No need to leave Madison to visit the world with these 5 food events

Taste worldly flavors in Madcity
No need to leave Madison to visit the world with these 5 food events
by Sanaz Cordes of THRIVE Madison

Tuesday, Jan. 16
THRIVE Madison, a business that provides mobile and in-studio services including meal delivery or pick-up, personal training, group training and massage, opened a little more than four months ago with a “living healthy made easy” approach to self-care, exercise and eating. This week, THRIVE Madison hosts a Middle Eastern three-part event–a cooking demonstration, cocktails and belly dance. Watch executive chef Raine Streicher put a twist on Spanakopita, a savory Greek pastry, as well as shawarma, a delicious pita sandwich made with your choice of thinly sliced meat, veggies and sauce wrapped in pita bread. Both are sure to delight your taste buds (yes, you get to eat what she prepares). Continue to eat and sip on classic Middle Eastern cocktails as you watch a belly dancing performance. $15, 6:30-8:30 p.m. click here for more info.

The Icon Restaurant and Tapas Bar is asking you to pack your bags for an Around the World Whiskey Tasting and dinner event. Take a trip to the countryside of Ireland as you sip on a wide selection of Irish whiskey–Bushmill’s, Jameson and more. Taste a Templeton Rye Whiskey, handcrafted in the small town of Templeton, Iowa. Pair your drink with one of the Icon’s classic flatbreads. Choose from the jamon serrano flatbread, made with olive oil, arugula and smoked mozzarella, or the spicy chicken flatbread, piled high with chicken, bacon, leeks, goat cheese and balsamic gastrique. $12, 5-7 p.m. click here for more info.

Thursday, Jan. 18
Leave the snow of Madison for the sun of Spain with a Tequila and Mezcal dinner hosted by Fuegos- Steak–Tapas–Vegan restaurant. Fuego’s grass-fed steaks are prepared on wood-fire grills to create flavors you would find as a local in Spain. For this event, chef Oscar Villarreal is set to prepare a six-course dinner with both meat and meatless options. Each course is paired with a unique mescal or tequila to taste. The dinner makes for a nice introduction for those who are not familiar with mezcal, which can differ from tequila because of the unique agaves used during production. $65, 7-9:30 p.m. click here for more info.

Sunday, Jan. 21
Say hallo to Winter Fest–a week-long German food festival, complete with schnitzel, strudel and bier–as it returns to Essen Haus, Madison’s classic German restaurant. For dinner, choose from one of four different schnitzels, a pork wienerschnitzel, jägerschnitzel, hühnerschnitzel or rahmschnitzel. Before packing your bags, try one of 16 German biers on tap and taste a specialty dessert, an apfel (apple) or kirsch (cherry) strudel baked and topped with powdered sugar. $22 (includes a half-liter of any tap bier, any of the feature schnitzel selections, and an apfel or cherry strudel), 3-9 p.m. click here for more info.

Madison Magazine’s Restaurant Week provides endless opportunities to try different worldly flavors from participating restaurants all across Madison. Restaurants are scheduled to offer a week-long, prix-fixe menu with three courses and three options in each course. Taste classic, Italian flavors at Biaggi’s Ristorante Italian, where chicken Milanese, Gemellini with sausage and more are on the menu. Enjoy a feast at Samba Brazilian Grill where a selection of fire-roasted meats, vegetables and fresh fruits are brought straight to your table for your choosing. Other participating restaurants include Mad Seafood Boiler, Salvatore’s Tomato Pies, Freiburg Gastropub and many, many more. $15 lunches and $25, $30 or $35 dinners, times vary depending on participating restaurants’ hours, click here for more info.