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“All around great experience.”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Madison's

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Ranked #354 of 980 Restaurants in Madison
Price range: $22 - $38
Cuisines: American, Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Drinks, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: E. Doty Street
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“All around great experience.”
Reviewed October 30, 2013

First Impressions:
Entrance was a little for our tastes, and you enter next to the bar which seems slightly less than ideal for sit-down situations, but very understandable given the size of the location. Place appears to be a fancier bar-like setting.

Dim-lighting makes for a nice welcoming, soft romantic ambiance, though can cause a little problem when reading the fine print menu. The candle at each table definitely set the mood. The tables were a beautiful hardwood, with a soft smooth texture to the feel. The booth seating was very comfortable. The music although could be heard, was not loud, distracting, nor prevented conversation from being a delightful normal volume, which seems to be a rarity in bars downtown. There are plenty of TVs around if interested in watching one of the many programs on, but not scattered in a tacky, in-your-face sort of way. Bar area seemed large and with a good amount of space for a gathering of friends.

Our waitress was incredibly friendly, had great energy and enthusiasm for her job but she did not come across as fake. Rather she was very helpful in suggesting food and drink options when asked, seemed to be knowledgeable about the fare, and showed up at the perfect time throughout the meal, to check on us and how we were doing.

We started with the sweet potato tots. Even if you're not generally a fan of sweet potatoes, you should try these. They were perfectly balanced between sweet and salty, as well as a light crispy outside with a soft center. The sweet chili dipping sauce wasn't hot at all, but complemented the tots perfectly, such that we made sure to have sauce on every bite. 5/5.
For dinner, we had the Turkey Pesto Sandwich w/Bacon Brussels and the Brisket Panini w/Mac & Cheese. The Turkey sandwich was fantastic because of a tremendous pairing with the pesto and goat cheese. Although it was light and refreshing it fills you up. 5/5. The bacon brussels were strong on the bacon flavor, and brought less from a vegetable standpoint. The presentation was very pretty, but overall the veggies, weren't a knock out of the park due to the lack of texture. 4/5. The brisket panini was expertly cooked to perfection and brought a very good flavor and texture, though a sauce (bbq?) would give the sandwich the desired depth to give it a perfect rating. 4/5. The Mac & Cheese (which is their entree in a side-size portion) brings a tremendous flavor profile to a creamy, cheesy delicacy. If there was anything to knock it on, possibly give a few more bread crumbs. 5/5.

The bar selection contains a healthy variety of specialty cocktails, Wisconsin craft brews, white/red/desert wines, as well as a healthy variety of whiskey's and scotch. We had a beer which was served in the proper glass for its type (which is far from regular anywhere) and a specialty cocktail (the morning after) which was served in a martini glass. The beer was fresh, and the cocktail was more than worth the $10 price tag, due to its outstanding flavor.

Overall, initally looking at the menu the prices come across as a few dollars higher than expected per item. After partaking in the entire dining experience, the execution and quality of food, the quality of the service, and the wonderful atmosphere make for an amazing dining experience that makes you feel that the price is right.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank callistobug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
1,018 reviews
772 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 336 helpful votes
“Not a bad restaurant/club”
Reviewed August 1, 2013

I thought this was a place to semi-club and drink, but the food isn't necessarily bad either.

By food, I actually mean just their tater tot appetizers. I decided to eat here once and ordered their sweet tots and the smoked gouda burger. The burger was okay, but I devoured the sweet tots. I ended up not finishing the burger and instead ordered both the poutine tots and the truffle tots.

I'm sure most people go to Madison's for drinks and dancing, rather than the food. But if you're hungry and want to drink, at least you can coat your stomach lines with the tater tots beforehand to maximize your experience.

Visited November 2012
Thank Tunaidi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NW Arkansas
Level Contributor
24 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Fantastic atmosphere with a great bar”
Reviewed January 24, 2013

I visited Madison's while traveling on business. I had a great seat at the awesome bar area. The Cheese Curds were awesome with battered and non on the same tray. Also had an in house made hot sauce that was great with the curds. I had a sandwich that was solid as well. The atmosphere was great and the shape and size of the bar allow for great view of the restaurant and even outside on the street downtown. Ale Asylum on tap was a bonus for me as well! Definitely will make a return trip when I'm back in town.

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank ScubaSteve_17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Truffle Oil Tater Tots? Yes please!”
Reviewed September 27, 2012

Want to Madison's to watch College Football on a Saturday night after dinner. The place has a great layout and good vibe. Atmosphere was fun and casual. Ordered a couple of cocktails -- they were excellent! And then I saw the menu with their selection of various tater tot items....AWESOME! I went with the truffle oil tater tots, which were excellent! All in all - great place to watch sports and enjoy drinks and bar food.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hiawatha, ia
Level Contributor
48 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Great ambiance, good food, decent prices”
Reviewed September 5, 2012

Just off the Capitol Square. Great decor in an old brick building. Prices much more reasonable than I expected for so close to capitol.

Visited September 2012
Thank khoheisel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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