Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lombardino's in the Mad City

Last weekend, Sara and I needed to do some Madison based carbo-loading before the Madison Mini-Marathon. I did some Internet searching for "best Italian in Madison" and came across Lombardino's. Their website advertised: "quality and comfort from pizza and pasta". Sounded like a winner!

The food menu is actually really small with only 5 pasta and 5 meat entrees. The menu changes every three months to take advantage of seasonal ingredients, so there is still plenty of variety for locals who come back again and again. I was very grateful for the minimal choices- I get easily overwhelmed by huge menus, so I appreciate when a restaurant decides to only do a few things but to do those things really well. Here's what we ordered (after our glasses of wine, of course!)

Me: Spaghetti alla Bolognese- "The slow-simmered meat sauce of Bologna- locally raised Cates Family Farm beef cooked with Jordandal Farm ground pork, pancetta, tomatoes and white wine, topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano". (For those who live near Madison, you can actually order Cates all natural, free range beef to be delivered to your home! Check it out here. Same w/ Jordandal farms.)

Sara: Eggplant Napoletana- "Crisp rounds of eggplant stacked with caramelized onions, basil and mozzarella, set on spaghetti with roasted eggplant, golden raisins and tomato marinara". Yum!

My food was absolutely amazing. Loved every bite of it! I'm hoping I can go there and order the same thing before next year's Mini-Marathon!

The place was very comfortable, if a little kitschy (okay, a LOT kitschy). It reminded me a bit of Lino's but the food was a bit more upscale (fellow Rockfordians- I do NOT mean that as an insult to Lino's, I love that place just the way it is!). The sign on the side of the building (right) says "come as you are" and they really mean it- it's a place where you would be equally comfortable in a logoed tee shirt or a dress. The sign also says "tourists' favorite dining spot" which is sometimes a bad sign, but in this case the restaurant has also won "Best Italian Restaurant" by Madison Magazine multiple years so I think it's agreed upon by tourists and locals alike that it is great! Next time you are in Madison, check it out!

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