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 linguiça 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.
Only after slow-roasting leaves them piping hot and full of their natural juices do the prime ribs at Marty?s Place earn their titles of Queen and King. The respectively 16- and 26-ounce steaks headline a rich menu that unites surf, turf, and Italian food. The lengthy selection includes lobster tail, Alaskan king crab legs, baked lasagna, barbecue ribs, and Italian stuffed tenderloin, filled with mozzarella cheese that melts before you can read the fortune written on it.
Village Limits Supper Club opens its doors to diners six days a week for a time-honored and traditional dinner. Turning out a variety of options, chefs prepare plates ranging from tender cuts of steak cooked-to-order to Friday-night fish fries of perch and haddock. A full bar fills glasses with beer, wine, and mixed drinks to complete each meal.
Savory scents beckon diners to the 14 hibachi tables inside Osaka Japanese Steakhouse. Like gymnasts tired of the same old floor routine, morsels of steak, chicken, or seafood tumble atop sizzling teppan grills as personal chefs prepare each meal. Alternatively, tables in the traditional dining room fill with fine pan-Asian fare, from pad thai and General Tso?s chicken to a wide selection of sushi. Osaka also boasts a full bar, a carry-out menu, and a private party room, and caters to families by offering kids their own exclusive bill of fare.
Award-Winning Steak House | Classic Surf 'n' Turf | Live Entertainment | Californian Wines | Supper-Club Decor
When to Go: Try to plan your dinner for a Friday night around 8 p.m. That’s when musicians hit the adjoining Alley Cat Lounge stage, playing everything from oldies and jazz to modern rock and R&B.
Inside Tip: Show up hungry. All meals come with a salad, relish tray, and sourdough bread with butter and honey. A side of butter-sauteéd mushrooms also accompanies every steak.
Media Mentions: Over the years, 5 O’Clock has drawn national attention. The Travel Channel featured it on the program Steak Paradise, Saveur magazine named it one of the best steak houses in the country, and Travel + Leisure said it has a "Mad Men vibe."
Behind the Name: According to the restaurant's lore, the steak house got its name from an alarm clock that would ring every day at 5 p.m., alerting customers that it was time for a free drink.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Tour the Tripoli Shrine Center (3000 W. Wisconsin Avenue), a replica of the Taj Mahal and a member of the National Register of Historic Places.
After: If the entertainment at the Alley Cat Lounge isn't to your taste, head over to The Coffee House (631 N. 19th Street), which offers acoustic music and poetry performances.
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.