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.
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.
Tony Roma opened his first rib joint in 1972, a venture that became wildly successful after Dallas Cowboys owner Clint Murchison, Jr. tasted the ribs and slaw and declared them the best he'd ever had. With his financial know-how and weighty pocket book, he helped Tony Roma's grow into the international brand it is today. Franchises have spread across the States like a wave of barbecue sauce, seeping over borders and staining the shirtfronts of thousands of satisfied diners.
Today, chefs still diligently emulate Tony's original ribs recipes, grilling up signature steaks and fresh-caught seafood combos enhanced with sides and garnishes of seasonal ingredients. In addition to the restaurant's signature meaty entrees, the staff whips up oven-baked desserts such as the golden-apple tarts and redskin potatoes hand- mashed by distinguished martial artists.
At The Summit Restaurant, soft light illuminates an ultramodern space full of blonde woods, black leather, and wrought-iron accents, perfectly framing feasts of gourmet steaks, seafood, and handmade burgers. Guests wrap their hands around roast-beef baguette sandwiches or dig knives into tender morsels of filet mignon and kona-crusted sirloin. Couples share romantic evenings out over meals of cedar-plank salmon or chicken pasta, while company parties and wedding banquets revel in the restaurant's event space. In the Everest Lounge bar area, patrons enjoy live music, comedy, and dancing four days a week. The bar is a member of the Tavern League of Wisconsin and offers free safe rides for late-nighters. A window for takeout opens in the winter.
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.
Between the years of 1904 and 1944, the Greek Revival–style mansion that now holds Eric's Porter - Haus was home to former Waukesha mayor Isaac Lain. Today, it's a bustling supper club where servers make the rounds to multiple dining rooms, one of which is equipped with a fireplace lined with fresh cookies for Santa. Chef Chris prepares Old World specialties such as black forest schnitzel made with natural range-fed veal. Another specialty is steak; tender filet mignon sizzles alongside 24-ounce porterhouse cuts. Bottles imported from Germany, Australia, Italy, Spain, and California also make appearances on the wine list.