Friday, January 23rd, 2015

By now, you’ve noticed that our third meal in our whirlwind tour of Madison Restaurant Week venues has been missing from this drivel. “What the hell?” You were thinking. “Has he forgotten his duties?” It’s a natural reaction, and I have a good reason: I’m lazy. I started to write it up, but didn’t feel like finishing it. It happens to me all the time. Like right now. I started to make fun of myself for not finishing the drivel I wrote about going out to eat, but I don’t have any ideas for a way to finish the joke and I’m not sure I want to any more. Well. Anyway.

We went to Sardine on Tuesday night. Sardine is one of our favorite places to eat, and ironically so, because we so rarely go there. It’s got great food, the staff is very nice, very professional and very fast, and the bar is well-stocked with any kind of wine, booze or beer you could think of. Well, that I can think of. Maybe you can think of a lot more than I can.

My appetizer was fish soup or, as it’s known when it’s the soup du jour, “soupe de poisson.” Don’t ask me why “soup” doesn’t have a silent e and then it does. I don’t know French so I asked The Google, and I just wrote down what it told me. So. This may be the first time I’ve ever had fish soup. Every time the option of fish soup was presented to me before I thought, Fish is an odd thing to make soup out of, and I didn’t get it. But Restaurant Week is all about trying new things, so I tried it and I liked it. B’s appetizer was a goat cheese and onion tart with black olives and oven-roasted tomatoes. B loves a good tart.

My entree was a grilled Norwegian salmon because, when I see salmon on the menu, nothing else has a chance. They served it with French lentils, sautéed spinach, portobello mushrooms, tomatoes, and beurre blanc. That’s a sauce made of butter. Don’t be impressed that I knew that. I asked The Google again. B’s entree was a French casserole that foodies call Cassoulet, which seems weird to me because “casserole” is a French word. Why would the French have two words for the same thing? Turns out they don’t. “Casserole” comes from a word that means “saucepan,” so you’re eating a saucepan when you call it a casserole. B loves her saucepans, but she loves Cassoulet even more. The Cassoulet at Sardine was braised white beans, lamb, garlic sausage, duck confit and bread crumbs. She let me taste some of hers. Oh my.

For dessert, I asked for Gianduja Crunch, because the menu described it as chocolate-hazelnut ganache on a crunchy feuilletine crust, caramel sauce and hazelnut brittle tuille. I don’t know what half of that means, but I didn’t have to ask The Google about any of it because you had me at “chocolate-hazelnut ganache.” B had the Crème Renversée au Caramel. Ditto hers, except you had to get all the way to “caramel” to hook me.

Sardine | 5:48 am CST
Category: festivals, food & drink, Madison Restaurant Week, play, restaurants | Tags:
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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

After thinking it over for a couple years, My Darling B & I finally indulged ourselves and signed up to join in on Restaurant Week, the annual festival of stuffing yourself silly with good food at great restaurants in Mad Town. It started on Monday but our pocketbook couldn’t stand the strain of eating out every night of the week, so we selected two nights, Wednesday and Friday, and by “we” I mean that B made all the plans, recommended the best eats and phoned the restaurants to make the reservations, because I wouldn’t recognize a good-looking entree if it slapped me in the face with a freshly-caught trout. Drop a cooked trout on my table, though, and I’ll let you know whether or not I’ll be back for more.

Tonight we dined at Sardine, a restaurant on the lake shore in the Machinery Row building that we’ve been meaning to try for at least the past four years, or ever since it opened. After supping on the pan-in roasted chicken breast in bacon lardon and mushroom ragout, I’m willing to give it five stars because it was just that good. B was just as delighted with the cassoulet she ordered, and we both finished off with the lemon meringue tart, which was very tart. I have to say the wait staff was spot-on with very nearly everything. If only she’d offered us coffee with dessert, we would’ve given her flawless marks.

Nom Nom Nom | 7:35 pm CST
Category: festivals, food & drink, Madison Restaurant Week, play, restaurants | Tags:
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