David W. Heiney's
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JM ate the broiled cod with mashed potatoes and a lemonade.
Nichole ate the pecan catfish with wild rice and a creme soda.
We split some peanut butter cheesecake.
The bill was $48, or $24/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole gave David W. Heiney's a B+ (see our grading rubric).
David W. Heiney's in Black Earth was neat. Dining rooms on multiple levels, decor of historical interest, and a glass dessert case added up to a more formal and less less supper-clubbish experience than we'd expected. In keeping with the old-timey Wisconsin feel, the lights were pretty dim. Free advice for fellow no-budget food bloggers: when your photos are low quality, just make them smaller.
Dinner was fine, but any place within eyeshot of Luckenbooth is going to be hard-pressed to impress. Bread basket, check. Standard salads, check. Excellent housemade lemonade and Boylan's sodas, great. Friendly and efficient server, fantastic. And smooth peanut butter cheesecake for afters.
But the entrees were slightly meh. JM's broiled cod was just OK, which makes a trip to Black Earth even less appealing. The mashed potatoes were nicely garlicky, though, and because they were skin-on, the spuds were clearly fresh. On paper the pecan-crusted catfish with balsamic vinegar and maple syrup over wild rice sounded good, but the vinegar was just too strong in the mix.
We can certainly name closer places that do better things, but sometimes a drive in the country is nice if you just want to get away from Madison. Heiney's represents probably the best upper end of quality restaurant out 14 now that the Bank is closed. A nice meal on the way to APT seems like a good reason to stop here, but we'd probably pick Luckenbooth instead.