COMFORT AT ITS FINEST

COMFORT AT ITS FINEST

FINE FARE AND AN OPEN WELCOME AT OLIVER’S PUBLIC HOUSE
By Rachel Werner

Warm house-made sourdough focaccia bread arrives at the table, followed by an appetizer of savory ricotta fritters decked out with creamed spinach and local honey. Oliver’s Public House is keepin’ it real—and raising the bar on casual dining thanks to the desire of proprietors Bob Harriman and Don Michelson to open a restaurant in Madison that values its customers, staff and suppliers in equal measure.

With specialty cocktail Principessa on tap and the apricot-infused Public House Old Fashioned #3 as an innovative sidekick, it’s easy to relax and strike-up a chat at the bar or join pals at a table nearby. Oliver’s spacious open-room design was another proprietors’ desire, meant to cultivate the restaurant’s aura as a “cooperative meeting ground for like-minded people.”

Once settled in for the main event, you’ll want to linger over flavorful entrées. Try the Roasted Chicken Breast and Pan Roasted Trout, both served with an array of summer greens, or the sinfully delicious Seared Scallops and Shrimp with wild-foraged mushrooms. Chef Patrick McCormick purposely pairs such aesthetically pleasing accoutrements with simple pan sauce combos like weissbier, bacon juice and butter to appeal to diners’ appetites on a primal level.

So does the churros con café with espresso ice cream and chocolate sauce, a generous, superb meal’s end. oliverspublichouse.com.

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