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“Great All Around Place” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Jacs Dining and Taphouse

Jacs Dining and Taphouse
2611 Monroe Street, Madison, WI 53711
(608) 441-5444
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Ranked #114 of 772 Restaurants in Madison
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cuisines: French, American
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great All Around Place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2013 via mobile

First Impressions:
We had to find street parking (not even sure if they have a lot). The place was cozy, warm and inviting. Since we had a reservation we were given the window spot. Ultimately the tables appeared to be pretty close together, but as mentioned below, it worked out. We were seated immediately and we were on our way.

Atmosphere:
The building was an older building with certainly a lot of character. The place was well lit with nice soft lights, so you don't feel like you're under a spotlight. The tables and chairs were nothing special, but were comfortable and clean. The tables were close to each other that sitting down (or getting up if you had to) was definitely an uncomfortable squeeze. The trade off was that although the tables were close together, you didn't feel on top of anyone, and you could carry on a conversation with your table without being drowned out by the other diners. They had a huge bar with plenty of seating for a location that was overall not very large.

Service:
We were promptly greeted upon arrival and were seated immediately. The waitress we had was very friendly and informative and helped us with questions regarding the menu. They were very attentive throughout the meal and ensured the water glass was always full. They brought out the food with an appropriate pacing, and checked in regularly while not being distracting (for example, she didn't stop by to ask how the food was right after we took a bite). We were more than happy with our waitress.

Food:
We had the Peach & Prosciutto Flatbread and the Turkey sandwich with the house frites. The flatbread, cooked perfectly was a nice balance of sweet and salty. It was light, but filling, and brought a unique flavor profile to the table. The combination of ingredients was out of the box but well done and each ingredient tasted fresh. The serving size was perfect for dinner. Definitely a 5/5. The turkey sandwich was basically the ultimate thanksgiving leftovers sandwich. The turkey was loaded with flavor and the toppings were a great balance of flavors that you find with your holiday meal. The cranberry mayo was a nice balance of sweet and tart. Definitely a 5/5. The frites were highly touted on the reviews coming in, and although the fries were a great homemade fry, the aioli provided was a little on the bland side. In their defense, we've never been fans of the mayo/fry craze, but we were willing to try. We'd give them a 3/5. After dinner we decided to try one of the amazing looking desserts because we saw the table by us order a pair. We decided on the lavender crème brulee. This was definitely one of the best brulees that we've ever had. The custard, although a little thicker, had a great depth of flavor that paired well with the crispy brulee on top. This was smothered in a whip cream topping and a fresh & flavor packed strawberry garnish. Overall an incredible finish to an fantastic dinner (5/5).

Drinks:
We ordered the house cocktail (Aviation) and one of the tap beers. The house cocktail was quirky but came through with a delectable flavor that can't be properly described. The beer was served in a standard pint glass. The number of options was more than enough as there was about a dozen different specialty cocktails and a dozen different tap beers (both international and local, none being your common awful domestics). We both came away extremely pleased with our drinks.

Value:
The quality of the food and drinks were great. The service and atmosphere was also nice. The sandwich options were reasonably priced (~10-11) and the flatbread was worth the ~15-18 paid for it. Some of the entrées escalated quickly in price, but overall the main options seemed reasonable for the quantity and quality of the product delivered. The drinks were less desirable as the cocktails were 8-12 dollars and the beers were 6-10 dollars for draft. Although this was a little on the high side, it didn't take away from the experience. The dessert was the most disappointing from a value perspective as the 7 dollar cost was arguably too high for the small portion size (though the flavor was so good that it could probably be justified). Overall we'd definitely go back again, as the experience was great.

Visited November 2013
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50 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    22
    21
    5
    0
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Madison, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Friday night fish was great!!!!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013

Not a large place and they do not take reservations on Friday nights (but they do other nights) so we decided we would get there early. They begin serving at 4:00 so we arrived at 4:30. Good idea! Within about an hour, the place was pretty packed. The tables were full and people were waiting in the bar area. Their Friday fish special was excellent! In our group of 4, 3 had beer battered and 1 had broiled....all of us agreed it was great! One had the potato pancakes which were quite good. The other 3 had the frites served with aioli dipping sauce and the 4th person tried some....all 4 agreed FANTASTIC! Fish special was reasonably priced. I will definitely plan to go there again and soon, I hope.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Bluff, Il
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“what a find!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2013

great great great experience and dinner...
my wife and i were in madison for the weekend and struggled to find a place that was able to handle her gluten-free needs (she is celiac).
luckily we found jacs!
what a charming, welcoming, and delicious time...
katie, our server, could not have been more attentive and pleasant in dealing with us and we basically let her pick what she would recommend - and it was a home-run!
highly recommend the frites with the 5 types of dipping sauces ( the aoili is rockstar quality).
cuban sandwich made me drool (which is a good thing and i am not usually a fan of cuban sandwiches) and the gluten free fried chicken nearly made my wife cry tears of joy!
thanks you jacs!! we will back next time we are in town...

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
127 reviews 127 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“Wish that I lived nearer to this neighborhood eatery!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013

This is an adorable, well run neighborhood bar and restaurant. It is always very busy with patrons but they handle the crowd well. The patrons seem to be smiling and happy to hang out near the bar in a very narrow lane to wait for their table or a spot at the bar. The food is delicious. They can make almost anything gluten free, so my daughter and I went to town! The beet salad is so delicious and they can serve it with gluten free toast, my risotto was outstanding with lots of veggies and cheese, my daughter had the ratatouille and it was packed with veggies and polenta, The service is excellent and the building's architecture is very cool. It is the anti-chain establishment.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
223 reviews 223 reviews
172 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
“Enjoyable”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

Our dinner included pan seared catfish and mussels and frites. The catfish was very flavorful with a delightful sauce. Mussels were small to medium size but prepared well in a garlic-Chardonnay broth. Beer selections are excellent. This is a neighborhood hangout with a small dining area. Our main complaint is the small tables against the wall for two adjoining tables where four can be seated. When this happens (and it did for us) you will have your neighbor diners back about 4 inches from your food. This is very distracting, noisy and unpleasant. Overall, we have always found the food quality, wait staff, and experience to be very good.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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