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Crave Restaurant and Lounge

Update: Crave is closed.

In a word: If Dooce ever visited Madison, this is where you'd take her.

The specs: #0104
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; review at Ultimate Madison Bar Tour.

JM ate the BBQ or Bust chicken sandwich with a side of buttermilk mashed potatoes and a lemonade.
Nichole ate the black and blue burger with a side of sesame spinach.
We split a slice of chocolate cake.
The bill was $29, or $14.50/person, plus tip.
JM gave Crave a B; Nichole gave Crave a C+ (see our grading rubric).

Molly Webb's martini-centered review of Crave covers what may be the strongest of Crave's attributes: the drinks. N.b., the seats at the bar are such that low riders achieve plumber butt and then some. Which could be OK, but in our book, the food and decor don't quite pull their weight.

It's very cool inside, to be sure, as proven by the presence of the entire Sex in the City 2025 cast at a neighboring table. The decor was painstakingly put together, but something about it just didn't work out. It was all done in shades of either frating green or what we'd consider gretna green (google it). We wouldn't have been surprised to see a Bradley sink (a la every elementary school washroom ever) hooked up to the large, green-tiled pillar in the middle of the dining room.

Part of Crave

As for the sandwiches, they didn't go unappreciated, but at $9 are far to one side of the value curve. JM's BBQ chicken sandwich was tasty, especially the mango salsa,  but slight.  He could have taken his ten dollars and gotten full at any number of State Street establishments instead of needing a dessert.

Nichole's black and blue burger via Kate's burger rating guide:

  • Bun: egg-yellowish, seemed store-bought. Not toasted.
  • Meat: rather good, even without condiments.
  • Bun/meat ratio: bun covers too small an area too thickly.
  • Cheese: too much bleu, whew.
  • Misc.: pleasantly messy; perfect bacon; served with a slice of yummy watermelon. About a 6.5 of 10 overall.

The sides were winners (as was the service, incidentally). What a treat to get sesame spinach (goma ae) with a burger. The mashed potatoes, a welcome change from fries, were velvety and delicious.

As for the cake - well, the vertical presentation was lovely, but we thought it odd that the bottom layer of cake was a micron thick. And there was something familiar about that frosting that we just could not put our fingers on, though that didn't keep us from licking them.

Comments

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I disgaree with you on giving Crave Restaurant and Lounge a B-. I love their bun to meat ratio and the amount of bleu cheese they put on the black and blue burger. I also think their decor is trendy and hip. I would give them at least an A-.

I find Lydia's response to the review of the Crave ..laughable.. Bottom line, The Crave is a B- at best. The decor is not trendy at all and the ambiance is horrible. If you want a restaurant with good food and service or a trendy bar to spend the evening.. LOOK ELSEWHERE. I give the crave a D.

From the Cap Times, 8/30/07:

Satisfy your Crave-ing for that 'Sex and the City' feel

Good to know our estimate was only 2 decades off.

I made fun of Crave every time I drove by (OMG, have you been to The Crave?)but decided to give it a fighting chance when some friends were meeting there. Upon walking in every coastie in the bar turned and looked me up and down. When their eyes met bundled up winter-appropriate wear, they quickly lost interest and went back to their Hills talk. I don't like ridiculously sweet martinis, but an occasional cosmo can delightful. After all, the place was trying so hard to be Sex in the City that I thought I would help add to the milieu. It tasted like a pre-made cosmo mix and was overpriced for the probable Smirnoff they put in it. Perhaps the food might be better, but Crave is not worth the time of anyone who doesn't care about being seen in LaLohan's new leggings.

Is this place still open? I drive past it around 7 on Wednesday nights and it looks closed. After all the controversy surrounding them I'm surpirsed if it is.

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