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Gray's Tied House

In a word: You can find this in Madison, but if you're in Verona stop in (especially for the beer).

The specs: #0257
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; story on Gray's Brewery in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel; reviews at Isthmus, Dane101, Yelp, WiSJ, Ruppert Food Blog, At First Taste, Grays Tied House on Urbanspoon; official web site.

JM ate the Teriyaki chicken sandwich and a lemonade.
Nichole ate the chicken portabella wrap with sweet potato fries and a bourbon-barrel aged Imperial stout.
The bill was $25, or $12.50/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole both gave Gray's Tied House a B+ (see our grading rubric).

Latest Gray's Tied House news and reviews

Gray's Tied House

What is it about Verona that makes it so hard for us to find places? Part of the problem this time was that Kimball Lane, on the rapidly growing southeast side, was not yet on any of our maps and we hadn't done our research. So we just drove around until its sloping roof appeared over a hill.

The dining room was deserted this Sunday at noon. Nichole ordered a sinfully rich bourbon-barrel aged Imperial stout, justifying it as a perfectly acceptable salute to the beginning of summer and a long holiday weekend.

Imperial Stout

This beer packs quite a punch, at essentially 3 servings of alcohol per pint. Nichole left half of it despite sipping diligently for the whole hour. And it was a delicious beer: it started off with a bite, then a strong burst of what Nichole can only think to describe as kräuter (think Ricola, but delicious) and a nice, long, chocolate finish.


The beer proved better than the food, as reported elsewhere. Other than the floppy sweet potato fries (which went well with JM's jalapeño mayo, incidentally) Nichole's meal was just meh. As far as wraps go, this bundle of chicken, red pepper, mushrooms, and spinach in a flour wrap was not too messy to handle.


The same could not be said of JM's sandwich, which was more sloppy than tasty. He claimed to have wolfed it down to avoid making a mess. All the flavor seemed to come in the mayo, which he only used sparingly. The fries had a full potato flavor and the perfect degree of done-ness that comes from good fry medium. JM's lemonade was not special (he realized later he should have opted for one of Gray's own sodas).

It is hard to say what to think of the Dali-esque silverware that must be seen to be appreciated.  But, luckily, Gray's provides good food and good beverages such that a return trip is not out of the question.


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I have yet to find a good place for sweet potato fries outside of New York and New Jersey.

I found this place uninspired. Went there with a buddy in February or March on a Friday night and the crowd couldn't have been more dull. We wound up heading over to the Draft House after we'd had one beer apiece and had a BLAST there.

... and speaking of the Draft House, I'm wondering why our intrepid reviewers haven't graced that place yet? I've liked it every time I've gone and am curious about how it would do under your microscope.

Yum, sweet potato fries.
But yeah, haven't found any good ones locally. I'd have to agree that my best sweet potato fry experience too, was in New York!

BT - we live & eat by the List - though who knows, Draft House may yet appear there. And when it does we'll hit it on a between-letter make-up list.

And what is up with NY knowing from sweet potato fries? Seems like a southern specialty. Samantha, let me guess - the good ones were at the Trailer Park? Eh?

I was there this past week. Service was excellent and decent decor, BUT I did not like the food. The gumbo was way, way too spicy (and I like spicy food). I couldn't complete it because it was so spicy. The grilled chicken Caesar salad did NOT come with grilled chicken. It was something taken out of the refrigerator. The shrimp on the grill shrimp Caesar salad wasn't much better. My wife said it was like eating rubber. The creamy artichoke dip had way too much cream cheese in it and not nearly enough artichoke. The onion rings were very greasy.

Again, the service was superb...but that was about the only good thing I can say about this restaurant.

Glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks this place is blah. My first visit was with friends for appetizers and a beer sampler on new year's eve. The food was sufficiently pub-grubby, but I found the beer -- every style -- lacking in pizzaz. It was just sort of... there. To me, in a beer-intensive city like Madison, you'd best bring your A game. I just wasn't sensing that with Gray's, not even with their bourbon-barrel whatever they had at the time. My second visit was with other friends for St. Patrick's day for food and full pints. I had artichoke dip. They forgot the fresh veggies, and when the server brought them, they looked as though they'd been cut (or, in the case of the carrots, like they'd been shaken out of the Baby Carrots bag) days ago and stored uncovered. And again, the beer was nothing special; I certainly was not moved to seek out another pint of something different. I found everything about the place - except for the size of the place - to be underwhelming.

BTW, I love sweet potato fries, and I'm a former FIB. I've seen them on the menu in both chains and locally-owned places. At least one place in Rockford used to serve them with poppy seed dressing. MMMMMM.

I must drink that beer. As soon as possible.

I wrote about another whopper called Midas Touch from Dogfish Head Brewery. It's 9%apv-- petite by these standards, but still potent.

Add me to the list. Though my beer was fine, service was SLOW and the sausage on my pizza was freaky! Not slices or crumbled, but in small cubes that, I kid you not, could have broken a tooth! Rock hard! I had to pick them all off.

So how does one get a restaurant on to The List? Draft House still isn't there, and that's a tremendous oversight ...

Always feel free to email Isthmus -- "the list" -- when you see a new restaurant. There's no mystery to getting on the list -- let us know about a place and it will be listed. Pretty soon! Email info to me via: http://www.thedailypage.com/staff/email.php?id=10

Thanks Linda, that was fast. I looked for a contact link but didn't see one ... I must not have looked closely enough. Thanks again!

Oh, the email addresses are about 5 clicks into the bowels of the site. I asked Jason about adding something more direct, closer to the Eats listings. So we will see.

Last night my family held a graduation party at Gray’s Tied House. The food was incredible. The Tied House has just hired a new chef from New York City and he executed every dish with perfection. I was very pleased with the results and would recommend to anyone wanting to host a gathering to consider Gray’s Tied House. The Tied House is also changing its menu next week; I’m really looking forward to trying the new chef’s creations.

I just recently visited Gray's and I must say I would NEVER go back there. To say the service was slow would be an understatement... It seemed like it took hours just for the waitress to get back with our drinks! The food was awful, the spinach and artichoke dip had way too much cheese, the chicken was nothing special, and overall it was not worth the price. I don't recommend this place to anyone, and agreeing with previous comments, the Draft House is the place to be! The servers are much nicer and the atmosphere overall is much better!

I'm not quite sure what the deal is with Gray's, new management?? But they better start getting their act together real soon or it won't be around for much longer!!...

I have been to the Draft House, and was not impressed if you are 21 years old, you may like it however for adults over 30 I would not recommend it. I went to Gray's Tide house the food was great I had a pizza I loved it. The Honey Ale is top choice with my husband I liked the Gray’ light. I would recommend the Tide house to anyone. I was just wondering if the Draft house is nervous about competition? Seems as if the reviews all refer back to them and discrediting the Tide house. Gray's Tide house was wonderful I will go again.

"Gray's Tide House?" Do they do your laundry while you eat dinner?


Had Valentine's dinner at Grays. We enjoyed a selection of their three-course special and my husband and I were both very much delighted in our dinner and our service. Lori was wonderful, very attentive. The Strawberry salad was light, fresh and refreshing. My mushroom-stuffed ravioli in cream sauce was very tasty (just a bit small on the portion) and my husbands Ribeye was very tasty, perfectly cooked and good a good size (8oz?). We both enjoyed the house merlot, which for a house, and a Californian, wine is amazingly delightful on the palate. For desert we shared the NY cheesecake - nothing special there, but was large and a nice addition to the whole meal. We would love to see this level of food-quality and service become the norm at Grays - having visited there many times (we live in the area) we know things have been dicey with this young venture. If they can work out the kinks, and maintain the momentum they achieved with their Valentines Day service and quality, Grays will be the next great place to go in Dane County.

"loves food" Oct. 27th must work for Gray's, and that's just sad. Who would ever take a wife of girlfiend to Gray's for anything? the whole place sucks.

I wonder if Hate Gray's is responsible:


Oh my. I am very glad no wives of girlfiend were injured.

So this is what the GOP is up to these days...

Just ate dinner at the Draft House and it was so much better than Gray's.

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