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The Cottage (Waunakee)

Update 5/2/06: The Cottage is closed.

In a word: Good but not actually, you know, in a cottage.

The specs: #0100

JM and Nichole ate the antipasto platter and a pizza with sausage, roasted onion, and red pepper. Nichole also tried the lemon-garlic spinach.
The bill was $22, or $11/person, plus tip.
JM gave The Cottage a B+; Nichole gave The Cottage an A- (see our grading rubric).

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We combined our dinner with a trip to points further out of town, and we recommend the same. The Cottage is nice, but perhaps too far out for Madisonians to add it to their regular dining roster.

That said, the woodstone oven baked pizza was all it promised. The sauce was chunky and sweet. JM, ever the poet, praised the crust, even the edges, as "not at all like chewing on a mouthful of bad road."

Nichole's lemon-garlic spinach was so delicious she was fooled into thinking the greens were too good to be plain old Sysco produce, which the indulgent server even asked the chef about.

The antipasto platter, including foccacia, several kinds of olives, soft mozzarella, and artichokes, combined with the complimentary bread basket (which we tentatively assert was full of slices of delicious Clasen's sourdough baguette), left us too full for dessert. Which was a shame, as dessert could have been fresh strawberry shortcake, cheesecake, carrot cake, and regular or molten chocolate cake.

As for the ambience, The Cottage does pretty well disguising that it's in a strip mall. The Dilbert-esque office partitions between the bar area and the dining room were hard to get used to. Elsewhere, the motif was faux Mediterranean (lots of antiqued light fixtures) and trompe d'oeil.

JM summed up the Cottage as a good addition to the Waunakee dining scene, but also "too frou, nothing new."

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