Sunday, December 12, 2010

Jac's Dining and Taphouse

The history of the space that this restaurant currently occupies is curious. When we first moved to Madison, it was an Italian place- Papa Phil's. Then, shortly after it became Monroe Street Bistro. While we enjoyed Papa Phil's and it's excellent italian food- we really enjoyed Monroe Street Bistro. It felt very european, the food was always good (especially the frites) if not super meat-y, and the ambiance felt intimate.

Recently we noticed that while the restaurant looked the same, the name had changed. It was now Jac's. The most popular rumor that new management wanted to start fresh with a new name and new menu. And, it is quite different. First of all, the menu is much bigger. But they still have frites so we are good there. The food, while described as rustically european, is high quality. Put roasted beet salad, quail, and mac 'n' cheese on the same menu and I'm impressed. It's not cheap though so plan accordingly.

Jac's feels much more "Madison" than Monroe Street Bistro did; they support local farmers, use local produce (and shout about it), and give back to the community in various ways. So, not only do you get a good meal, but you can leave feeling morally superior. Bonus!

A final note- the bar at Jac's is worthy of it's own praise. While we've never gone in just for a drink- the Belgian beers on tap and wine list are pretty exciting. Enough to make you stop in for a nightcap.

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