swimming in the sauce, but this time it was on the side and made the dish less messy and more ...


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 ...