Wednesday, December 31, 2008

List of Publications - Isthmus 2008


Spectacular salads
The art of the salad is underappreciated. All too often, salads are just the quiet supplement to steak or fish or pasta. In Wisconsin, a lingering supper club mentality that views fish or steak as the "real food" means that the salad norm is a wedge of iceberg lettuce with a glob of dressing and a black olive. Salad is reduced to a condiment. But although we live in Wisconsin, we also live in Madison — historically, friend to the vegan, the vegetarian and the slow-food movement. The greens at the Farmers' Market on the Square come from a large network of independent and often organic farms, and the best restaurants harvest these and return them to us in excellent salads. Madison's top salads prove to be delightfully rich — and surprisingly sophisticated.
Dine with the kids at Bean Sprouts Cafe in Middleton
Bean Sprouts cafe in Middleton Hills is one of the successes of that community-based architectural gambit. Bean Sprouts caters to parents and grandparents with a cafe that's specifically designed for young children but makes all ages feel at home.
Arty kids
Madison is justly famous for its bicycle paths, lakes and world-class university. If you ask parents why they love the city, chances are they will name the school system as a reason. But one aspect of Madison that is frequently, and unjustly, overlooked is the wealth of artistic opportunities for children of all ages.
Doug's Soul Food Cafe serves heavenly country-fried Southern comfort
When my mother was a little girl, her Alabama-bred mother used to cook up "a mess o' greens" on tough days. The recipe consisted of a slab of bacon, collard greens and turnip greens, all stewed up into a mass of nutritious and heavy gruel.
Kushi Bar completes the Muramoto triumvirate in Madison
Chef Shinji Muramoto has revamped his original stomping grounds on King Street -- the new Kushi Bar Muramoto inhabits the same narrow space that housed the original Sushi Muramoto. (If you're keeping track, that restaurant has moved down the block to the space that formerly hosted Cocoliquot.)
Vindaloo, my darling: Flavor of India
Flavor of India is the third Indian restaurant in Wisconsin by brothers / co-owners / chefs Devinder Singh Badwal and Sital Singh and the second in Madison, following their Taste of India on Monroe Street. This latest entry gives Madisonians an opportunity to study the nuances of north Indian cuisine (though major regional styles are all represented on the dinner menu).