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Bon Appetit

Update 2/13/13: Bon Appetit is being replaced by Chez Nanou.

In a word: A good place for a relaxed, sophisticated meal on the isthmus, but not so much for the littler kids.

The specs: #0042
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Yelp 77 Square, Bon Appetit Cafe on Urbanspoon

Latest Bon Appetit news and reviews

Amanda and JM ate the chevre-stuffed chicken with tomato polenta.
Carlos and Nichole ate the lamb with potatoes au gratin.
Emo tried some of his folks' cauliflower and drank a lot of water.
The bill was $69, or $13.80/person, plus tip.
Amanda gave Bon Appetit an A for the place and a B- for the chicken; Carlos gave the food a B and the atmosphere a D in child-friendliness; JM gave it an A-; Nichole gave it a B+ (see our grading rubric).

Carlos, Amanda, and their son Emo joined us for this adventure on Williamson Street. We were a little confused by Isthmus' dining guide entry for Bon Appetit - the bullet-pointed list of attributes seemed to indicate that they had a kids' menu. That wasn't the case, and to add to the difficulty they didn't have a high chair (though a booster seat was available).

The server did bring Emo his own little dish of tomato polenta, but he was obviously not  impressed (inspiring JM to quip that "Polenta Soul Patch" would make a great band name). Sadly, Carlos had to spend much of the meal chasing the toddler. And oh my goodness, did we all drink a lot of water - the server was so quick with the refills and the restroom so well hidden that the evening ended with a tense drive home.

All that said, Bon Appetit's food was very good. Crostini with olive and garlic spreads, salads, and basil-tinged vegetable soup preceded our entrees. Amanda commented that while she liked having four courses, she inexplicably got hungrier as the meal progressed. She snagged some potato au gratin from Carlos' plate and called it an A++, with which Nichole heartily agreed. Carlos and Nichole both found the lamb in yogurt sauce to be very good, if difficult to eat politely. JM found the food nicely exotic although the chef-engineered nightly menu could be a pain for the finicky in the McDonald's-über-alles sense.

Comments

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My fiancé and I were very excited to try out this restaurant and were dissapointed. We went on a Saturday at 6 and were the only ones in the 10 table restaurant. It wasn't the small menu or restaurant that we didn't care for but the overall quality of the food. Our croquette appetizer came still cold in the center and my fiancé's $18 pork chop came completely overdone. The food tasted just ok, overpriced. Hopefully we just hit on an off night.

I remain sad that this place gets lumped in with the other D restaurants because of a problem with the Isthmus listing. Every time I've been here the food's been fantastic (though admittedly I've only ever been there for brunch-type things). Over the past five years, it remains one of my favorite places in Madison. Alas!

I hear you, CJ. Bon Appetit is good. That it's on the D list is just because we report the grades as we're given them.

true, but at the same time this review is the ONLY one I know of that gave one grade for food & another grade for something else. Since this is a A-Z restaurant review, NOT a kid-friendly restaurant review, I would personally remove the D from the top and instead include that aspect of the restaurant in the review description.

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