I recently went to a new restaurant off the square, called Nostranos. It is located in the old Peppino's across from Gennas. Nostranos was delicious.
Opened by a young couple from Chicago, the restaurant is not cheap. The atmosphere is lovely. My boyfriend took me here for a celebration dinner, which was very nice of him. We ordered an appetizer salad, (called Farm Egg Salad - not what you are thinking), entrees (I had the Delicata Squash Cannelloni and it was fabulous) and a dessert. Nothing is large enough or filling enough, but the food is excellent. No surprise, the food is prepared with local ingredients, etc, etc. The menu is on the Italian side.
We waited a really long time for our food. Fortunately, having just been to Paris, where you can wait an eternity for any service, we didn't mind at all. In fact, I don't think a lot of Madisonians mind waiting.
The portions were just too small. The entrees are served on large plates. They either need to:
A) Use smaller plates or
B) Add some big side dish to fill their plates. This is easy to do with a cheap vegetable (potatoes or kale?) with some good seasoning.
Now, as I note some vegetables, it seems the only local vegetables you can get right now are squashes, which is fine. Tonight, I am going to prepare a parsnip and apple mash. (From a recipe I got out of Martha's magazine when I was having my gray hair colored). I recently bought delicata squash from the market and it was one of the tastiest squashes I have had.
The next restaurant I would like to try to is Underground Kitchen in the old Montmatre space. I have done several walk bys with my dog and it looks fun in there. I hear they change their menu a lot and there are several community tables. Underground was known as a catering business. It has a locally sourced menu, blah, blah, blah.
We have too many good restaurants here. I am so spoiled. (And glad I moved here). Especially because I can walk to a lot of them.