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Nearly 50 restaurants offer fare for summer's 'Restaurant Week'

Nearly 50 area eateries will take part in a semi-annual area food event next week. 

Madison Magazine's summer season Restaurant Week runs July 20-25. Forty-seven restaurants from Madison, Middleton, Verona and Fitchburg will offer special menus during the week. Each menu features three courses for a fixed price that shows off the eatery's culinary specialty and offers diners the opportunity to sample new or favorite cuisines from local establishments. 

Executive Chef Charles Lazzareschi at Dayton Street Grille in downtown Madison previewed some of the restaurant's planned menu. Dayton Street Grille is offering House Cured Salmon Spring Rolls as one of three appetizer options on the dinner menu. 

Ice cream eatery offers walk-up window

The most recent Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream eatery to open offers a walk-up window.

The company-owned location at 2302 Atwood Ave. on Madison's near east side is near the Capital City Bike Loop and offers 24 of Chocolate Shoppe's 110 flavors.

The Atwood shop opened in early May offering outdoor seats for treat-seekers, Vice President Dave Deadman said.

"This is our new location with a walk-up window," Deadman said. "It's fun to walk to the ice cream store, get an ice cream cone, sit on our back patio and just enjoy the day."

Deadman said each July the company releases a new customer-created flavor during National Ice Cream Month.

"We really try and focus on (how ice cream) should be fun, it should be a treat," Deadman said. "It should make you smile."

Committee focuses on 3 possible public market locations

Committee focuses on 3 possible public market locations

Monday night the city's Local Food Committee decided to focus on three possible locations for a public market.

Locations being considered include one on the north side at Northport Drive and North Sherman Avenue, on the east side at East Washington Avenue and First Street, and on the south side at the former site of Thorstad Chevrolet on Park Street.

The public market would be an indoor, year round facility that supports local food businesses.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin likes the final locations enough to consider more than one.

"They all have their own individual advantages, which is why they made the short list, but there's one thing I think we have to remember that I think is kind of exciting -- there is no rule that says you can't have more than one public market," Soglin said.

He said they would pick one of these sites first, but could develop another later.

Improv troupe celebrates 10 years with free show

Improv troupe celebrates 10 years with free show

"I can still smell it. It was like rancid oil mixed with musty concrete."

That's the former artistic director of east-side-based Atlas Improv Co. describing the improv troupe's humble beginnings, which included holding classes in the dank basement of a Planned Parenthood. 

Neil Pohl now works in New York as a copywriter and studies improv at Magnet Theater. Pohl's been improvising for 14 years and was with the company in the beginning, when the group split from then ComedySportz Madison and founded Atlas.

On March 29 from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Atlas will present "PhatCamp: 10 years, 10 hours," a non­stop evening of improv offered up as a free event in celebration of the company's 10-year anniversary. 

Current artistic director, Kristina Martinez, credits the performers and the community for the group's decade of longevity.

Dobra's closure points to changes in Madison's tea, State St. business culture

Dobra's closure points to changes in Madison's tea, State St. business culture

On Dobra Tea’s last day in business, owner Adam Ernst invited the community to come visit the State Street shop to drink tea and shatter teapots from around the world.

The gesture offered him an opportunity to share some of the philosophies surrounding tea culture and to gain a sense of closure as the tea shop closed its doors Feb. 9 after five years in downtown Madison.

“Tea in general encourages us to embrace the imperfection in life, the impermanence in life, and thus smashing teaware is a kind of symbol to communicate to people,” Ernst said. “We need that sort of catalytic breaking, smashing and severing of all contacts in order to see and reunite them. Simply as a symbol of impermanence it seemed very effective.”

As a teenager, Ernst, a Madison native, discovered a passion for tea far from Wisconsin during a visit to the East Coast.

Atwood Ave. chocolate shop a viewer favorite

Atwood Ave. chocolate shop a viewer favorite

Just in time for Valentine's Day, an east side Madison chocolate shop was the winner of a viewer contest for favorite area chocolatier. 

Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier, 2086 Atwood Ave., is run by its namesake, a former cartographer. 

Roots Chocolates, of Wisconsin Dells and Baraboo, came in second place in the News 3 Viewers Dish contest. 

Watch News 3 Reporter Mary Jo Ola chat with Ambrosius about her confection business: http://www.channel3000.com/entertainment/-/1628/24482880/-/12daokwz/-/index.html

 

Supporters: Despite spills, manure digesters make positive impact

Supporters: Despite spills, manure digesters make positive impact

In November, a pipe ruptured on Dane County's community manure digester, which converts cow waste into power. About 360,000 gallons of manure flowed through a dry ravine, according to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources spokesman Bob Manwell. The spill entered a creek and reached the village of Waunakee, located more than two miles away, bringing with it an odor.

"As far as environmental damages, there was no immediate fish kill, which is a good sign," Manwell said. About 90 percent of the spill was cleaned up within a week, he said, but some of the spill, located in areas unreachable by equipment, remains.

"We're not saying there were no damages," Manwell said. "This is going to take some time, and we'll continue to monitor to see what impacts there may be."