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Posts Tagged ‘Beer’

Best Outdoor Dining in Madison WI

August 21st, 2014 by Pat Fischbeck

Our guests at The Speckled Hen Inn often ask us to recommend a venue for the Best Outdoor Dining in Madison WI.  It’s a tough call because every year the list of possibilities grows.  Here are just a few of our favorites for the best outdoor dining in Madison WI that are pretty close to the Inn.

doolittles-woodfire-grillSummer vacations consist of lazy days: tanning on the beach, shopping down the boulevard, hiking through the woods or maybe even taking in some biking around town. To finish off the day, there is nothing better than a delicious dinner out. The problem? You have to make the choice about where to go and, considering the overabundance of Madison’s restaurants, that can be an intimidating decision. As a person that loves food, patio dining and well, food, let me shed some light on the subject. Madison offers some of the best dining Wisconsin can offer and many of them have outdoor seating allowing you to continue your Madison experience throughout the evening.

Of all the restaurants that Madison has to offer, the very first patio I would check out is the Ale Asylum.  Whether you are there for dinner or beer tasting, the atmosphere won’t disappoint. Where do you start? Beer. Given that it is one of the many local breweries in the Madison area, it has an assortment of craft brews including a delicious, thick porter, an IPA hopped to perfection and a smooth pale ale. With beer in hand, you can begin to scan the menu. It may not be extensive but they’ve taken great care to give a variety of quality appetizers and entrée’s.

If something more quaint is what you are looking for, Erin’s Snug Irish Pub might be your place.  While dining in one of the most prominent Irish pubs in Madison, you will not be disappointed by their traditional Irish fare. Every day, both new visitors and regular patrons relish in the robust flavors of Shepherds Pie and Erin’s infamous Guinness Stew. One of my favorite features of this restaurant is that, between the atmosphere and staff, everyone is made to feel like they are at home among friends.

Want a little history with your meal? Doolittle’s Woodfire Grill abounds in historic details throughout the restaurant. Located near the East Town Mall, it is a convenient destination but that’s just the beginning. The patio dining area was created with comfort as the primary concern spacing the luxury furniture for optimal relaxation. Much of the food here at Doolittle’s is cared for by quality professionals and cooked to perfection by rotisserie. How are the barbeque ribs? Falling off the bone. How about the prime rib? It melts in your mouth. And the list goes on and on through the remainder of the menu. Yes, this is the perfect place to finish a long day of fun in the sun or shopping until you drop.

It is nice to know that no matter what kind of food and atmosphere you are in the mood for, you can find it within a short drive from the Speckled Hen Inn.

 

A Foodie Visits Madison

February 21st, 2012 by Pat Fischbeck

A foodie visits Madison, WI and wants to know our Top Ten Foodie places.  Fine Cheese in Madison WI  It’s hard to pare the list down to just 10 places and I’ll not even attempt to include places where you could eat.  Here are my picks for the top 10 places for foodies to shop for things to eat, drink, and bless their home kitchens.

  1. Dane County Farmer’s Market.  Yes, it is a year-round love affair with all that is fresh and local.  The market is held every Saturday morning.  In the summer months a Wednesday market is added.  In fact, in the summer months there is a farmers market somewhere near Madison every single day of the week.
  2. Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier.  Madison’s finest dark chocolate truffles can be found here.  We love to feature them in the Romance Packages available at The Speckled Hen Inn.
  3. Fromagination. A cheese shop where you can taste before you buy.  Lot’s of local cheeses and a cheese merchant who really knows the stuff.  It’s right on the Capitol Square too.Spirits From Yahara Bay Distillers in Madison WI
  4. Penzeys.  Two shops in the Madison area will overload your senses with spices and herbs and inspiration.  Their Hot Chocolate mix is a favorite at the Inn.  If you leave the store with just one item, let it be the double strength vanilla.
  5. Ale Asylum.  Proof that beer is crazy good food.  The distribution of their beers is getting to be pretty good and you will find it in several local restaurants and markets.  But, it is a lot more fun to go to the source and maybe even meet the guys who make it.
  6. Orange Tree Imports.  Cookware and all manner of gadgets for the foodie’s kitchen.  There are also plenty of beautiful serving pieces.  It is great place to shop for a wedding gift for foodies too.
  7. RP’s Pasta.  Beautiful, delicious handmade pasta to pair with your cheese and veggies.  They make great gluten-free pasta too.
  8. La Brioche.  Fine Bakery items that you will never be able to create at home.  The morning buns have long been a Madison favorite and they produce wedding cakes that taste every bit as good as they look.
  9. Yahara Bay Distillers.  Go and be amazed.  They make some of the finest Lemoncello I’ve ever tasted.  It is almost worth taking Friday off from work so that you can be in Madison on Thursday night for their tastings.
  10. The Kitchen Gallery.  The love of their buyer for fine kitchenware is so obvious.  I can go in their shop and find things that I would swear they ordered just for me.

Beer Bread Recipe for Packer fans

February 3rd, 2011 by Pat Fischbeck

Up here in Frozen Tundra land most Packer Fans will be serving chili on Super Bowl Sunday.  Do you need a special, perfect something to go with the chili?  How about grilled cheddar sandwiches made with Wisconsin Beer Bread?  Here’s the Bread recipe:

Wisconsin Beer Bread

3 cups of self-rising flour

3 Tablespoons of sugar

12 ounces of your favorite Wisconsin Beer  (We will be using Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewery)

3 Tablespoons of melted butter.

Mix the flour, sugar and beer.  Scrape into a well greased loaf pan.  Pour the melted butter over the top and bake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees.

Cool the loaf and slice into hearty slices.  Make sandwiches with your favorite Wisconsin Cheddar cheese.  Brush the outer sides of the sandwich with more melted butter and grill until golden brown.  Cut into triangles (Think cheeseheads!) and enjoy with your chili.

The innkeepers at The Speckled Hen Inn will be serving the sandwiches with their Super Bowl Sunday Breakfast.  Go Pack!

Innspiration for your Super Bowl Party

January 24th, 2011 by Pat Fischbeck

If you need a bit of inspiration for your Super Bowl Party, the innkeepers at the Speckled Hen Inn in Madison Wisconsin have a couple of suggestions for you.  Since Packer fans have a weekend off from watching football this weekend why not head to Madison to check out the Isthmus Beer and Cheese Fest.

Sample some of Wisconsin’s finest craft beers and specialty cheeses and decide which ones you will want to serve at your Packer’s party on Super Bowl Sunday.  There are even a couple of special sessions at the event that you won’t want to miss but need to sign up for early.  At 1:30 the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board will pair wonderful Wisconsin cheeses with the brews from Potosi Brewery.  That’s the great western Winconsin brewery that is also home to the Beer Museum.  At 3:00 there is a session on pairing beer with chocolate.  It even gets better.  The pairing is between Gail Ambrosius Chocolates (our local favorite) and the crazy craft brews from Furthermore Brewery.  (I’ve done this before and you have to try it to even imagine how good it is!)

If your entertainment plan is a bit more upscale head out to Wollersheim Winery in Prairie Du Sac for the party to celebrate the release of their 2009 vintage ports.  This year they will be adding a 2009 vintage White Port to their offerings and you can sample and celebrate any time between 10 and 4 on Saturday.  Enjoy a bit of live jazz and pair your port sample with a Combinacas Plate featuring Wisconsin-made Asiago cheese, a chocolate truffle, fresh bread, and dried apricots and almonds.  You will want to take home a bottle of Wisconsin Port or wine to toast the success of the Packers anyway.  Sampling is one sure way to find the wine that pleases you.

We still have rooms available on Friday night so that you can have a romantic getaway at The Speckled Hen Inn.  Enjoy our great breakfast and then head out to sample some of Wisconsin’s finest.

Can you use 'blonde' & 'chub' in the same sentence and still be PC?

February 25th, 2010 by Pat Fischbeck

You can if you have attended Capital Brewery’s Bockfest.  Guests at our Madison WI Bed and Breakfast will be chatting Sunday morning about the wonderful time they had at this annual event.

First let me explain about the ‘Blonde” and the ‘Chub’.  Bockfest celebrates the release of Capital Brewery’s Blonde Dopplebock beer.  The ‘chub’ part comes into play mid-afternoon when Kirby gets up on the roof of the brewery and flings smoked chubs into the crowd.  Smoked chubs are delicious smoked 6″ or so fish that are dearly loved by all those who have been fortunate enought to taste one.  Why does Kirby throw fish from the roof?  You will have to go to a Bockfest and ask.  I think that he does it because it is just plain outrageous fun and that is what Bockfest is all about.

Other events during the day include the 1K Running of the Blondes, live music, a costume contest, and of course, brewery tours and much drinking of the Dopplebock.

The 13th Annual Bockfest is this Saturday, February 27th from 11AM until 5PM at Capital Brewery in Middleton, Wisconsin.  Bockfest is always held the last Saturday in February so if you have to miss it this time, you can mark your calendar for next year.

Cheers!

January in Madison — events to enjoy

January 5th, 2010 by Pat Fischbeck

Yes, it is cold and there is lots of snow piled around but there is a lot to do this month.  Here’s a quick summary of weekend events in the month of January:

January 8-10 is Madison Home Expo 2010 time.  Do you need a little inspiration for an upcoming facelift for your home?  You will find it here.

January 9 or 16  Michael Feldman is in town for his WPR radio show, Whad’Ya Know.  If you have never been part of a live audience for a radio program, you have to go.  It’s a hoot! 

January 15 and 16, 22 and 23 get out the saddle shoes and head on down to Fort Atkinson to the Fireside Dinner Theatre for Those Fabulous 50′s and 60′s .  It is just a pretty drive through the rolling countyside.  You will still be smiling and humming the tunes when you return.

January 30  WOW a busy day.  You will have to make some choices.  The Broadway tour of Rent will be onstage at the Overture CenterWollersheim Winery will be celebrating the  release of their 2008 Port with live jazz, light food, and port and wine tastings.  Check out the eagles on the Wisconsin River while you are in the area.  If Port is not your thing you might enjoy the Isthmus Beer and Cheese Feast at the Alliant Energy Center.  Taste Wisconsin’s finest and choose your favorite pairing.  Then get all dressed up and head to the heart of the city for Madison’s Frostiball.  Dance the night away in the magnificent capitol rotunda.

See, there is plenty for guests at the Speckled Hen Inn to do in January.  Or for those who don’t want to “do”, there is always watching the wild turkeys and the squirrels and birds at the feeders, trying out the snowshoes, watching the fire in the woodburner, or catching a game or a movie on the bigscreen.