Quaint and trendy, this not-so-tiny caf? is soon going to be a favorite destination for discriminating breakfast and lunch diners who frequent the downtown area. Located at 118 S. Pinckney St., it is less than a block from Capitol Square.
Muted warm colors define oddly shaped sections of the dropped ceiling and portions of the walls. The exposed oak floor is polished brown and dotted with lighter wooden tables and chairs. There is even a niche near the back with a couple of tables and a wrap-around bench laden with pillows. These subtle touches make the atmosphere special, but Marigold Kitchen has much more to offer than just interesting decor.
On their informative but not-yet-fully developed website, www.marigoldkitchen.com, Marigold Kitchen describes itself as “an upbeat breakfast and lunch eatery” which boasts a “casual and fun environment serving healthy, hearty and inventive food inspired by locally grown seasonal produce.”
This is all true enough, but they forgot to mention how delicious the food is.
The roasted sweet corn relish, chorizo sausage, cilantro, and aged cheddar omelet served at either breakfast or brunch is scrumptious. There are perky green notes from the cilantro, a touch of sweet from the corn relish, and a nice kick of spice with the chorizo sausage. The toast that accompanies omelets and eggs is fresh, hearty, and delicious. The French Rosemary bread is a must try. The omelets also come with a side of marigold potatoes, which have a nice subtle warm spice but are a bit oily for my taste.
Newly returned to the Midwest from a few years spent in the wilds of California, chefs and Marigold co-owners John Gadau and Phillip Hurley decided to test their entrepreneurial skills in Madison. And for hardly having been open for three weeks, by the number of customers already served, it seems as though these chefs know how to judge a community. Where else in town can a person find a perfect chocolate-dipped macaroon — one that is crunchy, crisp, and golden brown on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside?
Marigold Kitchen is different from most other breakfast/lunch places in that it has obtained a liquor license. Most other cafes don’t offer a Bloody Mary or mimosa at a Saturday brunch. The owners have also talked about opening on Friday evenings with a fun selection of snacks and appetizers to be served with wine and cocktails.
The restaurant space can be rented for parties and gatherings, and chefs Gadau and Hurley also cater breakfast and lunch meetings. How lovely to find a potato, onion, sausage and Boursin quiche, with its buttery crust and fluffy egg, at a breakfast meeting.
The lunch menu at Marigold Kitchen presents a choice of sandwiches, as well as green salads and homemade soup. The salads look big and hearty with potentially tasty ingredients including toasted pecans, fresh herbs, and grated Grana Padano. Soup sounds just as good with the current choices of chilled tomato with gazpacho salsa or roasted corn and andouille sausage.
But the widest range of difference is in the sandwiches. From breaded pork tenderloin to Certified Angus roast beef, there are several different meat-based sandwiches to enjoy — the grilled chicken breast and Asian marinated grilled Mahi are house recommendations. Two of the sandwiches offered are vegetarian, and both sound delicious: Mediterranean artichoke and olive salad, and Bruschetta of marinated tomatoes.
Pan Bagna tuna sounded good — served on a Kaiser roll and done up with radishes, Ni