Madison is Wisconsin's culinary capitol, and its booming new foodie scene is featured in the August issue of Minnesota Monthly.
There's a lot more to Wisconsin than just fish fry and brats! The state is best known for beer, of course, but there's a great distillery in Madison — Old Sugar. It has a tap room that serves the wares they make in house: whiskey, rum, a delicious honey liqueur, plus (oddly enough) an American version of Greek Ouzo. You can also get Wisconsin's signature spirit there — brandy — plus you can order a classic cocktail like an Old Fashioned.
And if you like an Old Fashioned, there's a new restaurant by the same name in town that's a modern take on a supper club. Rachel had a great sausage platter appetizer there, which was a huge spread including mustard, rye bread, and sauerkraut. They do tasty mini-donuts for brunch, too!
There's also Graze, which is a gastro-pub sister restaurant to Madison's finest dining spot, L'etoile. Graze has more casual fare but maintains an elegant vibe — Rachel enjoyed a gourmet cheeseburger, cheese curds, and cheesecake! For breakfast, there's a fancy cocktail spot, Merchant, that also serves a classic straightforward brunch. If you need a place to stay there's a very hip, modern boutique hotel, check out Hotel Red (near the stadium) which is the only one of its kind in town.