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Oct 30, 2012 12:29 PM

Madison, WI--Anyone been to Pig in a Fur Coat or Forequarter?

Planning for a pre-concert meal and debating on trying something new in Madison. Seems like the two new foodie stops that haven’t made their way onto the boards yet are Pig in a Fur Coat and Forequarter.

We did make a very quick stop in at Pig in a Fur Coat for a drink and duck fat fries over the summer…so I know what to expect of the space, but obviously didn’t do much in terms of sampling the food.

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  1. Forequarter is nice, comfortable. Like Underground Kitchen with the edges sanded off. The menu changes pretty frequently, but I can say that the attentions of the Underground guys seem to be bending toward fermentation and rich, funky flavors. Shoot for anything that might be present as mustardy, sour, gamey, or pickled.

    Going off of the currently-posted menu:

    The ripped bread starter is mindblowing; get it with both the ricotta (if they offer it) and the potted meat. Veal meatballs were great when I had them back in late spring. Weisswurst looks promising.

    There's frequently (always?) an off-menu special, and a late-night menu that kicks in after 10. (Perhaps not applicable for you, but there it is.) The bar is still piloted by one of the best cocktail innovators in town.

    Haven't been to PFC yet.

    4 Replies
    1. re: TheBookPolice

      Thanks--will have to report back if we go to Forequarter. I did not ever make it to Underground Kitchen, so I don't have that experience for comparison.

      The cocktails do sound great, the food menu just didn't get me super excited but I am not even sure if the one posted is just a sample or their set current menu.

      1. re: TheBookPolice

        And I've now become intrigued by this Osteria Papavero (I clicked through to your blog) place too...had never looked it up before.

        1. re: bte576

          Yeah, Papavero's really quite nice. (Thanks for popping over, BTW.)

          So, when is/was the show? If it's come and gone, where'd you go?

          1. re: TheBookPolice

            It was this past weekend and we did go with Forequarter. It was a short walk from the concert venue, so it all worked out really well. Will definitely keep Osteria Papavero in mind though for future visits.

      2. Figure I will give the whole run down on our experience at Forequarter in case this is helpful to anyone else.
        At 6 on a Friday, they were already on a 45-60 min. wait but took our number to text us when a table was becoming available. There isn’t much room to wait there, but there is bar across the street. We actually had stopped on our way into town and were able to check into our hotel in the interim and returned just as our seats were ready.
        The seats we were given ended up being at the bar. Fine with us…but just something to comment on if you are bar sitting averse you may want to specify.
        Cocktails were a highlight for sure. They do have a small, but interesting tap beer selection too (which I don’t think you would know from their online menus).
        We had the pork rillettes and bandaged cheddar board to start. The pork could have benefited from a little more seasoning, but as a composed bite with the bread, mustard, and cheese it was enjoyable. I was very tempted by the ripped bread, but we saw someone else with it and the portion looked overwhelming for two.
        From there we enjoyed a pickled/fried cauliflower duo, winter mushroom salad, and lamb meatballs.
        Overall, it may not have been quite amazing, but definitely very tasty and we just had a very nice time sitting at the bar. We were happy with the value vs. experience and quality of food/drinks.

        2 Replies
        1. re: bte576

          Just got back from Forequarter and had to comment. The menu was innovative. Carrot soup was hearty and smokey. Lamb shanks over steel cut oatmeals--savory and complex. Kale salad was creative and tasty. The portions were modest.

          I would recommend this for folks who enjoy creative combinations. Thoroughly enjoyed our dinner. Not as many options for the person who is looking for the staples often found on other local food menus. Not a place to go for a better version of something you've already had elsewhere--it's a place to try a new taste combo well executed, adventurously conceived.

          1. re: gastro nomad

            I'm envious of Gastro Nomad's gift for description, as it is precisely what my wife and I experienced.

            The highlight, for us, were the cocktails. Inventive and, on par, delicious. One of the best Sazerac's I've ever been served, and I have ordered them all over New Orleans.

        2. had a couple of great meals at pig in a fur coat. both times no wait (i think we went early on both occasions) and very friendly service. enjoyed pretty much everything we had, but the sardines appetizer (home cured sardines presented in a tin can as if, you know, you're eating canned sardines) and the steak were standouts.

          1. I cannot over-recommend Forequarter. Here are the
            UNDERGROUNDFOODCOLLECTIVE's coordinates.

            708 1/4 E Johnson St. Madison, WI 53703
            Kitchen: Sun-Wed 5pm-10pm, Thurs-Sat 5pm-1am
            Bar: Sun-Wed until midnight, Thurs-Sat until bartime

            811 Williamson St. Madison, WI 53703
            Open 11am-7pm daily

            (Administration and Production)
            931 E.Main St. Madison, WI 53703

            I live in Paris and am from Madison. I go back to Madison 2-3 times per year. I like real food that is not overpriced. I went on a 17-day cruise on the Oceania Marina (supposedly 4.9/5 for food. It was mediocre. No real butter; everything frozen, etc. ) At Forequarter all the sausages and meat dishes are homemade and tasty. The charcuterie (coppa and ham) was to die for; the pate fabulous. The meat main dishes are great. Yummy buttery desserts! I am sure in the Spring and Summer they will have locally-farmed veggies, etc. Morels? also. The wines are reasonable. Try to come as a group of 4 -- more to try.... you can always get a plate and a drink at the bar. Fun, not elegant. Sardines is a French bistro and very good too, but try to book Forequarter. Bon appetit!