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Madison, WI on the company dime?

I'm a total foodie from Southern California staying at the Concourse Hotel, and want to find the best possible place to have dinner on a Tuesday. A good bar and a hip vibe would be a bonus, but I really love to be blown away by amazing food. Any suggestions? While we're at it, any suggestions on Madison nightlife midweek (Tue and Wed)?

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  1. If your going on the company dime, go to L'Etoile. You WONT be disappointed. For something a little less formal, try the Weary Traveler. Great beer selection and the Bad Breath Burger can't be beat.

    1. If you're game for a good German beer hall, the Essen Haus might be an interesting option for nightlife. We've always had way too much fun there, with the polka band and drinking boots of beer....it's around the Capitol square from the Concourse...as I've stumbled from the Essen Haus to the Concourse before...

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      Essen Haus
      514 E Wilson St, Madison, WI 53703

      1. If you are into World Flavor restaurants check out the ideas on this page http://www.visitmadison.com/visitors/.... L'Etoile, Weary Traveler, and the Essen Haus are all great. L'Etoile is a really nice upscale restaurant - http://www.letoile-restaurant.com/. I really like the Eno Vino Wine Bar & Bistro atmosphere too - http://www.eno-vino.com/modules/web/i...

        As for something to do on a tuesday:
        The Ivory Room Piano Bar has live music tuesday - saturday and can be really fun if you like the piano bar scene.
        The Majestic (http://www.majesticmadison.com/) and the High Noon Saloon (http://www.high-noon.com/calendar/) have live music most days. Check their event calendars for something that might interest you.

        Check out more ideas for your stay in Madison at visitmadison.com!

        1. Genna's is a very interesting bar, Carroll and Main, on the Square. You might want to check this board for posts about Essen Haus for food.

          1. Have to agree with L'etoille. Harvest is also another. the chef is from Babbo. Le chardonnay is another--does not have the reputation as these other 2 but last week ate there and had amazing escargot in a bacon tomato sauce for first course, quail with sweet breads in a rich veal reduction sauce. If you are looking for midwestern steakhouse try the tornado. Food is straight forward but very well done--beef, lamb, duck. Peppino's is an Italian choice--the older owner straight from italy with his wife do the cooking. Magnus just started a new menu highlighting Norweign food. All of these places are right on the square and within walking distance from your hotel. Finding good food in madison is easy. finding nightlife, not so much. Some to consider, Cafe Montmartre, Nattspil, Maduro (cigar bar). Again, all of these are withing walking distance of your hotel. Great breakfast or lunch spot is Marigolds. Hope you have a good visit.

            1 Reply
            1. re: walker_wendy

              Cafe Montmartre closed last week, alas.

            2. I really like The Old Fashioned on the square for hearty Wisconsin food and a great selection of Wisconsin beers. I love the fried walleye and fries. I don't think it qualifies as a "hip vibe" though.

              1. There are lots of good restaurants here, but I have to agree that when great food is your goal and price is no object it's really L'Etoile. Harvest is almost as good, some would say as good. For downtown dinners I also like Magnus (novo Scando) and Osteria Papavero (trad Italian), both of which are a notch down in price and food from the Big Two.

                For nightlife, Natt Spil for hipness. For a real Madison evening of beer under the stars, the patio at the Great Dane, right near you (food is substandard, though), or the Union Terrace on campus, where you can drink your beer right on the lakeshore and eat ice cream made by UW's world-class department of dairy science. For music, the High Noon is my favorite; Tuesday nights they have "rock star Gomeroke" where you can sing your heart out in front of a live band that seems to know every song ever committed to vinyl.

                1 Reply
                1. I would recommend Blue Marlin on the square in the shadows of the State Capital. Great seafood, great environment.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: SwedePower

                    another one you might enjoy is tornado club just off the square particularly if you like venison.

                  2. You can't beat Sardine for a great meal accompanied by a wonderful view (get there early for a patio seat!) Fresco comes in a close second and you can go the museum before dinner for a great evening. Without being mean, I'd avoid the Essen House at all costs...IMHO. Weary Travrler is a very fun spot (Bad Breath burger isn't as good as it used to be and they raised the price!). Alchemy Cafe on Atwood is a great alternative too !

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: billjames_88

                      I agree with most of the suggestions here, especially to avoid Essen House. Love Sardine, thats my favorite place for a dinnert with guests from out of town, Weary is in my hood and always fun and funky. Also Le Chardonnay on Moules and Frites nights, I would take that any day over the stuffy L'Etoile atmosphere.. Muramoto's has some pretty good Asian fusion food, Dohban out on Atwood for Himalayan is also excellent. Lao Laan Xang for Laotion, there are so many good places its hard to go wrong!