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    Madison, Wisconsin
  1. Hi I've been tasked with finding the perfect location for a San Francisco dinner of sociologists of education on a Saturday night in August. The biggest challenge-- lots of people, not a lot of money to spend. My dream is to find a family-owned Asian restaurant (preferably Chinese or Vietnamese) that would be happy to close the entire place for a Saturday night and do a dinner for between 80-150 people (I can cap the number if need be), for approximately $50-55/head. I'd think that in this economy, and in the dead of August, I should be able to find such a place-- but the typical sites for private dining in San Fran aren't much help (too pricey, formal, etc). The place need not be fancy or formal at all-- my only requirement is that the food is good, they can seat enough people, and the price is right. Does anyone have ideas, or perhaps friends who own restaurants that fit the bill?? Much thanks!! Sara
  2. Hey-- not sure what that's about. There are lots of places with quite good cocktails here-- for starters, the old-fashioneds at the OF are terrific, all of the cocktails at Sushi Muramoto are very good, the margaritas at La Mestiza are fantastic, and the ones at El Dorado aren't bad either...and you can get a superb bloody mary at any number of places around the Square.
  3. Hi, My favorite restaurants in Madison at the moment are La Mestiza for Mexican and Sushi Muramoto (in Hilldale). But if you want a more truly Madison experience, I would hit Marigold Kitchen or Cafe Soleil for breakfast or lunch (on Monday/Tues), and have dinner at Greenbush Bar (not open Sundays though) or one of the ethnic restaurants on State Street. Not much in terms of restaurants you can walk to from that hotel, I'm afraid..though you're near the lake which is nice. I think there is actually supposed to be a decent taqueria somewhere around there... Sara
  4. Hi I highly recommend a visit to Manna on Sherman Ave (not far from the airport) and Barriques (the Monroe St location). For a unique restaurant, try Greenbush Bar for pizza. Sara
  5. We're heading to the Cape for the holidays. Any feedback on the food at the Cape Codder (Hearth & Kettle, Grand Cru Wine Bar) and any idea if Naked Oyster is open in the off-season? Thanks!
  6. Coming soon to Madison: Restaurant Week. This is the kind of thing I'd normally take a pass on (dull menus, crowds, etc) but some places look to be offering good deals. If Sushi Muramoto turns out their excellent sushi even when offering "all you can eat" for $25 I'll be shocked and awed. Lombardino's menu looks especially nice. More here: www.madisonmagazine.com/restaurantweek
  7. Wonderful news to share: La Querentana is now La Mestiza and it has blossomed into a terrific little restaurant! It's now a sit down affair serving very solid margaritas (up, with salt), some delicious braised meat dishes (including lamb and pork), and an outstanding tres leches cake. The atmosphere is pleasant and low key, the servers are friendly AND very competent, and the prices are quite reasonable ($10-14 for entrees I recall). The place reminds me of a favorite of mine in Philadelphia, Lolita. I'm so very pleased to have this kind of place here in Madison-- go check it out! Their website: http://www.lamestiza.net/ A review: http://www.isthmus.com/eats/article.php?article=15962
  8. Hi I'm probably too late here, but I vote for Sardine if you want a broad selection, and El Dorado if you want Tex Mex. Wouldn't bother with the others. Sara
  9. sara

    Brussels Sprouts

    Here in Madison even the local grocery store sells them on the stalk -- it's wonderful since they keep longer and you just cut what you need for a given meal. I'm a huge fan of the Best Recipe way of doing sprouts-- braise them in a little water for 10-15 minutes, then remove them and add some butter to the pan, then whisk in some dijon mustard, add the sprouts back in and stir. Simple and yummy!
  10. sara

    Fresh Pork jowl/cheek

    That is indeed a coincidence-- wow! Willow Creek has wonderful pork, I'm especially a fan of their L'Etoile chops. This thread has inspired me to make guanciale with the jowls I have in my freezer at the moment. We'll see what happens... Thanks, I hadn't seen this before. Coincidentally, I live in Madison and get my pork from Willow Creek. That's a cool blog; I can't believe I hadn't found it before. It looks like the consensus, for the most part, is braising so I think I'm going to braise them with wine and chestnuts, maybe with some gnocchi as an accompaniment, for a good, rich cold weather bowl of deliciousness. josh ←
  11. sara

    Fresh Pork jowl/cheek

    Here's a link to a recipe my pork purveyor here in Madison (Willow Creek) recommended. I've made it once, and it was delicious. http://www.whatgeekseat.com/wordpress/2007...ks-and-polenta/
  12. This is an amazing response! Just an update: Following Steven's suggestion, I have obtained the name of the guy who sells to Blue Marlin, and been in touch with his company. I've been told it's up to the sales rep who handles Blue Marlin, and am supposed to speak with him tomorrow. If that doesn't work out, I had another idea, which is to ask our local seafood market to special order lobsters for me, to be delivered Saturday, or Friday at the earliest. I guess they could lie about the date they come in & I'd not know, but I'm hoping by making it clear that I do not want lobsters that have been sitting in a tank in Madison for some time & am willing to pay, that maybe I can do better.... Will keep you posted!
  13. While the ad on the front of the webpage would seem to indicate this was the case, in fact when you actually order lobster, delivery on New Year's Eve is not an option. Very confusing.
  14. Be carefull that the bags of ice does not break, the sudden change in salinity and ph will result in death. Edited to make a suggestion. ← While I know my toddler would have a blast bathing with some properly banded lobstahs, from what I read keeping the critters fresh this way takes a great deal of skill & work & luck...a little beyond me. Fun idea though! I also adore the thought of flying to Maine to celebrate, if only it didn't entail at least 2 flights out of snow and ice-covered airports, several hundred dollars per person, and the strong likelihood that our return flight would be diverted to the Green Bay tarmac for hours on end. The Egullet-creativity is spectacular, keep it coming!
  15. Love the idea...just wish we actually had a restaurant serving good shellfish in Madison! If only.... Anyone tried having pre-cooked lobster delivered? Fat Guy, that's not in the article you wrote, I don't think...
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