I'm grateful for the leads I found on this board before my wife and I went to Madison last weekend. On the way up we had lunch at the New Glarus Hotel Restaurant. The vegetable roesti was filling if not cheap at $10 for what's largely a mound of hash browns, but the Swiss atmosphere on the enclosed sunlit balcony was very pleasant, unlike the dark and undistinguished dining room.
In Madison Friday night we had well-made and flavorful Italian at Tutto Pasta. My penne puttanesca fed me that night and yesterday afternoon and cost only about $8. Tutto Pasta has been described as informal--I'll say. Noisy, tables close together..reminded me of Medici on 57th St. in Chicago but with food from Grand Ave.
Lunch Saturday was at Monty's Blue Plate, the doo-wop diner on Atwood. Fine. Good chocolate malt, cheeseburger, and ur-Madison vegetables/quinoa/spinach salad.
Supper at the Eldorado Grill was the most exciting meal I've had in months. A very helpful server, Mel, informed and honest. Stylish Tex/New Mex decor with Western music (Marty Robbins, Willie) rather'n country (Nashville) overhead. Two filets of blackened catfish with a glorious sauce banked by high-quality sides of black-eyed peas, rice, and greens. One of those rare meals where everything before me was better than expected. No short cuts had been taken with any of the grub. Indeed, skill and imagination had been laved on. I shouldn't have eaten it all at one sitting but failing to do so would have felt like leaving a symphony early.
Again, thank you for the recommendations. You spared us from trying to discern from the yellow pages and everything's fantastic! local magazines which joints serve worthwhile food and steered us to two real winners, Tutto Pasta and Eldorado Grill.
305 State St.
Madison, WI 53703
744 Williamson St.
Madison, WI 53703