Inspired dining at The Audrey

Munson sparks a menu of sharable dishes

*The story below was sponsored by Hilton Madison Monona Terrace and produced in Madison Magazine’s M Studio*

Legendary model Audrey Munson sparks a menu of shareable dishes and modern flavors.

Chef Jeff Orr is no stranger to Madison’s thriving culinary scene. He has helmed such local standouts as Harvest and Osteria Papavero, and trained some of the city’s best chefs. But at The Audrey Kitchen + Bar, he gives Hilton guests a compelling reason not to go out on the town for dinner.

The restaurant, which replaces the hotel’s longstanding Capitol Chophouse as the in-house eatery, opened in May with a fresh and more flexible concept to satisfy what modern travelers crave.

“There are more opportunities for guests to eat on their own terms,” says Orr, who is classically trained in French cuisine.

That plays out in a contemporary menu of snacks and small plates, sandwiches and salads that draws flavors from around the world. Diners can choose from fried cauliflower with lemon and green olives, ale-marinated chicken wings with yakitori sauce and a house-smoked brisket sandwich, or opt for fried cheese curds or an elevated grilled cheese with butterkase, gruyere and sarvecchio — this is Wisconsin, after all. Inspired dining at The Audrey

Heartier entrees — fried chicken, pan-roasted Alaskan halibut, grilled hanger steak — are offered after 5 p.m. And all dishes complement the restaurant’s thoughtful beverage menu, which features more than 70 beers, many from Madison-area brewers like New Glarus, Karben 4, One Barrel Brewing and Ale Asylum.

The bar nods most specifically to its inspiration, Audrey Munson, with its specialty cocktails. The “Miss” Manhattan, Panama Pacific and The Gilded Lady pay homage to the model through creative and flavorful concoctions.

But if you ask Chef Orr for recommendations, he’ll point to his personal favorites — the North African spiced lamb meatballs and the chilled soba noodle salad with grilled shrimp.

“People are tuning into the small plates,” he says. “They’re trying a little of this and a little of that. The experience is great on your own and even better with a group.”

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