We’ve been doing a lot of grilling recently (in fact, at this very moment I’m sitting on our deck grilling a Filipino pork yakitori-type thing we’ve been eating a lot of recently). And when we grill, we usually eat outside too. All this outdoor dining has reminded me of a fantastic outdoor meal that we had last fall. I’m not sure while it’s taken so long to write this, since it was one of the most memorable meals we’ve had since we’ve been writing the blog. Maybe I didn’t want to let the secret out…
Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you about Milkweed.
Gorgeous Evening at Milkweed
Nestled deep in the wooded hills between Dodgeville and Spring Green, down mile after mile of bough-covered country roads, you’ll find Milweed. Milkweed is not a restaurant. I guess you’d call it a private dining club. Milkweed consists of ~20 outdoor seats available Friday and Saturday evenings in the summer and early fall by appointment. The setting is the home and farm of Isaac and Havvah Spicer. Isaac is a chef with a great pedigree, having worked for 16 years at restaurants such as The American Club in Kohler and L’Etoile in Madison. At Milkweed he creates fantastic multi-course menus built around locally sourced food (much from their own farm).
Unfortunately, it’s been so long since we ate there some of the details of the meal escape me. The soup was butternut squash with a pumpkin seed brittle and it was probably the best soup I’ve ever eaten. I think I might have licked the bowl. The salad was (I believe) entirely from their own farm. I particularly remember how good the sungold tomatoes and beet chips tasted. The only slightly off note in the entire meal for me was the seafood course. One, because the shrimp and scallops used (while delicious) were obviously not local, and two, the faux pasta of shredded zucchini didn’t do it for me (I hate zucchini and love pasta). I would have preferred that they used locally sourced freshwater-food like trout, walleye,sturgeon, smelt, etc. Beyond that one slight nitpick though, I have no complaints. The main course was a beautiful piece of locally raised beef with fried fennel strings on a bed of arborio rice with some kind of bean and cooked greens (maybe kale)? Another dish perfectly executed. The dinner ended with molasses ginger cookies, Kickapoo coffee, and apple pie with rum ice cream.
The food was excellent, make no mistake, but what made Milkweed so special to us was the setting (as gorgeous a location as you will ever eat a meal) and the obvious care put into every detail by Issac, Havvah, and everyone working for them. When you come, come early so you can walk around and see the farm, or even play some croquet on their lawn.