Upscale Comfort Food in a Stylish Setting
Madison, Wisconsin boasts such a wide variety of excellent restaurants that it can be difficult to choose where to eat. However, we do have a few standout standbys, and Graze Restaurant tops the list.
Graze, housed in a spacious glass building on the Capitol Square, is the comfier, less-rarified and heartier sister restaurant to the award-winning L’Etoile, which is located next door. Their mission is to serve local food and they work with farmers across Wisconsin to source the best and freshest ingredients in the state.
The food is uniformly excellent, whether you stop in for brunch, lunch or dinner. Unfortunately, they do not accept reservations so be prepared to wait for a table. Grab a drink from the bar (I recommend the Ginger Snap or Márquez Collins), then camp out with the hipsters in the lobby until your table is ready.
For brunch, you can’t go wrong with the NUTELLA-STUFFED french toast. Sorry about the shouting but…NUTELLA.STUFFED.FRENCH.TOAST! Doesn’t it make you salivate just thinking about it? If you must order something else, try the eggs benedict. Have a bloody, or a magic coffee and your day will be off to a wonderful start.
If you’re here for lunch, their beet-walnut burger is the stuff of legend. It’s a cheerfully-bright magenta and will satisfy even the most bloodthirsty carnivore or picky vegan (sans cheese, of course).
At dinner, don’t miss the gnocchi. Pillowy-soft, buttery and perfect, they are served with seasonal accompaniments like radishes, pea-tendrils or other slightly spicy vegetables. Of course, the mac and cheese is superb as well. And – this is not hyperbole – I would describe their cheese curds* as revelatory.
One of our favorite restaurants in Madison. Great food, great location, perfection.
Know before you go
The wait can be long. Don’t worry, it’s worth it. Check the website before you go for a current menu and hours.
*For those of you not from Wisconsin, a cheese curd is a small nugget of cheese that is rolled in batter and then deep fried. It’s also the reason why vegans are few and far between around here.