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Chinese New Year in NOVA -- Where would you go?

Last weekend, a couple of Chinese community groups had Chinese New Year's festivals.

We are still searching for a good place to celebrate to eat.

2015 Chinese New Year Dinner

We went to Hong Kong Pearl, in Falls Church. It's our go to dim sum place, so we had high hopes. Last year they had a special CNY menu but didn't get a lot of orders so ditched it.

The food was just ok, but expensive. They charged for every small thing. We are looking for a new place to celebrate Chinese New Year anywhere in the DC metro area.

In Your Opinion, What is the Best Thai Restaurant in Northern VA?

Thai Square (Columbia Pike) is one of my favorites. The Tom Kah Gai is fantastic, as is the squid with fried basil. OP--Columbia Pike in Arlington might be work a quick visit, as you could hit 2 exceptional Thai places within walking distance between Glebe and Walter Reed. The other, Bangkok 54 is good. My husband lived in Bangkok, and that's his favorite place for authentic food in the area.

Madison, WI--Anyone been to Pig in a Fur Coat or Forequarter?

Just got back from Forequarter and had to comment. The menu was innovative. Carrot soup was hearty and smokey. Lamb shanks over steel cut oatmeals--savory and complex. Kale salad was creative and tasty. The portions were modest.

I would recommend this for folks who enjoy creative combinations. Thoroughly enjoyed our dinner. Not as many options for the person who is looking for the staples often found on other local food menus. Not a place to go for a better version of something you've already had elsewhere--it's a place to try a new taste combo well executed, adventurously conceived.

Dec 09, 2012
gastro nomad in Great Lakes

Best ramen in Madison....

Is there any chance kusaka may do a Madison branch?

Dec 08, 2012
gastro nomad in Great Lakes

Chez Nanou? MSN

Has anyone tried Chez Nanou in MSN? Any opinion on how it compares to Bradburys crepes?

Dec 08, 2012
gastro nomad in Great Lakes

Thai in Madison

have you tried Suwanasak Thai Cuisine on Gammon, near beltline? I haven't tried their papaya salad, but the rest of their menu is pretty authentic tasting.

Sep 02, 2012
gastro nomad in Great Lakes

Door County Report -- JJ's Waterfront, Wave Pointe resort, Malvitz produce stand

Thanks for starting this post! It was a great help for our August trip. So to add to the collective knowledge...

I second White Gull Inn (Fish Creek) for breakfast and fish boil. And Fred and Fuzzy's was really a great place for casual dinner. The burgers are pretty good.

Julie Park Cafe (Fish Creek): Great breakfast. Good coffee, and housemade strawberry rhubarb jam. Praline french toast was tasty. (Very child friendly.)

The Cookery (Fish Creek): classics with a creative twist. delicious club sandwich. eggplant fries (!) the potato salad was tasty. cherry vinaigrette was an inspiration (but a bit sweet for other diners at the table).

Wilsons (Fish Creek): Ice Cream. Required eating.

Al Johnsons (Sister Bay): classic with the goats on the roof. Swedish meatballs not quite hot. Sort of typical tourist fare. But, the swedish part of the menu has some classics that we've not seen outside of Stockholm. So I'm intrigued but haven't ventured to that side of the menu.

Has anyone tried Trio?

Sep 02, 2012
gastro nomad in Great Lakes

Chinese Restaurants in Madison, WI

Just wanted to add a new find. Orient House on Park St. I highly recommend ordering from the Chinese menu (versus the American side--both are in English). The green beans are amazing. The walnut prawns pretty good. The eggplant very nice. The menus seems to be a mix of Cantonese and Sichuan.

Ambiance is uninspiring and mostly clean.

May 19, 2012
gastro nomad in Great Lakes

Supper Club recommendations in Madison WI?

Wow! Thanks, and thanks! Very helpful!

Jan 17, 2012
gastro nomad in Great Lakes

Supper Club recommendations in Madison WI?

Great questions--I think I don't know enough to even know what questions to ask.

Are there elements of a supper club that one should look for? I love the old ones where
it seems like folks have been going there for decades. Does anyone do a new version that preserves the best of the traditions, but adds something new? I'd be interested in both.

Thanks for your help!

Jan 16, 2012
gastro nomad in Great Lakes

Supper Club recommendations in Madison WI?

Totally willing to drive for a "quinessential" experience. Dives are great, especially when the food is good.
Willing to drive 45 min one-way, but prefer something within 20 mins of Madison.

What makes up a "supper club" experience, and who does it well? I'd be interested in classic versions and re-interpreted versions.

Any and all advice very welcome!

Jan 16, 2012
gastro nomad in Great Lakes

Supper Club recommendations in Madison WI?

It's the classic Madison experience--but to be honest some of the supper clubs look a bit scary from the outside!

Any recommendations for supper clubs?

Jan 14, 2012
gastro nomad in Great Lakes

Middle Eastern/Mediterranean in Madison WI?

Any recommendations for Turkish, Syrian, Mediterranean food in the greater Madison area?

Shish Cafe (University, Madison): amazing Syrian restaurant. Try all the
Syrian items (there are a lot of Mediterranean staples like hummus, baba ganoush). The bread is amazing, especially when dipped in an order of jibne or imsaka. The iggie or kibbe balls are also very worthwhile. They have a great vegetarian selection.

Oliva (Old Sauk, Middleton-ish): I haven't ordered the Italian food here because the Turkish food is so good. Love everything but especially the soups, the kofte, and the Imam Fainted.

Husnus (State St): Turkish food. Kofte is passable. Nice lunch menu.

Jan 14, 2012
gastro nomad in Great Lakes

Restaurant to celebrate after getting married at City Hall

I went to a wedding celebration (after a city hall wedding) at Farallon, near Union Square. Seafood--not to exotic but fantastic.

Also, you might try Fifth Floor (near Moscone Center). They might have a private room. Again, delicious food that they will recognize.

Jardiniere (Grove Street) might be nice. Not to far--but definitely an atmosphere to celebrate. Very accessible food, excellently done.

Congratulations! Good luck!

Mexican and New Mexican in Madison, Wi

I like Cilantro (Tree Lane, Madison) and La Mestiza (Odana, Madison).
I think the Cilantro folks (and also the La Mestiza folks?) have ties to Rick Bayless (Topolobampo, Chicago). Cilantro definitely has the upscale, Mexican stuff. Beautiful, creative
and delicious. La Mestiza has more home fare. Guacamole is awesome. And their dishes really good (but a bit expensive for what you get). I haven't gone on Sundays but they have pozole and I've been dying to try it.

Also El Pastor (Park?, Madison) is great. Cheap, yummy burritos. Tacos are great!

Haven't found a good torta yet--open for recommendations!

Jan 14, 2012
gastro nomad in Great Lakes

Best chocolate chip cookies in Madison Wi

In the "stretch" category I'd (sheepishly) recommend the chocolate chip oatmeal cookies at Potbellies...soft, doughy, amazing.

Jan 14, 2012
gastro nomad in Great Lakes

Chinese Restaurants in Madison, WI

What are the best Chinese restaurants in Madison? In the past few years, it seems that there have been some good places opening up.

My top three (not in order) are Lee's Garden (Mineral Pt/Gammon, Madison), Ichiban (Park St, Madison) and Fugu (State St. Ish).

Lee's Garden has a totally depressing atmosphere (think "Saturday night taking out my
elderly parents for our weekly Chinese dinner" vibe). But ask for the English/Chinese menu (instead of the English-only menu) and there are some great dishes. My favs: shrimp/scallops in birds nest, walnut prawns, and green beans. The clay pot dishes are good. Also, the photos on the front of the restaurant do actually highlight the good stuff. The eggrolls look scary to me (haven't tried them) but its a good mix of cantonese and sichuan. The end the meal with red bean soup (for dessert) which I love!

Fugu is good. The international students who come to UW seem to find it.

Ichiban has great hotpot. And their spicy food is deliciously spicy. Most everything on the menus is good. Their 3 cup chicken is amazing! But go with a few friends, there's a lot on the menu to try.

Honorable mentions: Hong Kong Wok (Hilldale) and Dumpling Haus (Hilldale), and Wah Kee (Williamson, Madison).

Has anyone been to Imperial Garden (University, Middleton)?
Is there any decent dim sum (that isn't frozen)?

Jan 14, 2012
gastro nomad in Great Lakes

Madison favorites

Just to add to the fun:

From reading your list, you might like

Bradbury's (just off capitol square): creative crepes and fantastic coffee
Umami: ramen and dumpling house on Willy st. The pork bun appetizer is delicious.
Fugu (off of State) or Ichiban (on Park) for surprisingly fantastic Sichuan.
The hot pots are the real deal.

Underground cafe (near the Capitol) was great--before the fire. I'm hoping its going to re-open!

Dec 29, 2011
gastro nomad in Great Lakes

Bakery in Madison, WI (West Side prefered)

One more...

Bloom, in Middleton. Cupcakes. Yum! Great other items--their cakes are amazing.
And I like that they have vegan, gluten free options that taste like the real thing.

Dec 29, 2011
gastro nomad in Great Lakes

Wine in Madison, WI???

Woodman's (grocery store) has a surprisingly eclectic wine selection. Sometimes there are reasonably priced gems!

Dec 29, 2011
gastro nomad in Great Lakes

Bakery in Madison, WI (West Side prefered)

I'm very bummed that Madeleine's closed. But on the west side there are a few places I'd recommend.

La Baguette has some of the best pain au chocolate, pastries and sweets around. Their french desserts are great.

The best cookies I've found are the chocolate oatmeal cookies at Potbellies. Some and chewy and lots of chocolate chips. Can't recommend any other cookie sources except sometimes Barriques has a few good ones.

Have you tried Clausens. I still hand carry their morning buns to a friend who moved from Madison to Boston whenever I'm out there. Their almond pastries are good too.

On the east side there was a bread company on Williamson near the park.. If I remember correctly, their cookies were pretty good and pastries really yummy. A plus is that they serve Intelligensia coffee.

Dec 29, 2011
gastro nomad in Great Lakes

Madison International restos and markets?

Back when this question was first posted, there weren't many Chinese options to mention. But in the last few months, there's been a huge increase of options that i just wanted to mention. My husband's family is Chinese from southern California and we could never take them out to eat in Madison. But on their most recent visit there were a few options.

Lee's Garden, on Mineral Point is in a non-descript strip mall. But it has a new chef who has some amazing dishes.

Fugu has started a huge trend and a few other Sichuan places have opened. The one we like the best is Ichiban on Park St (what's up with the Japanese names?!?!) The hot pot is great, and most of the food really good. The service can be spotty.

I'm curious about the Sichuan place opening on University.

Dumpling Haus in Hilldale is expensive. But if you're looking for homemade dumplings, it seems they have a monopoly. Not all the items are great. After sampling the whole menu, I now only order a few times--but my tummy is happy when I do. (Har Gow, potstickers, haus dumplings, haus bao)

Sep 17, 2011
gastro nomad in Great Lakes

Good Mexican in Madison, WI?

Hello Chowhounds,

I've been impressed with some of the Mexican food I've found in Madison, but I'm definitely lacking options is the "cheap lunch" category. Any suggestions on good, authentic Mexican at any price point in Madison, WI?

A visit to Cilantro (on the West side) sparked this thread. The food is really interesting, combinations that seem unusual but really work, and tastes great. I had the chicken enchiladas in mole, but the specials had combinations I had never heard of before. It was a bit pricey--$50 for two with drinks for dinner. I think lunch may be more reasonable.

La Mestiza is fantastic, and seems authentic to me. Again, it's price-ier than I would have expected. But the guacamole is great.

Is there a good taco trunk around? Or a local place, that's filled at lunch because of their cheap but good food?

La Mestiza
6644 Odana Rd, Madison, WI 53719

Aug 28, 2010
gastro nomad in Great Lakes

Baked Bread--What is Madison's best baguette?

I moved to Madison a year ago from the San Francisco Bay Area. I'm in search of a great, classic French Baguette. I'd also be open to any variations along that line (pain epi, rustic). Any suggestions? Acme's rustic baguette has left a hole in my heart (stomach?) that I'm trying to fill!! Do they also do a good croissant (savory like Tartine's ham and cheese, or sweet like Farine's pain chocolate)?

I like Cafe Soleil's (capitol square) pain epi. And La Baguette's (Mineral Point) french baguette is pretty good...are there others out there?

Good sushi in Madison, WI??

I would second (or third or fourth) the Sushi Muramoto suggestion. I usually ask the sushi chefs behind the counter what's good. Being both Japanese and having moved here recently from California, I'm pretty picky but have really enjoyed the chefs recommendations. The toro last weekend was amazing. And they introduced me to a new yellowtail--kanpachi.

If you're a bit of a fish snob, and a bit of a cook, one of the things we like to do is go to Oriental Market on Park street. It's a Korean grocery store. But on Tuesdays they take custom sashimi orders that are ready for pick-up in the afternoon. (I think they drive to Chicago.) It may not be presented in a visually stunning way, but you get great tasting fish, at an unbelievably reasonable price.

Aug 15, 2009
gastro nomad in Great Lakes

Vegan Sweets in Madison, Wi

I've recently gone on a search for vegan baked goodies and other sweets in the Madison area. Here are a few of my finds. Please add yours!

Daisy's cupcakery on the east side does vegan cupcakes. I had a chocolate frosting on chocolate cake. They are kind of new at it (four weeks ago I asked but they were working on it), and I'm not sure if they have them every day or just for special order. It was good, moist, and the frosting tasted great. It just melted a bit in the hot weather.

David Bacco has a couple of chocolates as well as a couple of bars that are vegan. The apricot maripan is great and I would recommend it even if I wasn't vegan.

My best finds have been at grocery stores.
Willy Street Coop makes a few notable items. The mint grasshopper browner is pretty good--but a bit dry. If I wasn't vegan I would probably go for the real thing. They sometimes have cookies and scones. I would pass on these--unless you're really needing a muffin/cookie/scone fix. I would not recommend their cakes. They also stock a few chocolate bars that are tasty.

Whole Foods has a great selection--and has become my new go-to for vegan baked goods. All the Chicago Diner cakes are great--moist, tasty. Something I would eat vegan or not.
They also carry East Side Bakery (Milwaukee) which has fabulous pecan fingers (again--I would eat if not vegan). And my newest find is the Whole Foods cookies--the double chocolate is great, really moist, and a good overall cookie.

Metcalfe's also carries East Side but a different selection. The East Side Bakery 3 berry bar is pretty amazing! Love it! It's like a berry crumble. And the apple pie is not bad either. I would totally pass on the fruit dumplings.

I've been told that a number of the cafes on State street carry vegan baked goods, but I haven't done much exploring there.

Aug 15, 2009
gastro nomad in Great Lakes