The last time you had pub grub while relaxing outside may have been last year’s Fourth of July BBQ. While comfort food is great in restaurants, it usually comes with a bustling, hectic environment. I’m pleased to announce a restaurant that has made comfort food chill again!
The Place: Graze; 1 S Pinckney St, Madison, WI
At Graze you have two options. You can sit inside shielded from any unfavorable weather, sudden wind or temperature changes, but surrounded almost entirely by windows. Or, you can sit outside. Either way you will get an amazing view of the Capitol, which looks beautifully alien surrounded by eclectic restaurants and shops. The restaurant has a relaxing and laid back feel. It is the kind of place to sit back and stay awhile. So go with a couple of friends (of the chiller variety).
The food is comfort food, pub grub, the stuff that fills up your body but actually feeds your soul. Not in a greasy way, but in a hearty, satisfying and delicious way. It really should be its own food group. Try the cheese curds. They are larger than most others I have tried which for some reason makes them more satisfying to eat. Graze has a pretty good mix for a relatively small menu. Everything from a burger with short ribs and caramelized onions to bangers and mash. They also have some interesting entires like potato Gnocchi with chicken confit, crimini mushrooms, cucumbers, goat cream cheese and truffle vinaigrette. If you go the less creative (but no less satisfying) comfort food route, I would recommend the Mac N Cheese. If you aren’t a vegetarian, definitely get it with the pulled pork on top!
This is a place to be social and relax so get drinks. They have an extensive beer selection and some creative mixed drinks. My friend got the Ginger Snap, which I would recommend.
Some things to consider: To make a cool place even cooler Graze only buys grass-fed animals and supports rotational grazing. Further, they buy locally. This also means it is more likely they will run out of stuff. When I was there they were completely out of chicken. The chefs adapted some of the menu items, but there was just no replacing some items like Fried Chicken and Waffles. It is also a popular place -as it should be -but that means that by 6:30 on Friday the wait for 3 was 30 minutes and if you want a table you must wait because they don’t take reservations. They have a great system set up though. Someone at the host stand takes your phone number so you can walk around (or grab a drink at a less crowded place) while you wait. Graze was an all around positive experience and if I make the move to Madison it will be one of my first stops once I am back!
For more information: http://grazemadison.com/index.php