State Street in Madison boasts a number of restaurants and boutique shops. From the university to the capitol building is a bare 1/2 mile. Among others is a new tapas restaurant called Icon. Two colleagues and I relaxed there at the start of a conference and shared a number of dishes between us. Our choices were:
* Roasted Eggplant Salad with Tomatoes, Scallions and Red Onions
* Imported Cured Spanish Meats with Shaved Manchego
* Baked Goat Cheese with Tomato Sauce and Toasted Garlic Bread
* Jamon Wrapped Sea Scallops
* Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with pickled vegetables and piquillo mustard
* Rioja Braised Short Ribs with Manchego Mashed Potatoes
I admit my favorite was the goat cheese dish, but I have a thing for it so I wasn't surprised. The eggplant I tried on a dare, essentially, having had eggplant parmesan some years ago and concluded I didn't like the vegetable. Given the seasoning, I can't conclude whether I like eggplant or not. The short ribs were perfectly cooked and amazingly tender -- can't recommend them enough. Admittedly we ordered the cured spanish meat dish in order to get the shaved manchego but we certainly weren't disappointed.
I also tried the Osborne Solaz Tempranillo and it was a great match for these dishes: Intensely fruity with deep aromas of ripe raspberry and black cassis subtly highlighted by notes of leather and peppery spice. A finely structured full-bodied wine showing lots of fruit. It is both elegant and complex with a lengthy finish.
Located at 41 Madison Ave, A Voce is a trendy Italian mid-town restaurant. The decor is contemporary and the mid-day hustle was apparent.
I started with "Crostini alla Toscano," a mixture of chicken liver, foie gras, and moscato d'asti, served with garlic toast. The texture of the pate was lovely and the taste was evocative.
For my main entree, I had farfalle with lamb bolognese and sheep's milk ricotta. I was less impressed with this dish. The pasta had an odd texture. And the lamb was somewhat bland. If it had more cheese that may have helped as it was quite good. Overall, just not great, though. And I was disappointed since I had wanted to try this restaurant for a while.
I had hoped to try the cheese plate for dessert but wasn't afforded enough time. Perhaps I'll give the place one more shot in order to fit that in and try a different entree.