Like a tongue on a flagpole in February, fusion cuisine results from curiosity and a shortage of popsicles. Rein in restless taste buds with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Northern Italian and Nuevo American fusion cuisine at American Café in Middleton.
American Café's chef Benjamin Thorpe fuses Northern Italian and Nuevo American influences to concoct his menu fueled by locally acquired and organic ingredients. Start off feeding frenzies with the Band of Samurai appetizer, Japanese flying fish roe and Boursin cheese packed inside a fried wonton ($10.50). The eatery's slow-roasted natural chicken breast serenades a harmonious mélange of veggies atop a penne pasta stage in the pollo penne toscana ($14); the center-cut berry-glazed pork chops boast a tender inside and a sacchariferous Marionberry glaze outside ($12.50 for a single cut). American Café’s experienced chef can also cater to gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian diners making the menu more flexible than a yogi instructing a class of Gumby dolls.
The Cornerstone Bistro
At The Cornerstone Bistro, Chef Benjamin Thorpe composes a different menu every week based on the fresh, seasonal ingredients made available by local farmers. Specializing in northern Italian and fusion American cuisine, he transforms Mother Nature’s organic offerings into rustic small plates, innovative entrees, and homemade desserts, such as pies and tarts aromatic enough to hang from a car's rearview mirror. A weekly chef's table slides Chef Thorpe’s edible handiwork further into the spotlight, inviting diners to gather for a lineup of specially prepared courses during meals outfitted with specific themes.