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Everything posted by liamdc

  1. I'm going to be staying in downtown Bismarck for just one night next week. Is there anywhere worth dining proximate to the Radisson Hotel?
  2. Isthmus - Madison's newsweekly - recently featured a nice article providing an overview of the city's restaurant scene. Check it out here. With a two-year old, we're not getting out as much as we used to, but here are a few random musings based on recent dining experiences: - Based on two recent experiences - one during Restaurant Week admittedly - Harvest seems to have slipped a few notches. For its price point, both recent meals did not meet the standard, and the RW meal just wasn't good at all. In contrast, L'Etoile delivered the goods in our most recent visit there. - Brasserie V on Monroe St. is dishing up some of the tastiest food in town these days, along with yummy Belgian and Belgian-style brews with which to wash it down. Don't overlook V's periodic specialty dinners. - For anyone venturing into Stoughton, check out the Main Street Pour House at 121 E. Main St. It features regional craft beers, tasty appetizers, salads, and burgers, and frequent live music in a beautiful space formerly occupied by a cabaret theater.
  3. Two comments on Madison: (1) I recently dined at Bandung for the first time in several years. I shouldn't have stayed away because the cooking here in wonderful. The menu is primarily Indonesian. (2) The Muramoto empire is single-handedly doing tremendously exciting things in the Madison dining scene. The newly relocated, original Restaurant Muramoto is the flagship, Sushi Muramoto has truly brought world-class sushi to Madison for the first time, and Kushi Bar Muramoto has brought Japanese-style tapas to Madison. A very exciting concept, written about in this week's Isthmus. Check these places out!
  4. VERY sad news about the recent demise of Smokejacks. Read this article from Seven Days.
  5. Based on my last visit months and months ago, and lots of word of mouth, it is definitely not as good as it used to be, the once interesting menu was reduced and restructured significantly, and the chef departed (I believe). I think you can do better in that downtown area. Depending on what you're looking for and at what price point, some possibilities within 2-3 blocks of there would include Muramoto, Sardine, Harvest, L'Etoile, The Old Fashioned, Osteria Papavero, and Tornado Club.
  6. This reply may be too late, but here are some coffeehouse ideas for you. Not sure where in Madison you'll be, so here's a sprinkling of ideas around the city. Mother Fool's Ancora EVP Barriques Coffee (West Washington Ave. location) Fair Trade Michelangelo's Caffe 608 (at Sundance Cinemas) If German stein and ooompah schtick is your thing, then I suppose the Essenhaus is worth a trip. I still haven't recovered from several visits to a similar German place in Montreal years ago--Vieux Munich. For uniquely Madison food, I'd recommend Ella's Deli and Michael's Frozen Custard. You might also consider The Old Fashioned and Avenue Bar (especially for its fish fry) as well.
  7. Sara and I dined at Liliana's, a Cajun restaurant that is a newcomer to the Madison dining scene. It's located in a nicely designed space along County Route PD in Fitchburg. Our entrees (crawfish etouffee and jambalaya) and appetizer (BBQ jumbo prawns with heads on) were delicious. Lots of flavor, fresh ingredients, and good spice. We also enjoyed really good French press coffee, but suffered through very poor, undercooked beignets for dessert. Overall, Liliana's is superior to Louisianne's in Middleton and New Orleans Take-Out in Madison. It's worth a visit.
  8. Thanks for the advice. Portland is such a wonderful food city. I'm planning on going back to Clyde Common on Friday evening. In Salem, Bentley's will probably do for our purposes and we'll be doing some work in preparation for a meeting on Friday anyway.
  9. I'll be in Salem, Oregon on business next Friday and am in need of dinner recommendations for next Thursday evening. I'll be staying at the Phoenix Grand Hotel downtown and will have a vehicle. I have no restrictions, just looking for good food. Thanks in advance.
  10. liamdc

    Zebu Grill

    Anyone else been here lately? Looking for a not-too-pricey dinner at a family-friendly place (bringing an infant) tomorrow night, somewhere in the 80s or low 90s on UES.
  11. Wow, Jaymes. You sound pretty angry, and rather intolerant. You have my sympathy. Please don't define inconsiderate people as those with children. No doubt there are plenty of non-parents worthy of your scorn as well. In my life, many more adults have ruined a meal than children. Thanks for your list of options, but my wife, my son, and I aren't "staying home." We have a 5-month-old and, in fact, recently visited Philly on a 6-day-long business trip. We had to eat out at some point and "trading off babysitting chores" wasn't an option as we live in Madison, Wisconsin. Although it was pretty hot the early part of last week and walking the streets those days wasn't a whole lot of fun, we had to leave the hotel for meals at some point, although I'm guessing you would have preferred that we never left our hotel room in the event that my son might cry once or twice. Please note that downtown Philly doesn't seem to have a whole lot of "family-style restaurants," so that wasn't a very good option either, although takeout sushi did get the job done a couple of evenings. Fortunately, we didn't run into the Intolerance Patrol anywhere (must be down the shore for July) and managed to have a really pleasurable time with our little guy dining out everywhere from Tinto to DeNick's at the Reading Terminal Market. Jaymes, you can breathe a huge sigh of relief because I don't think any diners were disturbed at any establishment we visited. Imagine that! I guess this means that our five-month-old is "old enough to properly behave" although all the baby books say that this isn't a skill they can learn by this stage of development. Hmmm. Quite the riddle wrapped up in a baby blanket.
  12. Here is the Wisconsin State Journal's 5/16/2007 review of the "exceptional food" at Sushi Muramoto: ←
  13. We shop at Sentry, Trader Joe's, and to a lesser degree, Whole Foods. And we shop at the farmers markets during the warm seasons for produce as well as meats. Within the next year or so, the Whole Foods will relocate a few blocks down University Ave. to the Hilldale shopping mall complex, tripling in size. We definitely live in a lawn mowing neighborhood. Can't speak to Shorewood on that account, but Madison definitely tends to be a do-it-yourself community.
  14. We live just south of University Ave. and the Shorewood Hills community. Many houses in Shorewood are expensive (for Madison), but moving from the West Coast you may not be in sticker shock at all, unless you're persuing the lakefront homes. Shorewood is within minutes of the Whole Foods, Sentry (locally owned grocery), and the Hilldale farmers markets.
  15. Sara and I ate at Sushi Muramoto last Friday evening. After two and half years in Madison, I have to say it was by far the freshest and most flavorful sashimi/sushi we've had and it features some items--such as toro and aji--that are difficult to find at other area sushi joints. In fact, this restaurant could easily compete with sushi establishments in many larger cities. It also features some really delicious martinis. It is located in a very well designed space, with a bar area off to the right side and the sushi bar along the left wall of the restaurant. Indeed, it is located right across the street (really a drive through the Hilldale Mall complex) from the soon-to-open Sundance Cinemas. It is two doors down from the Flattop Grill and about a half-block down from the Great Dane Pub.
  16. Glad you enjoyed La Querentana. We've found the chorizo, chicharron (pork skin), and carnitas tacos to be among the best ($2 each). The tamales are made fresh in the mornings. We've enjoyed the rajas and mole varieties especially, although we found the verdes to be pretty good as well. At $12 per dozen, it's hard to beat! Why wouldn't anyone ever eat at Taco Bell? Here is the link to the 3/22/07 Wisconsin State Journal review of both La Queretana (West Side) and Burrito Drive (East Side). The soft tacos and tamales from La Queretana were scrumptious. http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/entertainm...=125464&ntpid=7 For Vietnamese, Mekong at 600 Willy Street is also a decent choice if you're near downtown or on the East Side. The service there is very friendly. ← ←
  17. Here is the link to the 3/22/07 Wisconsin State Journal review of both La Queretana (West Side) and Burrito Drive (East Side). The soft tacos and tamales from La Queretana were scrumptious. http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/entertainm...=125464&ntpid=7 For Vietnamese, Mekong at 600 Willy Street is also a decent choice if you're near downtown or on the East Side. The service there is very friendly.
  18. Thanks for all the recommendations. I'll let you know where I end up going and will report back.
  19. Do any eGulleteers have some recommendations for a restaurant in the Upper West Side/Columbus Circle neighborhood that would be good for a business dinner next Sunday or Monday evening? I'm thinking of a chef-owned bistro type of place, something middle-to-high end is OK, just nothing too lavish or extravagant. Also willing to consider good ethnic options as well. I am staying at the Lucerne Hotel at 201 West 79th Street. Anywhere walkable or a short cab or subway ride would be welcomed. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
  20. Wisconsin's first Trader Joe's opened on Monroe Street in Madison yesterday. Capital Times story
  21. I've never been to Eastern Standard, but I'll second the nomination on No. 9 Park. I can still taste a fabulous pear martini I had there several years ago.
  22. I still haven't gotten to Sardine, but the local weekly included yet another story about it. The article also offers some thoughts about why Madison has few top-notch restaurants.
  23. Today's New York Times features a glowing review of the Inn at Easton by R.W. Apple, Jr.
  24. Has anyone been to the House of M, an Asian restaurant, at 151 Main Street in Northeast Harbor? Sara and I walked by it last week while in town and the menu looked delightful, but we didn't get an opportunity to try it. Marche indeed was a solid restaurant and a nice departure from the touristy main drag in downtown Bar Harbor.
  25. Run, walk, take the T, do whatever you need to do to get to Restaurant L at 234 Berkeley Street. It's an odd location for a restaurant, inside the upscale Louis Boston, but it works. My wife and I ate lunch there back in June and it was wonderful. It's open for lunch from Noon-3:00 Monday through Saturday and lunch items are priced at four levels: $12, $16, $20 and $24. Although I hate the term, I'd characterize the lunch menu as Asian fusion with an emphasis on salads, noodles, seafood, and meats. Food & Wine named chef Pino Maffeo one of the best new chefs in the U.S. in 2006.
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