Within the rustic limestone walls of a 19th-century former millhouse, chefs at The Old Feed Mill dish up classic comfort fare inspired by Midwestern home cooking. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the building's water-powered mill and solar-powered horse carriages fueled a successful commercial flouring business. However, with an uptick in highways and cars, the mill's beneficial connection to the once-prosperous railroad system diminished and the building was eventually abandoned. Current owners Dan and Nancy Viste began refurbishing the building in 1992, and today The Old Feed Mill is a member of the Vistes' quartet of related businesses. The Millstone Mercantile, The Old Feed Mill's onsite gift shop, flaunts an eclectic cache of items, including locally made artwork, handmade quilts, and the first beard that Abraham Lincoln ever stroked.
With an expertise honed over two decades in kitchens at home and abroad, Flambé Gourmet's head chef Angelo Cattaneo captains a crew of cooks to offer a white-sleeved helping hand with catering services and intimate cooking classes comprised of 6?12 students. Demonstration classes held in the 1,500-square-foot kitchen teach students a healthy sampling of the chef of the week's raison d'être while granting an insider's look at the kitchen without forcing students to forge a false identity as a recently transferred dishwashing specialist. During the classes, students participate in the culinary crafting in a hands-on way at every step, manifesting a full meal by the end of the session. Flambé Gourmet welcomes suggestions for future classes on its Facebook page, and offers online reservations to take the place of unreliable ESP-RSVPs and unsanitary registration by messenger pigeon.
Located on the second floor of the former Woman?s Club of Madison building, Samba Brazilian Grill bursts at the seams with history and a generous salad-bar buffet and rodizio-style meats, carved tableside. The meat selection changes regularly but often features a beef such as tenderloin with sake-soy marinade, porkables including the intricately flavored spicy lingui?a pork sausage, delicious chicken snacks, and the baharat leg of lamb. A waiter brings the protein-heavy entrees to the table intact before slicing away right before your eyes, expertly dropping steaming pieces onto plates and tucking napkins into shirts. The salad bar stocks its surfaces with multiple salads, fresh vegetables, cheeses, olives, pickled savories, and plenty of mashed- and bean-centric sides. The eatery possesses a darkly lit interior with rich, dark woods throughout.
Owner Lance Ratze named Yola’s Café for his Grandma Yola, a sensational cook who hoped to own a cafe but passed away before realizing her dream. She did come close, though. In addition to filling her kitchen with restaurant equipment, she piled her basement's ping-pong table high with roast beef, waffles, and pies so as to serve as many people as possible.
Today, Yola's aims to recreate its namesake's hospitality by filling stomachs with baked goods. By lunch, artisans dole out sandwiches, salads, and soups to sate midday cravings. As they dine, grownups peruse a rotating selection of local artwork, while kids play with the cafe's toys, board games, and an old tin can.
Daring and conservatively-palated patrons alike will find enticing eats on a menu that is both eclectic and classically minded. Discover the joy of deep fried pickles ($3.99) before setting your teeth upon a BLT on marble rye ($8.99) or a Southwestern three bean burger ($8.50), served with pico de gallo, guacamole and chipotle sour cream on a ciabatta bun. Dinnertime diners will delight with the Pasta Talula ($14.99), which combines linguine, asiago cheese and herbs relying on select mushroom buoys to stay afloat in a bath of white wine cream sauce. Blackened grill lines create gullet-ready graphs for pre-meal tic-tac-toe on an 8oz honey glazed bone-in pork chop ($15.99), grilled to your preference and served with honey balsamic glaze and mildly spicy mango salsa over a bed of dirty rice. Chicken fingers ($5.95) and mac and cheese ($4.95) are available for generous children treating their parents to a night out. Late-morning Sunday visitors can feast upon classics such steak and eggs ($13.99) with a 6oz grilled steak, two eggs and homefries; or three fluffy buttermilk flapjacks ($6.99) served with bacon or sausage. Recommended wine pairings are provided for pasta and entrée dishes and the bar provides a bountiful selection of mixed drinks, local beers and seasonal microbrews for stimulating thirst satiation.
Ruth's Chris Steak House's rampant success across the nation was built one juicy steak at a time since founder Ruth Fertel made the fortunate purchase of a New Orleans steakhouse. The menu of hearty gourmet steaks and entrees is the main reason the steakhouse is thriving more than 45 years later. Diners feast on perfectly cooked new york strip steaks, petite fillet with large gulf shrimp, and porterhouse steaks big enough for two. Before the main event, New Orleans–inspired appetizers pave the way with options such as veal osso buco ravioli or sizzling blue-crab cakes.
Even though the restaurants have expanded inland, the menu has always included options from the sea, including seafood entrees such as almond-crusted walleye or barbecued shrimp. Each restaurant maintains the steakhouse's hallmark of upscale dining, and waiters are ready and willing to recommend a pairing from the award-winning wine list.