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Adam Elliott

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Restaurant Week Review: Bonfyre American Grill

I have always loved the smell of a wood burning fire, so I was quite pleased the very moment I walked into Bonfyre American Grill. Located at the corner of the gigantic Arbor Gate Towers at Todd Drive and the Beltline, it was quite the treat to see slow moving traffic poke on by, while I sat and enjoyed some tasty cuisine.

The interior stands in stark contrast to the exterior. Wood features surround the main bar area, located just off the entrance. Behind the bar, you can look into the kitchen, where something smoky and tasty waits. The urban atmosphere mixes well with the fire and earth tone décor.

I met up with the Restaurant Manager Patrick Quinlan, a very affable man who explained his pride in their cooking style. He said the secret is four types of wood chips that provide the smoky aroma that Bonfyre uses in the kitchen.  He had me at "cooked on the grill."

The Restaurant Week menu is at the right. I sampled a variety of items, some of which are on the special menu this week. My first course was the wedge salad. Adorned with several generous chunks of blue cheese, the dressing was neither overbearing or two little. Larger sized bacon toppings added a nice smoky aftertaste.

My main course was quite possibly the best Rotisserie Chicken I’ve ever had. Herb seasoned, the meat was cooked to such a perfect consistency, that it could have been cut with the butter knife. It was slow cooked juicy perfection and matched well with the sides of well cooked summer squash and Bonfyre Mash(ed potatoes.)

I sampled my girlfriends Grilled Shrimp plate and while the servings were large and tasty, I couldn’t focus on anything but how well cooked my rotisserie was. I matched my meal with a Belgian beer (Leffe) suggested by our waiter that pairs well with smoky meat. Served in its own custom glass like a Stella Artois, it went down well.

The service deserves a special tip of the hat. Amos was our server who suggested the beer pairing. It was just the beginning of an impressive showing of service. Within 10 minutes of ordering, our salads were on the table. Literally as they were being cleared, our main course was coming around the corner to our table. Our water glasses never went empty and everything came with a smile.

Overall, Bonfyre delivered an impressive dining experience matched with a nice menu. A brilliant addition to the meal is Bonfyre’s willingness to cater to those with food allergies. We need gluten-free meals and Bonfyre’s menu clearly has marked items that are vegan and gluten-free. The gluten-free variety was also impressive. The same can’t be said for most of Madison’s dining options.

Restaurant Week is a semi-annual event for food lovers to sample some of Madison's finest local offerings. For $25 participating restaurants offer a prix-fixed menu with 3 courses and 3 options of each course. Some restaurants offer a reduced menu for $15 for lunch.

Bonfyre American Grille offers both the lunch and dinner menus.

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07/25/2011 6:04AM
Restaurant Week Review: Bonfyre American Grill
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