Although visitors driving up to Madison from Chicago might be understandably skeptical of a restaurant named "Graft," any concerns the three of us were relieved by a thoroughly enjoyable evening experience in this friendly small-plates venue.
Casually set in a re-purposed central location, moderately noisy, comfortable for ambiance and service, our reservation well-handled -- an excellent dining lead-in to our concert just around the corner.
Six small plates and one dessert to share made for the right quantities -- delivered in a sequence that made reasonable sense of our choices -- broccolini, the signature mac&cheese, three lovely scallops, tender and juicy chunks of pork belly, pungent cavatelli with spicy Italian sausage (here proving the wisdom of small plates, as a full portion at this level of intensity would likely provoke distress), and a hearty chunk of short ribs. The evening's special dessert should become a keeper -- a "de-constructed" strawberry shortcake based on toasted wedges of pound cake, with gently-herbed whipped cream.
Little to contribute on the beverage side, as our limited ambitions ran to glasses of malbec or prosecco -- fine in context.
Value excellent by our standards -- an enjoyable and hospitable setting, well worth a return visit.
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