January 2014

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GO+DO savor wine January is a month to savor, filled with possibility for the year ahead. Contemplate in the evening over a little something sweet, like Sauternes. A French sweet wine from Bordeaux, it's made from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle grapes. Rich and viscous, I call it "liquid gold"—it can be costly and is extremely beautiful and memorable if ever you have the chance to enjoy it. Brunch bunch THE BREAKFAST CLUB Ever had a side of grits that made your heart sing? You will at Bassett Street Brunch Club, the latest Food Fight Inc. rendition downtown. Crook the grits in your arm and slide them in close to fend off the table's other forks: Made with sharp cheddar, bacon and green onion, the dish is a savory bowl of heaven. All-day brunch is the focus here—decadent pancakes, eggs and breakfast-y fare. After 11 a.m. go for the smacking spicy-sweet-sour Sausage Bahn Mi sandwich, with house-made ginger-scallion sausage, or the Chicken and a Biscuit (above) that's lick-your-plate-clean good. Other fine points: craft morning cocktails, house-made donuts and a great soundtrack. It's what brunch should be. 444 West Johnson St., Madison. (608) 467-5051. My quick picks: Château Rieussec 2001: Put this wine on your bucket list! Rated 100 points (perfection!) by Wine Spectator. Tropical fruit meets crème brulee. ($180) Château d'Yquem 1996: The most coveted producer of Sauternes. Crème brulee, vanilla and honey. ($330 for 375ml bottle) —Karen Eigenberger, partner, STEVE'S Wine-Beer-Spirits the dish stellar soups Tom Yum Kung: Lao Laan Xang Meant to be shared—the large bowl serves four—this clear soup with chili paste, mushrooms, lemongrass and shrimp is a perfect winter warm up. You control the spiciness, from "timid" to "native Lao;" somewhere in the middle is best for newbies. The rich mushroom broth's sturdy meaty flavor and a bright clean finish will sate, not overfill you. Two locations, on Atwood Avenue and Williamson Street. 64 brava magazine | JANUARY 2014 Mushroom Barley: Stalzy's Deli I've never met a mushroom I didn't like, and these guys bowl up a mushroom barley that rivals Mom's. Great flavor, great ratio, and a thick soothing texture that makes it challenging to eat it too fast. And you won't want to! Served piping hot with house-baked bread, it's part of a rotating lineup that swaps around daily. 2701 Atwood Ave., Madison. (608) 249-7806. Chicken & Dumpling: Good Food The name and the long line at this Capitol food cart say it all: Their soups are totally worth the wait! This soup's better than Mom's! Rich with chicken flavor, the broth anchors shredded chicken and perfectly sized, not-too-dense dumplings. Go early! These scratch-made soups run out fast. Located near 33 E. Main St., Madison. (608) 217-5227. –Corey Dane, Madison's community director for Photos courtesy of Food Fight Restaurant group (top), Kristin Joiner (below left), Stalzy's Deli (below center) and Good Food (below right) sweet beginnings

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