Saturday, July 30, 2011

Capitol Chophouse

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Capitol Chophouse Dinner Restaurant Week
Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder
I first must apologize for the quality of the photo - my cellphone does not have flash and the restaurant had a very dark setting.  I tried to brighten the photos without loosing the image of the dish.

The Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder contained cherry tomato, kalamata olive, fingerling potato, and mint pesto.  The lamb was very tender; usually the shoulder is tender part of a lamb, and with the slow cooking, this lamb shoulder practically melted with each bite.  The shoulder and tenderness of the lamb was great though it was easily overpowered by the mint yogurt and kalamata olives. Unfortunately the ingredients did not play off each other well.  Great clean tender meat but not much of anything else to complement the lamb.

Grilled N.Y. Strip
Grilled N.Y. Strip contained celeriac mashed potato and Cabernet demi glace.  The demi glace was dark and sweet for the Strip though the celeriac mashed potato was a bit more of a puree than mashed and had a very clean flavor from the celery root when I would probably prefer a regular mashed potato.  The dish had very little contrast in flavor though it wasn't necessary with the tasty tender N.Y. Strip.
9 East Wilson Street, Madison, WI

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mariner's Inn Restaurant Week Dinner

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Mariner's Inn Restaurant Week Dinner 3-course meal for $25
Classic Surf & Turf
Classic Surf & Turf - An 8 oz. center cut top sirloin steak paired with a 6 oz. lobster tail.  An amazing dish Mariner's Inn choose for their Restaurant Week.  The steak was so tender and sweet you would think you had the filet mignon.  How did they do it? I don't know, but it was flavorful and absolutely juicy.  The lobster tail was great, the size was unbelievable for the price and also to be in the MidWest.  Just a little butter needed to break the abit over salted seasoning.

Admiral's Salmon
Admiral's Salmon - Fresh salmon filet stuffed with shrimp, crabmeat, and fresh vegetables baked and glazed with a lobster cream sauce.  This dish captures the essence of the sea.  Every bite of salmon, crabmeat, and shrimp with the lobster sauce was so creamy and lovely, you find yourself swimming in sea of deliciousness.  Absolutely wonderful!
5339 Lighthouse Bay Drive, Madison, WI

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Ocean Grill Restaurant Week Lunch

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Ocean Grill Restaurant Week Lunch $15 (Oysters, Baked Sole, & Fruit Sorbet)

Baked Sole

Fruit Sorbet
The best part of this meal is the wonderful butter silky smooth flavor of the beurre noisette of the Baked Sole.  The Sole was cooked perfectly and was accented with herbed bread crumbs.  With it's delicate flavor, the cooked asparagus and beurre noisette came together as a delicious delightful light dish.
117 Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard, Madison, WI  
(608) 285-2582

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tutto Pasta - Madison Restaurant Week

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Tutto Pasta State Street - Restaurant Week
I took advantage of Restaurant Week to sample Tutto's Pasta on State Street and was pretty impressed.  From the three course lunch menu, I picked the Frittura di Calamari, Tutto Pasta, and for dessert, the Crème Brulee.
The calamari was lightly floured and fried to perfection, a light crisp batter on the outside with tender soft baby squid on the inside. 
As for the Tutto Pasta, you’ll know why it's their signature dish.  The tomato cream sauce coated the grilled chicken breast and pasta just light enough to fuse with the olive oil, garlic, onions, and mushrooms - creating a smooth pleasant flavor. 
And the Crème Brulee was made perfectly with the crystal sweet candy layer on top and smooth light crème inside.  

Tutto Pasta State Street
305 State St, Madison, WI  
(608) 294-1000

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Saturday, July 2, 2011

High Rock Cafe - Wisconsin Dells

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Calamari like you've never had before.   This sweet and spicy calamari was first fried till golden brown then tossed in sweet and chili sauce.  The fried rice noodles served on top added a very unique texture to the calamari.  They were airy and crunchy with not much flavor but went perfectly with the sweet chili calamari.  No lemon necessary.

Jumbo Crab Cakes.  The crab cakes were served in descent quantity and size.  This appetizer contained jumbo lump crab meat seared and mixed with diced vegetables served with a spiced remoulade over a bed of greens.  The spiced remoulade was key to this dish.  The crab cakes were beautiful; unfortunately, the crabmeat did not have much flavor.  This dish had a very clean taste, but was delightful to have experience.

Scallops.  Pan-seared jumbo scallops with mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables and smoked tomato compote.  The scallops were amazing in flavor, texture, size, and quality.  Best dish I've had so far at High Rock Cafe.  The scallops were seasoned just enough to appreciate without over powering the natural delicacy.  I can't compliment this dish enough about taste and quality.  You must try it.  Typically, they would serve this over a celery root puree, though they were out of at the time.  I do wonder how much more wonderful the dish could have been if served with the puree.

Teriaki Salmon.  Grilled with steamed broccoli, jasmine rice with a candied pineapple salsa.  The idea of this dish is great.  The pineapple salsa made this dish absolutely wonderful.  You can tell the freshness of the fruits and ingredients especially how they blend well together; a sweet crisp flavor for the salmon.  Unfortunately, the salmon was a bit over cooked as you can see the charred marks.  The salmon was a bit dry and did not have the flakiness it should have.  Everything else was very well put together, just needed the cook to pay attention to the fish.

Mahi Mahi Special.  Like the salmon dish, the fish itself wasn't too pleasing though the salsa was great.  For the Mahi Mahi, they used their "tropical salsa" which contained pineapple, mango, and kiwi.  The salsa was perfect very necessary to give their dish some flavor.  The fish was slightly over cooked though again, with the crisp fresh salsa, I was able to overcome the issue.

Lasagna Special.  For their lunch menu, the selection was minimal and not as exciting as the entrees for dinner though we had a unique Portofino Lasagna made with asparagus, goat cheese, spinach, roasted red bell peppers, with mushroom, lemon and thyme cream sauce.  Need I say more?  This veggie lasagna was wonderful in all ways; the great choice of vegetables, fresh and cooked perfectly; the goat cheese, giving this lasagna another unique flare, mild yet tangy which complemented the lemon and thyme cream sauce.  I normally like meat lasagna but this dish was wonderful with the plentiful amazing ingredients that worked perfectly together.
232 Broadway, Wisconsin Dells, WI

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