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Chef Giovanni Novella puts his heart and soul into his work at Food Fight's new Italian restaurant on Atwood Avenue. Inspired by his hometown of Torre del Greco, Italy, this new open is also a win for vegans — there's an entire vegan menu here.
Buck & Honey's Monona
It's big, it's beautiful and it's lakeside. Buck & Honey's has struck gold with its new Monona location, which sits along the Yahara River. The quality of food matches this second location's gorgeous patio areas and interior, including a forest feature behind the bar that is a mesmerizing optical illusion.
Don't walk; run to Finca Coffee, the single-origin coffee/Latin street food shop on Rimrock Road. It seems like an odd pairing, but once you learn about Finca's story (and taste the Salvadoran quesadillas), you'll get it.
In the category of the most unexpectedly head-turning new open, The Globe restaurant on North Henry Street takes home the prize. Serving Thai, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Tibetan and Mexican food, this seemingly hole-in-the-wall place is a delight.
The west side needed an upscale cafe like The Heights, which opened last October. Opened by the Underground Food Collective, this bistro is a brunch all star offering specialty coffee drinks, a soppressata, cheese, egg and spicy aioli breakfast sandwich and more.
JOON and NuuNoosh
Laila Borokhim continues to surprise us with her latest restaurant venture, JOON, on Monroe Street. While we're happy to have her Persian food-purveying joint in the near-west side area, we're just as excited about the relaunching of NuuNoosh, her other restaurant, located on Regent Street.
Noah and Julie Przybylski have created one of the most intriguing dining experiences in Madison with Nook on Atwood Avenue. An intimate dinner party atmosphere is amplified by colorful, memorable courses.
As if Octopi Brewing wasn't enough of a destination in Waunakee, its recent expansion included the addition of a kitchen in September, run by Jacob Guyette, chef de cuisine. The menu includes shareable plates plus elevated pub fare including burgers, a Friday fish fry, curds and show-stopping giant soft pretzels topped with ample accouterment.
Pasture and Plenty
This deli and meal-kit service on old University Avenue may have opened nearly three years ago, but the evolution of its dining offerings deserves inclusion on this list of exciting new opens. The brunch, lunch and dinner menus have become so much more robust that Pasture and Plenty has become a dine-in destination.
The owner and manager of Nam's Noodle & Karaoke Bar quietly opened an impressive new sushi and ramen restaurant in the former Brocach Irish Pub on Monroe Street this past summer. A renovation of the space smartly utilizes some of the former Irish pub's features.
The opening of The Winnebago on Madison's east side didn't just signal a new, hip coffee and café spot. The Winnebago has also become Madison's newest live music and event venue that doubles as a safe space for all. The Winnebago recently announced that it's name is going to change, but what that name might be is still undecided.
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