Hi all.  Check out these delicious creations by Scott Spilger at Cafe Four in Mineral Point.  Keith and I had dinner there about a month ago.  “Our aim is comfort, it’s not fancy, just straightforward good food made with good ingredients, dishes that one would make for a dinner party with friends”, says Scott.  Dinner started off well with some creamy and buttery leek and potato soup then Keith and I shared our entrees of pork belly and roast chicken.  We didn’t have room for a dessert but at a previous visit, we enjoyed some vodka watermelon sorbet.

Leek & Potato Soup

The pork belly atop some steamed brocolli was drizzled with a cider-mustard sauce with a side of sweet potato gratin.  The bitterness and peppery quality of the baby watercress was a nice counterpoint to the fatty, soft, crisp, and sweet pork.  I could eat this dish everyday!

Pork Belly

The roast chicken was served on the bone, with steamed brocolli and bok choy and finished off with a bacon sage pan sauce.  Even better, it was served with some delightful ricotta dumplings.

We went late on a Sunday night when the place was not too busy.  While everything the kitchen sent out was fantastic, the service in the dining room was poor.  I turned my menu over after about 10 minutes to signal our waiter that we were ready to order.  They must have passed by our table at least 20 times but only after about 40 minutes were we asked about what we wanted.  Keith and I were not upset since we didn’t have any other plans that evening but it was strange since there were only three other tables occupied.  Obviously we were there to dine. 

Roast Chicken

What I really like about Cafe Four is that they try to use local or regional ingredients as much as possible.  Yes, even in the depths of winter.  Like a lot of people around here they preserve food by pickling, drying, or freezing.  The menu changes everyday depending on what is seasonally available or whatever mood Scott is in.  I think it’s refreshing.  Scott’s cooking is influenced by Tory Miller at L’Etoile, Ann B. Kostroski from Crumb, and Michael Chiarello.  In addition he is currently learning charcuterie with his friend Evan Dannels of Willow Creek

It would be remiss not to mention that the restaurant has a fine dining room and is in a beautiful historic building.  Cafe Four serves up excellent food but the service needs some work.  I can’t wait to see more of what this budding chef has to offer.  Check it out for yourself!


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