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madison favorites.

August 2, 2008

This week held a couple Madison events: Summer Restaurant Week and the last Concert on the Square of the year.

Restaurant week consists of 6 days of various restaurants offering $25 fixed price menus (three courses). Naturally, because Madison has an abundance of restaurants for me to try, I had to make a couple of reservations. The final decision was Harvest and Fresco. Harvest, known for its local, organic food was a great experience. I was especially happy with their ability to adjust the reservation at the last minute (miscounting the number of people in your party is quite unfortunate). As for food, the skirt steak and seasonal fruit tart were fantastic; the grilled squid appetizer was good, but not amazing. Fresco, known for its location on the rooftop of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, was also fabulous. It definitely has the contemporary art feel, from their square plates/glasses to the white and black decor. All three courses were outstanding: an unbelievably good seared scallop appetizer, a grilled salmon entree (with a great salad), and a delicious dark chocolate cake. The cake was, by far, the shining star of the meal.

The last Wednesday was the last Concert on the Square of the year, which just happens to be the 25th anniversary of these events. Every summer, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra plays six free concerts on the Capitol lawn. So many people come to watch, and not just watch, but eat too. And they don’t mess around. I saw multiple families with small tables complete with flowers in vases, candles, and a full dinner with lots of wine. My friends and I planned a small picnic of grilled kabobs, pasta salad, bread/cheese, cherries, chocolate chip cookies, and, of course, some wine. While I was not too impressed by the concert, it was still great fun to be part of such a favorite tradition.

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