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Circolo Supper Club

Update 5/26/11: Circolo is moving.

In a word: Doing their own thing, and doing it well.

The specs: #0453 
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; review at Isthmus; official web site.

Latest Circolo Supper Club news and reviews

JM, Nichole, Ross, and Sam tried the wedding tasting offerings.
The tasting bill was $50 each see details in first comment-ed. (thanks, Ross and Sam!).
JM and Nichole both gave Circolo Supper Club an A- (see our grading rubric).

Circolo presented us with an unusual challenge. It's a supper club with themed dinners held about every three weeks in Gallup Coffee and Bakehouse in Verona; our summer schedules threatened to bump Circolo to the next make-up list. Conveniently, a family wedding allowed us the opportunity to see Circolo in action at a tasting, if only in highly polished, personalized, and focused form. Having been on exactly one wedding tasting in our lives, we can only say that this one was elegant, professional and warm, if not strictly representative of the supper club itself. (That said, if you've tried a real Circolo Supper Club meal, please comment; and direct criticisms of our methods to the blog police.)

We sampled mostly meat: a chicken satay skewer with smoked paprika; fajita beef strips seared outside, rare inside, and crusted with chili powder; and a dish of pulled BBQ pork in a sweet and vinegary tomato base. A creamy purple coleslaw knocked all our socks off.

Chicken skewersFajita beefBBQ porkPurple slaw

The winner of the group, though, was an appetizer of sirloin on focaccia with horseradish sauce and red bell pepper tapenade. Nichole assured Sam and Ross that she'd personally assemble plates for them while they greeted their wedding guests, lest these exquisitely balanced nibbles disappear first.

Sirloin on focaccia

Big sister (that's Nichole) threw her weight around (at least) once with regards to the cheese tray offerings. One tray was a choice of nondescript cheeses - Monterey Jack, Colby, cheddar, etc. - that sounded rather bland. And as it turns out, that tray was the economical option from Sysco, though Circolo does cut it themselves and they get big points for answering openly when asked where the cheese was from. Another option, an artisan cheese plate with Hook's aged cheddar, local manchego, and more, sounded up to the task of introducing guests from all over to the joys of real Wisconsin cheese, which cannot be overstressed.

Bottom line, Sam and Ross hired Circolo to cater their wedding. The proof will be in the pudding this fall, but for now, JM and Nichole give them the full circle.

Comments

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The tasting fee was actually $50 total. What I was told by Melissa was that the tasting fee is usually $50 which includes a meat and two sides for two. The fee is waived if you book. Our fee was $100, as we were a party of four and I had requested to try more of the protein offerings. Fifty of that $100 was waived when we signed the contract.

So, you only get to taste one main dish and two sides total for $50 dollars? I thought a tasting menu was supposed to be many samples of what a buisness has to offer, so that you can decide what you like best to put on your menu. Especially since most people offer more then one dish to their guests. Sounds like a ripoff to me.

I haven't yet tried one of the Circolo Supper Club meals, but I believe they also make the hot breakfast and lunch items now available at Gallup.

We ate the breakfast there a couple of months ago and it was generally very good, but eggs and fried potatoes almost seemed a little greasy - I'm not sure but they may have been using olive oil instead of butter, so it didn't carmelize and cook into the food like butter does. The French Toast was good, and I'm strongly tempted to try the Blue Corn pancakes there soon. Also, both breakfast and lunch are available all hours that Gallup is open.

Again, this isn't about the super club, but about the catering they offer. Their work for our wedding yesterday was FANTASTIC! Not only did the food look gorgeous and was beautiful displayed, but it tasted amazing! The catering was delivered and set up on time, everything was served the appropriate temperature, everything was clearly labeled for the benefit of those adhering to special food restrictions or with food allergies, the servings were ample (very important as the spread was an appetizer buffet) and the service was incredible! All of the guests were incredibly impressed and not a person was left hungry. To top it off, they worked well within our budget and were incredibly flexible to any changes we requested. If a visit to Madison corresponds with one of their dinners, we will definitely check the supper club out. Thank you so much!

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