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.
Constructed in 1858, The Poplar Inn has had several past lives: it served as an inn owned by a Union Civil War captain, a tea room, and even a paper company before dining establishments took over in the 1980s. And for those who look closely, the Cream City brick building still shows off some of its roots. The second-floor bar, for example, has retained its original floors instead of replacing them with trendy moon-bounce material.
Today's diners gather inside the Poplar Inn's softly lit dining room to feast on the creations of chef James Jones. The hearty, rustic menu features classic steaks as well as signature cuts, including the Towering Inferno?blackened tenderloin balanced on beer-battered portobello mushrooms. Seafood entrees also steal the spotlight, from salmon served with maple syrup to pan-seared yellowfin tuna.
Showcased on the Travel Channel?s Food Paradise for its gargantuan cuts of prime rib, Ward?s House of Prime elevates plates with formidable servings of steak, veal, seafood, and pasta within an elegant, leather-tinged dining room. Chefs slice the signature prime rib in a spectrum of portion sizes ranging from modest 8-ounce morsels to The Al-Mighty Halaka's behemoth 160 ounces. Those who conquer these savory leviathans garner immortalization in Ward?s Hall of Fame, where caricatures of past protein vanquishers smile from behind their trusty steak knives. At the bar, an extensive wine list gilds glasses with varietals hailing from throughout the globe as drinksmiths craft a bevy of inventive cocktails. The dining room?s studded-leather seating flanks tables clad in white linens, and the outdoor patio?s umbrellas keep diners dry during worcestershire storms brought on by their steaks' gravitational forces.
Whether you're jonesing for a prime porterhouse or juicy rib eye, Five O'Clock Steak House has you covered. Vegan options are also available for those who avoid meat and dairy products. Five O'Clock Steak House guests can also take advantage of the many drink options offered here. Need room for one more? Add another to your party — Five O'Clock Steak House is great for large groups. You can tote your laptop here to take advantage of the free wifi. Between the music and the crowds, be prepared for a lot of noise at this restaurant.
Be sure to make reservations so you can get seated right away. For those in a rush, the restaurant lets you take your food to go.
If you're driving, be sure to take advantage of the nearby lot.
Save Five O'Clock Steak House for a splurge since prices for a meal can run upwards of $50.
Chubby's Cheesesteaks celebrates one of America's best-loved regional dishes with a menu full of Philly-style cheesesteak sandwiches that Chubby's chefs believe to be the best cheesesteaks west of Philadelphia. They chop up morsels of steak to order for creations ranging from a pizza cheesesteak with marinara and mozzarella to the classic Philly with peppers and Cheez Whiz, a cheese spread that could only be more American if it came with free baseball in every jar. In addition to hand-held feasts of warm, toasty rolls and succulent beef, cooks whip up chicken cheesesteaks, Italian beef sandwiches, fried fish dinners, gyros, burritos, and jumbo chili dogs.
Milwaukee ChopHouse's menu of succulent fare begins with ahi tuna tartare with avocado, wasabi, and sriracha ($12) and wagyu beef carpaccio in a white truffle oil with parmigiano reggiano and capers ($13)—both of which sharpen the palate for the main event: the ChopHouse's signature boneless 16-ounce strip steaks prepared au poivre ($35), crab Oscar-style ($42), blue-cheese crusted ($39), or with truffle butter ($39). The kitchen also turns out hot non-bovine entrees such as sautéed sea bass with sundried tomato and basil pesto ($32) and lobster tail ($51), a.k.a. mermaid steak.