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Feb 3, 2010 08:45 AM

looking for restaurant - Madison, Wi

I'm looking for an upscale restaurant, preferably with a dress code in the madison area to take my girlfriend to on valentine's day. Any suggestions?

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  1. Do you mean Madison, Wisconsin? If so, I'm sure the Chowhound Team will be happy to move this topic to the Great Lakes forum.

    You'll want to take a look at the existing topics for Madison:

    By "dress code", if you're referring to requiring jackets for gentlemen, there isn't any place in Madison that does so; business casual attire (shirts with collars, slacks other than blue jeans, no jackets, no ties) predominates even at the nicest places, like L'Etoile and Harvest. You'll need to check with the individual restaurants or their websites about their plans that day, though, because many of them are closed on Sundays.

    1. haha thank you, i wasnt sure where to place my post so i just picked chicago

      1. I had a good experience at Brassierie V last year (anniversary, not valentine's day). Make sure you get a reservation, though. Paisan's has a killer view of the lake, so that might also be a good option. I don't think either place has a dress code, though.

        3 Replies
        1. re: brats_n_curds

          You might want to check out this website:

          As far as lake view, Paisan's is pretty darn casual - I would suggest the Edgewater Hotel for a most high-class feel with a great lake view.

          1. re: itsbubbles

            Fresco also has a high-class feel (along with great food - don't miss the beignets filled with chocolate for dessert!). It's on the roof of the Museum of Contemporary Art, with a view of the Capitol. "Smart" business casual attire predominates.

            1. re: nsxtasy

              all casual dress but very good: magnus, lombardinos, johnny delmonico's, tornado club, harvest, and l'etoile.

        2. As @nsxtasy stated, there really aren't any dress code spots in Madison. L'Etoile is bar none the most heralded restaurant in the city, if not the state. If you're looking for culinary gravitas, go there if you can.

          Sardine is quite nice, with a romantic interior--especially if you get a seat near the lakeview windows. Restaurant Magnus has a dark, sultry vibe, although now that they feature a modern Scandinavian menu, the passion is maybe a little reduced from its South American fusion days.

          Brasserie V's menu on Sundays is a "lite" menu, so you'll be missing out on its best main courses; the new late-winter menu just debuted on Monday.

          Johnny Delmonico's is a straight-up steakhouse that does a lot of Valentine's Day business. Consider Inka Heritage if your desire for a dinner date can accommodate the unconventional.