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“Great comfort food!”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Graze Restaurant

Graze Restaurant
Ranked #6 of 980 Restaurants in Madison
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $25
Cuisines: American, Bar, Gastropub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view, Large groups, Business meetings, Families with children, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Bar scene
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Brunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Madison, WI
Level Contributor
52 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Great comfort food!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 9, 2011

Have eaten several times since they opened. Ups and downs with service - but mostly ups. No reservations, so on busy nights plan on putting your name in and grabbing a drink. Highlights abound on the menu. Brunch is also nice. A few things to consider:

1. Graze Burger (haven't had the Pub burger) - you'll hear people call it the best burger they've had. You'll hear people call them crazy. But it is pretty darn good. Definitely a $19 burger. "we suggest medium-rare." "yes please."

2. Mac and Cheese (w/ or w/o the pulled pork) - great little dish. Filling. Rich. Cheesy w/o being overpowered by slop. The pork is very good, too. Could stand on it's own.

3. Pretzel - they make their own. 3 kinds of homemade mustard. Great cheese sauce. I've had one bad one - too dry - but a dozen that I would put up against any I've had.

4. Pickled stuff - forget what they call it. But they pickle a bunch of stuff and serve it to you. Neat!

5. Deviled Eggs - who DOESN'T like deviled eggs?

I feel like this place is a reason for it to rain. A reason to get hung over. A reason to have a bad day. Or, you can just enjoy comfort food when you're happy.

Try the brunch - not particularly great with a lot of other really good breakfast places nearby - but they have a few things that stand out to me. Namely the seasonal fruit pancakes. Limited egg choices but those you can get elsewhere. French Toast is an interesting take with nutella - but was dry when I had it and seemed to be a french loaf sliced the short way... so just didn't have that soft feel that you like to have with a nice french toast.

For those who enjoy booze with their food, there is plenty. Inventive drink menu heavy on the drink part. Seasonal punch is great depending on the season. So-so other times. During berry season last year they would frequently run out. Fresh-squeezed berries and rum? yum. Desserts are created by the same pastry chef who serves the fancy version next door. I suspect that isn't the only thing the kitchen shares and it shows. One morning for brunch, Chef Tory came around the corner into the restaurant with two overflowing wagons. They had just hand-picked piles of stuff from the local farmer's market for that week's meals. That's pretty neat.

Tables are tight. If you are looking for privacy look elsewhere. Big parties are also tough given the lack of reservations... but if you haven't given it a try, do so this weekend. The view of the capital on a nice night is also a great Madison experience.

  • Visited March 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank RedDragonThe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
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English first
Whitewater, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
19 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 20, 2011

We have had lunch here several times in the past 2 months, most recently two weeks ago. It is trendy (in a good, unpretentious way), sleek (in a comfortable way) and the food is incredible good and fresh! The menu is limited but there is enough variety. The soups and appetizer plates (try ALL the cheeses) are delicious, and the portions, while not generous, are much more filling than they would appear to be. The large "wall of window" looks out on the Capitol Square and State Capitol Building - a great view! This restaurant is owned and run by the same folks that run "L'Etoile" which has been rated as one of the country's top restaurants for many years!

  • Visited April 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Ben_McCready
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bozeman, Montana
Level Contributor
136 reviews
86 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“great atmosphere”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2011

Just went here for drinks for first time. Great atmosphere I'd have to say. Equally as cool at Letoile, not as stuffy. Will be back for dinner soon.

Visited January 2011
Thank Strigs8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United States
Level Contributor
105 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Good food, good espresso, great atmosphere, poor service”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2011

I'd like to write a positive review of Graze. Really. But after three trips there in two days, I must give it a poor rating, due mainly to the inconsistent service and off-putting attitude of some of the staff.

My first visit was for a light dinner, and to make a long story short, we had one waiter and two waitresses - mainly because the waiter who was supposed to serve us disappeared after taking our food orders. Never came back (except to give us our bill). He was replaced by a waitress, who cheerfully took our order for beer. And disappeared. After ten minutes, we realized we would never see her again, and managed to corral a passing bartender, who made sure we actually got the beer we had requested by bringing it herself. That shouldn't happen.

Next day I returned for a morning cappuccino, which was more than acceptable. Friendly waitress, good atmosphere. After running some errands, I came back for a late lunch. So I stood at the entrance waiting for someone to notice me and give me an idea as to where I could sit. Nothing happened. And they were definitely not busy. Finally, after an eternity, the hostess (co-owner? not sure) wandered over to the entrance and asked, "Is there something you wanted?" Wow, thanks for the nice greeting!

Lunch was OK, and the waitresses were very nice. But overall, there is a huge problem here with staff understanding that they need to communicate with customers, not desert them mid-meal, and not treat people who arrive, ready to dine, as unwanted homeless people. ("Is there something you wanted?")

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Isoruku
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
77 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Upscale casual fare that delivers!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 11, 2010

Fantastic fare at a decent price. Tori and crew deliver creative and varied fare. Try the wine on tap! Favorites include: walnut beet burger, pancakes, sassy cow cheese curds, noodle bowl and pub burger.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank TheCains
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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