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Jun 7, 2010 09:17 PM

Celebrating My Parents' 50th Wedding Anniversary in Madison, WI

My brothers and I would like to surprise my parents for their 50th wedding anniversary by taking them out to dinner and dancing in August. I went to college in Madison, but moved away after graduating about eleven years ago and much has changed there in the interim.

We've been to L'Etoile and Cocoliquot and some other fine dining places in the past few years and they were all great. Are there any new restaurants I should know about?

Also, do you know of a place we could take them dancing that's not a bump-and-grind kind of nightclub? Like maybe a piano bar or a place with a brass band? (Do those place still exist anywhere?)

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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  1. Cocoliquot's closed, L'Etoile is still there but in the midst of moving. Try Harvest, right next door to L'Etoile. If you want steaks, try the Tornado Club on Main St. or Delmonico's on Pinckney, both just off the Square. If your parents like sushi, go to the old Cocoliquot space where you'll find Restaurant Morimoto. There's a great piano bar, also near the Square: the Ivory Room at 116 W. Mifflin.

    L'Etoile Restaurant
    25 N Pinckney St, Madison, WI 53703

    1. Harvest is excellent but it's been around for quite a while, since around the time you left town. It was started and is owned by the former chef de cuisine at L'Etoile.

      Another excellent restaurant is Fresco, on the roof of the Museum of Contemporary Art, with a view of the rooftop sculpture garden and the Capitol. The contemporary American food is excellent and the setting is lovely. If you go there, don't miss the chocolate-filled beignets for dessert!

      1. Assuming that your parents are in their 70s, I really think that The Edgewater is a place they would appreciate. The menu is somewhat dated, but was always very well executed. And the adjoining bar (Tha Admiralty?) used to have live music and dancing on weekends.