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Edgewater Hotel - Admiralty

Admiralty RoomIn a word: Pretty and pretty spotty.

The specs: #0684  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Eat Drink Madison, Yelp, Trip Advisor; Madison Originals profile; official web site; Admirality Room on Urbanspoon

Latest Edgewater Hotel - Admiralty news and reviews

JM ate the chicken salad croissant with a free lemonade.
Nichole ordered the salmon salad Niçoise and ate the shrimp salad and a cup of bookbinder soup.
The bill was $31, or $15.50/person, plus tip.
JM gave Edgewater Hotel - Admiralty a B-; Nichole gave Edgewater Hotel - Admiralty a C+ (see our grading rubric).

So, there's not really been a change to this restaurant exceptin' how Isthmus files this place. In truth, we thought about skipping something that had no external signage change and still found itself reclassed on the Eats list. However, since Admiralty Room was post #0002, we thought a revisit would be in order as we like to think we're better at evaluating places now.

Cracker plates and water goblets are set out in advance of guests' arrival. To go with the crackers, there are roses of whipped butter on plates garnished with lilac leaves, and an extensive tea list was fashioned from a greeting card with lilacs on it.

Bookbinder soup

The bookbinder soup was better than we remembered. There was a whiff of fish that distinguished it from a run-of-the-mill tomato beef soup. The sidecar of sherry ale was more than enough to balance the richer ingedients.

JM's chicken salad croissant was OK. It did not rise much above a standard sandwich at any of several other places and it certainly did not set itself above those.  The chicken was decently moist. The fries he'd ordered were missing.

The surprise shrimp salad (instead of the Niçoise, because where else do you see salad Niçoise anymore?) was a scoop of orzo in a cumin/chili/mayo dressing with finely diced bell peppers and onion, all on a bed of microgreens with a creamy lemon dressing.  Four fat shrimp were split and seared and set on top.

The service had been so key to our earlier appreciation of this place that messing up our order in a couple of ways was a little offputting. It ended up okay - not a word was said and we were charged for what we ate minus the lemonade.

Chicken salad croissantShrimp salad

So that's it for the food portion of this post.

We were in and out for $30 in under 30 minutes, but not so fast that we missed a show. A party of hard-of-hearing patrons were engaging in some Schadenfreude-laced, old-fashioned social networking a few tables over, and we were a captive audience to stomach-tighteningly detailed updates on whose spouses were souses, whose offspring were royal screwups, and who was spreading nasty rumors about whom. The crowning glory:

"Gossip is just terrible. Especially the things that aren't true."

Exposure to this torrent of information resulted in actual, physical symptoms for us - tightened chest, dry mouth, raised pulse - a classic fight-or-flight response. The "gossip is fine if it's true" line mercifully brought comic relief.

This got us thinking. Clearly our fellow diners were enjoying their conversation, and there is social science research into the positive uses of gossip.

So why did we have such a negative reaction? Would it have been different if we knew who they were talking about? Or if we'd been doing the talking? No, we decided, that would be even worse - gossip always makes us feel like puking.

We came up with a theory: gossip as high-fructose corn syrup. There's this idea that modern diseases of excess are due to the human metabolism being evolutionarily keyed for need. Our bodies haven't become accustomed to the wide availability of nutritionally empty yet calorie-rich foods, hence the obesity epidemic.

Maybe everyone's "social metabolism" is different. Some folks can say and hear whatever they want and always feel great. Others have to be more mindful. But on the whole, society hasn't caught up with the pace of information availability, and it's having some interesting effects (see also: information overload, the bullying epidemic and similar phenomena; related: "listen to pop, not too much, mostly Gaga").

But to each their own. As for us, we're more in harmony with that thing Temple Grandin says about campfires and cavemen. We soothed ourselves with a gift of chocolate truffles and gazed out on the placid lake, and in the end lunch turned out OK. 



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We ate there for dinner about a month ago and I would agree mostly with your grades. I ordered the bookbinder soup, which was ok, and the Beef Wellington, which was excellent. Service was ok, but was slow (maybe that is typical). Of course the view over the lake was great since it was a nice day.

Overall, it's a nice experience, but what they charge does not match what they are delivering. I can appreciate a place that still serves Beef Wellington (can you get this anywhere else in Madison?), but unless someone else is paying, it's a place I would avoid.

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