Critiques, Cravings and Conundrums From the Madison Food and Dining Scene
Nov 1, 2009
10:24 AM
Small Dishes

Off the Square/On the Tart

Off the Square/On the Tart

Downtown Madison will enjoy three new restaurants.  Just opened is The Haze, a new venture by the team of Justin and Cory Carlisle, Daniel Almquist and Shinji Muramoto.  It replaces Kushi Muramoto at 106 King Street.  The Haze specializes in global barbecue.  The menu is divided into two columns with ribs, pork, beef brisket, sausage and chicken prepared a choice of two ways—Asian- or American-style.  There’s a long list of carefully constructed sides, traditional and seasonal—much better than you’d get at your average BBQ joint!  Many of the ingredients are local and their smoker was custom made in Cross Plains. Service is do-it-yourself with seating at wooden tables or the counter.  The Haze is open for lunch and dinner or carryout daily.  Whether you’re a Q perfectionist (like myself), or just have a yen for some good eats, The Haze should please you.      


La Mestiza has carved out a niche for itself, serving some of the best and most authentic Mexican food on the far Westside.  The Odana Road restaurant will soon have an urban sibling when La Mestiza opens its second location at 121 E. Main Street (formerly home to Subway).


Mia Francesca opened on North Clark Street in Chicago in 1992 and was an instant hit.  The formula was contemporary Northern Italian food, casual atmosphere and friendly service. Today Francesca Restaurants operate 18 eateries around the Chicago metropolitan area.  They will open their first location outside of Illinois in Madison.  The Francesca will be in Block 89 (1 E. Main Street) with an entrance on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.


Finally, I put a put a photo on Facebook of an apple tart I made last week.  I wan unprepared for the response.  Since several people asked me for the recipe I will post it here.


Alsatian Apple Tart


1 unbaked 10-inch tart shell, made with butter pastry, thoroughly chilled


6 large, firm tart apples, peeled, cored and cut into sixths

2 tablespoons superfine granulated sugar (or confectioner's sugar)

2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1¼ cup heavy cream

½ teaspoon vanilla extract


Confectioners’ sugar


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.


Arrange the apple slices in concentric circles in the chilled tart shell.  Sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons sugar and bake in the preheated 450-degree oven for 30 minutes or until the crust and apples are lightly browned.


In a mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, granulated sugar, cream and vanilla with a whisk until well combined.  Carefully pour the custard over the apples and bake the tart for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the custard is set and lightly browned.


Let the tart cool until it is just slightly warm, about 2 hours.  Shake or sift confectioner's sugar generously over the top right before cutting and serving.


Serves 8.

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About This Blog

Dan CurdI found my interest in writing by accident. My training and first job was as a graphic designer. Unemployed, the only employment I could find in advertising at that time was as a copywriter. Somehow, I convinced Richard Newman & Associates to hire me. Later I learned they were desperate. Madison has been my home off and on since 1957 (nonstop for the past 31 years). I write about food, which I love. – Dan Curd

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