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Luedtke's Wonder Bar

In a word: We had no idea.

The specs: #0526  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Isthmus, Yelp, Let's Eat Wisconsin, TDPFEat Drink Madison; official web site, Luedtke's Wonder Bar on Urbanspoon

Latest Luedtke's Wonder Bar news and reviews

 OverexposedJM ate the king clip and lobster ravioli with a lemonade.
Nichole ate the salmon Oscar with an old fashioned.
The bill was $67, or $33.50/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole both gave Luedtke's Wonder Bar an A (see our grading rubric).

Luedtke's Wonder Bar is the latest incarnation of the storied building across from Olin Park where gangsters used to lie low. We weren't expecting an atmosphere quite as nice as this, at least a standard deviation higher than the average Madison restaurant (by which we just mean tablecloths and real flowers). The menu was steakhouse-supper club, and this Lenten Friday's specials were all seafood, including a blue marlin steak with parsley pesto coulis and arctic char with the "chef's special" drunken sweet potatoes.

Two yeasty rolls and warm whipped honey butter started us off. Our salads appeared within moments of ordering: JM graciously ceded the classic wedge with French and roquefort dressing and loads of bacon to Nichole, who was impressed. The mixed greens were not JM's favorite salad, but he found this presentation more than adequate - even toothsome.

Wedge saladSalmon Oscar

Like the salads, the entrees appeared with perfect timing (which for us means a very short wait; your preference may be different). JM opted for the night's special, king clip over al dente lobster ravioli in a white seafood sauce with clams, lobster and scallops. Our server had compared king clip to grouper, and it was a firm, mild, white filet, so we were surprised to look up the fish and discover it's a homely eel from the Southern Hemisphere. It's not on the Seafood Watch List yet, but maybe it's the next monkfish. We'll leave the speculation to the pros and say this dish was very good, mostly due to a very buttery sauce.

Nichole's more run-of-the mill salmon Oscar was also good. A generous portion of fish came with tender asparagus and she chose the side of broccoli, perfect for stealing swipes of JM's sauce.

We were too stuffed for the standby desserts of creme brulee, chocolate cake, and cheesecake.

Most notable at Luedtke's Wonder Bar was the truly excellent service. Fast but not rushed; hospitable, not chummy; in a word, professional, which we've found to be rare but all the more enjoyable when it happens. We'd come back to try the steaks, especially for a special event or with fans of the traditional supper club.

Comments

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This place is right around the corner from where I live, and I've been "wondering" about it for awhile -- now, I definitely want to check it out! I love the idea of a quality supper club-esque place in my neighborhood.

LOVE the place. It has become our go-to restaurant. The Cowboy Steak is the best steak in Madison (Yes, I know those are fighting words!).

O.M.G. I went there last night with the Dining Out group on your recommendation. O.M.G.! The wedge salad was chock-full of roquefort and bacon!!! (not that I like bacon or anything, but I digress...), my steak (the Cowboy steak) was perfectly cooked, and the roquefort sauce was a nice addition. I will go back there anytime (and will try the crab bisque). A+ for me.

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