Erin Hanusa


Paulius Musteikis

Dan Fox's Heritage Tavern is far and away Madison's most anticipated restaurant opening this year. Fox -- late of the Madison Club, Chicago's celebrated Everest and local pork celebration SloPig -- piqued Madison diners' anticipation with his headlong devotion to local ingredients, including his self-raised heritage-breed pigs. With a pedigreed young chef, a storied location and all the local press a restaurateur could hope for, the one remaining question is, does Heritage live up to its hype? more

Nov 7, 2013 3:00 PM FOOD & DRINK


Eric Tadsen

Owners Gilbert Altschul and Marissa Johnson have traded one grandpa for another. They've taken over the former Grampa's Gun Shop space and introduced a pizza recipe from Altschul's own grandpa in a classy, updated space called Grampa's Pizzeria. There's no question in my mind it's a good switch for Willy Street. more

Sep 5, 2013 2:00 PM FOOD & DRINK

The Beach Club, situated right on the shore of Lake Superior on Madeline Island, is a can't-miss summer stop for me and my entire family. A dozen or so of us make the six-hour trek up to the island to camp every summer, and we always visit at least once. Last year, we awoke to pouring rain that showed no signs of letting up. Rather than get cranky about it, we packed ourselves into our cars and drove to town straight to the Beach Club. more

May 24, 2012 2:00 PM Isthmus Summertimes

Mermaid Cafe isn't new, but in late summer it added dinner to its previously daytime-focused kitchen. Making the jump from brunch to dinner can be a tricky business for a restaurant, as standards seem to go up as the day goes on. After all, a plate of eggs and toast in the morning can be pretty grungy and still satisfy; by dinner everybody's awake and ready to criticize. more

Jan 12, 2012 3:00 PM FOOD & DRINK

Home cooking is hot these days. In theory, anyway. Cookbooks keep coming from the publishers as people at least consider making meals for their families instead of bringing home takeout. Well, it's a step in the right direction, people. Start anywhere -- with breakfast, with the simple satisfaction of a homemade cookie. Branch out into homemade ice cream, and you may never bring home a carton again. more

Nov 17, 2011 3:00 PM , , Isthmus Giving

No one seems to know the answer to why Dumpling Haus decided to spell its second word in German fashion, but it's proved to be a great marketing technique. In the months leading up to the Haus' opening, people asked me about it again and again. "Is that new dumpling place in Hilldale open yet? Why do they spell it that way?" Did the pending existence of this place stick in people's minds because of the strange spelling? It seems possible. more

Sep 8, 2011 2:00 PM FOOD & DRINK


Erin Hanusa

Graze, usually dark on Sunday nights, was full of festivity last night as the staff of Underground Kitchen manned the kitchen for a pop-up dinner. The pop-up marked the first time that the Underground Kitchen staff have served dinner in a restaurant since being displaced on June 30 by a devastating fire that has closed their shop indefinitely. more

Jul 25, 2011 4:45 PM FOOD & DRINK

Less than a year after "gastro-cantina" King and Mane opened -- and subsequently closed -- Michael Banas, Patrick O'Halloran and Sue Kirton are trying again in the same King Street space with the Tipsy Cow pub. King and Mane was praised for luxurious tapas and knocked for inconsistency. Tipsy Cow, well, tips the other direction. Whether diners will see that as a good or a bad thing is the question. more

Jul 21, 2011 2:00 PM FOOD & DRINK

You may have had the pleasure of tasting Mary White's raspberry rhubarb tarts, cherry buttercake, or rustic apple pies at her HoneyBee Bakery stand during a farmers' market. Bea's Bonnet brings the same goods, plus a little bit extra, into a bricks-and-mortar nook on Atwood Avenue. On warm days, you may find the bakery stand set up in Bea's Bonnet's backyard, right next to the Capital City bike path. more

Jun 9, 2011 2:00 PM FOOD & DRINK

Great timing is so important to a relationship. If the perfect match comes along too early -- you're too immature, too distractible -- or too late -- you're jaded, tired, maybe a little afraid to start something new -- that spark just doesn't become a flame. So it must have been perfect timing for me and "Super Natural Every Day: Well Loved Recipes from my Natural Foods Kitchen". more

May 25, 2011 7:00 PM FOOD & DRINK

"Grill It!" (Better Homes and Gardens/Wiley, $25) appeared at first to be the kind of generic cookbook that I generally tend to avoid. It doesn't have a unique and interesting point of view on cooking, nor does it dreamily transport me to a rural Italian life wherein I press my own olive oil and drink a Negroni in the evening. However, it is a good book, and a reminder that a cookbook doesn't have to sell me a fantasy to win my heart. more

May 11, 2011 8:00 PM FOOD & DRINK

Steenbock's on Orchard is the newest arrival to Madison's fine-dining scene, though many may not know it. It's tucked in the ground floor of the new Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery building on University Avenue, a place that most Madison residents will probably never enter. It's not the most intuitive location for an upscale restaurant focused on local, sustainable food, but it is fun to walk around the building's lobby after a meal and check out the technology displays and architectural features. more

Apr 14, 2011 2:00 PM FOOD & DRINK

Restaurants like Wild Bull can put a reviewer in an existential dither. It's just sitting there minding its own business in the parking lot of the Marriott Residence Inn, not asking me to criticize its cuisine. Yet the fact that the place has sprung up in our fair city makes it fair game for a review, so here I am. Axl Rose welcomes me to the jungle from a loudspeaker overhead as I open the front door. more

Mar 31, 2011 2:00 PM FOOD & DRINK


Chris Hynes

Whether you are a current vegetarian looking for something new or a carnivore who wants to make intelligent food choices while still enjoying every bite, I recommend trying these dishes. more

Mar 24, 2011 2:00 PM Isthmus Dining

There is a term I've heard lately, birthed perhaps by the hive-voice of the Internet, that describes exactly how I felt when I heard chef Michael Schwartz had written a cookbook: SQUEEEEEEEE!!! Several impeccable meals at Schwartz's Miami restaurant, the acclaimed Michael's Genuine, were a highlight of my disappointingly cold February vacation last year. more

Mar 17, 2011 2:00 PM FOOD & DRINK

There is a term I've heard lately, birthed perhaps by the hive-voice of the Internet, that describes exactly how I felt when I heard chef Michael Schwartz had written a cookbook: SQUEEEEEEEE!!! Several impeccable meals at Schwartz's Miami restaurant, the acclaimed Michael's Genuine, were a highlight of my disappointingly cold February vacation last year. more

Mar 16, 2011 8:00 PM FOOD & DRINK

When I was in high school, the space that houses Bella Vita was home to a TGI Friday's. Some of you no doubt remember it. Friday's was a frequent destination for my group of friends, and I always ordered the same thing: fettuccine Alfredo and a vanilla Coke. I was young and ignorant of many things: cholesterol, for one, and politics, for another. more

Mar 10, 2011 3:00 PM FOOD & DRINK

Amanda Hesser's latest and greatest book, "The Essential New York Times Cookbook" (W.W. Norton, $40) reminded me of that saying about a mullet hairdo: "Business in the front, party in the back." Set against today's glossy celebrity-chef volumes, it looks like the most personality-free cookbook ever. more

Mar 2, 2011 10:00 PM FOOD & DRINK

When it comes to restaurant decor, do you enjoy an eclectic mix of primary colors, corrugated metal, sombreros, giant fish and flat-screen TVs? Then you should check out Fuzzy's. If not, perhaps you will enjoy crude slogans or Badger sports memorabilia. They have those, too. more

Jan 6, 2011 3:00 PM FOOD & DRINK

People tend to love or hate Sandra Lee of "Semi-Homemade" fame because she uses so many pre-packaged products in her recipes. Some of those people might even put quotation marks around the word "recipes." Food blogger Christy Jordan, author of "Southern Plate", is bound to create some of the same feelings. more

Dec 8, 2010 8:00 PM FOOD & DRINK