But we're doin' it Blu-Ray style now, and the fact is: June had some mighty fine eating. The first day of summer comes in the middle of June, so if you'll forgive the somewhat thin conceit, I've divided up June's dining experiences along similar lines.
As has been the tradition for three of this year's six months, I began June at Underground Kitchen--this time with Paula Forbes of Eater. She's a former Madisonian, and we chit-chatted about the changes to the town over a great charcuterie spread, as well as a terrific smoked whitefish salad. We dined al fresco, and though the wind tried to blow our menus away, we enjoyed it all with gusto.
Sushi was on order throughout much of June, with a stop at Sushi Muramoto for lunch with Kristine, and two takeout orders from Takumi. Muramoto's summer cocktails are tremendous, and I officially cannot get enough of the salmon skin roll. I couldn't help notice the very testosterone-heavy composition of the takeout crowd at Takumi--of which I was but a fraction.
I had a decent slice of Ian's steak fries pizza at the relaunch of Walkerville (a hot summery night, indeed), and a massive bowl of phở for lunch at Saigon Noodle--our first trip there. (The cold spring roll and iced Vietnamese coffee were equally delicious, but belong in the previous section.) Breakfast sandwiches at Johnson Public House convinced me that this place is for real; their sriracha mayo is little miracle--why doesn't every sandwich have this on it?
After undergoing surgery to repair a deviated septum, it took a few days to get my sense of taste back. A Maharani feast with visiting friends was just the ticket. A week later, I was able to appreciate more subtle flavors at Bonfyre; the unsubtle service was the subject of a previous post. On the 24th, Kristine and I took my cousin out for a dinner at Underground Kitchen as a good-luck gesture for his post-graduation job hunt. We shared the wonderful pretzel dogs, and I enjoyed a plate of sauteed greens with bacon and a duck egg; it was a delight for all. Six days later, the building that houses Underground was effectively gutted in a massive fire. It is unclear whether or not the building--and thus the space that Underground worked so hard to create--can be salvaged.
The best thing I ate
It's tough to transition from such a down note, but as Underground persists, so too will this post. I'm tempted to choose the Otto sandwich from Fraboni's Deli; as it came via the food cart at UW Hospital after my follow-up appointment, it was celebratory as well as delicious. And that Vietnamese coffee at Saigon was equal measures amazing and energizing--holy caffeine! But this month's best thing is, in fact, dessert. The bananas flambé chocolate from DB Infusion Chocolates is a perfect simulation of bananas Foster, encased in deeply satisfying milk chocolate. I recommend getting one before the entire city melts this coming week.