It's one of Stefano Viglietti's restaurants and I've wanted to dine there for quite some time, after seeing a Wisconsin Foodies episode focused on three of his restaurants in Sheboygan. My dad and I ordered a campagnola pizza topped with roasted peppers, rapini, roasted eggplant and zucchini. It was wonderful and I'll definitely dine there again on a future Wisconsin visit.
As my dad and I drove from Milwaukee to Platteville last week, we found ourselves cruising through Madison around lunchtime. This is where my list of favorite Madison-area restaurants came in handy. We chose Crema Cafe from the list and both loved the salads we ordered.
Eating out can be great but it's not always easy to make healthy choices when traveling so I was very happy with Crema Cafe as a lunch choice. I can only eat so many fried cheese curds before my body begs for a salad.
I've climbed the M countless times but it was still fun to do on this visit. By the way those stairs on the right didn't exist when my dad was a kid climbing the M.
Platteville doesn't have great dining options with the exception of Steve's Pizza. I was surprised to find they had Strongbow on tap which I first tried in the UK and have only found in Irish bars in this country. Although, hard cider has become a lot more popular recently.
After dinner at Steve's, we walked back to our hotel (perk of staying in a small town) making our way through "Historic 2nd Street" which is an area with a fancy sign and a lot of bars frequented by college kids.
Instead of 2nd Street, I recommend checking out "That Tree" just 10 miles south of Platteville. Have you heard of Mark Hirsch's project? I first saw it on Facebook and was anxious to see the famous tree myself. Never guessing that the location would be on Google Maps. It was cool to see and I recommend checking it out if you find yourself in the area.
My favorite place that I've dined so far on this trip is Schubert's Diner on Main Street in Mount Horeb. We stopped on both the way to and from Platteville. The first time just to pick up lefse and the second time for brunch.
I love the atmosphere at Schubert's, it has a proper soda fountain feel. This place is totally worth a stop if find yourself traveling on Highway 151 past Mount Horeb. Heck, it's worth a side trip if you find yourself in Madison too.
For brunch, I wanted to order something unique to Schubert's so I opted for a lefse burrito. I love lefse with butter and brown sugar but it's not so great as a burrito wrap. The egg, pepper and onion filling however was very tasty.
Schubert's is not the kind of place you skip dessert at. I ordered rhubarb pie with ice cream, and my dad got coconut cream pie which was amazing. Rhubarb pie is one of my favorites but I found myself wishing I had ordered coconut cream after trying a bite of his.
If you look closely in the photo below you'll notice there wasn't too much open water yet on Lake Mendota last Friday. I love Wisconsin but I'm so thankful I didn't live here during the recent brutal winter.
Staying in Madison for a week, I couldn't resist talking my mom and step-dad into a trip to Crema Cafe since my mom wanted to visit Olbrich Gardens nearby. I've now confirmed they have great breakfast options in addition to salads. I ordered blueberry oat cakes which were heavenly.
I'm no longer accustomed to checking a weather forecast because the temperature is pretty much the same year-round in South Florida but this past week I realized why I should get back in the habit while I'm in Wisconsin. I was shocked to see snow when I woke up Monday morning which is something I hadn't seen since November.
Thankfully the snow had melted by yesterday which was opening day for the Dane County farmers' market. I try to go each year on opening day but last year started a tradition where I meet a former co-worker and his family, which I'm happy to say they were able to do again this year.
My mom joined me in our trip around the capitol square and our first stop was at Bleu Mont Dairy for cheese curds. I lived 2 blocks off the square during my undergrad days at UW Madison and I bought cheese curds from Bleu Mont nearly every Saturday that I lived there.
This was my second year having brunch at Merchant after opening day and I enjoyed getting the chance to introduce my mom to Merchant's delicious menu. We shared scrambled eggs, roasted potatoes with aioli, sourdough toast with homemade jam and yogurt served with homemade cherry walnut granola.
I couldn't resist ordering a Merchant mimosa to have with brunch which is made with fresh orange juice, champagne, Death's Door gin, and Bittercube Jamaican Bitters #2. Merchant sells a selection of Bittercube Bitters which is really handy. I purchased Jamaican #2 so I can make Merchant mimosas at home.
Easter Sunday was my last day in Madison. My parents and I celebrated with my aunt and uncle, along with my cousin and his wife. It's a great group that I've celebrated Easter with in the past but until today I had never reciprocated on the giving of Easter baskets.
I had a lot of fun finding gifts over the past week for my relatives. My favorite idea was little bottles of Patron tequila which I put in large plastic eggs that I found at Michael's. With Easter being late this year, I figured the timing was good since Cinco de Mayo is coming up :)
I like the photo of my aunt below because she was loving the pink bunny I gave her until she dug deeper in the bag and found chocolate...you can see what happened to the bunny :) My mom introduced me to Candinas which is the poshest chocolate shop I've ever been to (their capitol square location). I also included chocolate-covered caramels from Gail Ambrosius, another local chocolatier based in Madison.
I'm now back in Milwaukee and will be heading to Door County this weekend for the final leg of my journey. I am so excited to spend time with four of my favorite Milwaukee bloggers in one of favorite Wisconsin places.