I was in Wisconsin for 3 days on a work trip, and we stayed in Madison, where we ordered small plates every night and basically went all out on dinner. Shoutout to @dubstep whose amazing guide to eating in Madison (A Very Thorough Guide to Eating in Madison, WI) I consulted thoroughly
  1. Cauliflower fritters with hummus
    We stayed at some mediocre convention hotel, but even the bar food there was legit
  2. Cheese curds
    Cheese curds got super hyped up to me before I got here, and they were indeed delicious. Like a chewier mozzarella stick
  3. Brussels sprouts in apple cider reduction with applewood smoked bacon
    Fucking blew my mind, I scraped every last bit out of the bowl. Best part of this meal, hands down (also probably the worst picture in this post, I'm sorry)
  4. Szechuan green beans with homemade hot sauce, kimchi, toasted sesame
  5. Ploughman's cheese board
  6. Lamb sliders with cherry jam, smoked Gouda, and mustard greens
  7. Bourbon, ginger liqueur, grapefruit something
    This was not the greatest cocktail, but it was really pretty
  8. Duck potstickers with bok choy
  9. Fancy bar food
    Corn, black bean, quinoa salad; walleye sandwich; vegan chili; chips and salsa
  10. Calliope Ice Cream's "Hearty Breakfast" ice cream (oatmeal, whiskey, bacon)
    Holy shit??? I wasn't sure this combination of flavors was going to work, but this ice cream was actually so incredible. My coworker actually looked up if we could get it in New York the next morning (we cannot)
  11. A Pig in a Fur Coat:
    I wrote the rest of this list back in New York so no location tag. Also, this restaurant has the best name ever and was my favorite dinner of the trip
  12. Poutine
    SO. GOOD. Topped with a bit of foie gras, which was perfectly rich. And the cheese curds they put on top were the best of 3 we tried
  13. Beets and carrots in balsamic with ricotta
  14. Ravioli with egg yolk, bacon, brown butter, ricotta
  15. Foie gras mousse with fig jam
    My favorite. Probably the only time I will ever describe flavors being "complex" in a non-ironic way. Seriously this was so good and all the flavors just worked together?? Perfect portion too—really savored it, but I would have had trouble eating more
  16. Grilled octopus
  17. Pork belly with shrimp in butternut squash puree
  18. Chocolate and orange Sicilian sfingi
    This fucking donut was amazing. Dense but not too rich/heavy. The taste of orange is really subtle and hits you just at the end
  19. And a lot of lunches at Panera because that was the only place around our office that wasn't a sit down restaurant
    Also delicious tbh, I love Panera