Natural and decadent may seem like an unlikely pairing, but one glance at the Field Table’s exquisite menu proves otherwise.
Tucked away from the fast lane of college kid shenanigans and well-known businesses on State Street, Field Table is nestled just across from the Capitol on East Mifflin Street and Wisconsin Avenue. Its location prompts a crowd not typically of young college students — but Field Table is for anyone looking for a unique take on Wisconsin produce.
Field Table selects ingredients for their lavish dishes from a selection of fresh, seasonal and local produce, some of which is sold at their indoor farmers’ market, a nice contrast to the restaurant’s dimly lit, yet stately dining area. Acting as a sector between the two is the Field Table’s statement — its bar.
Adorned with low-hanging lights and tall black chairs, nothing else speaks to the restaurant’s classic, yet modernized, aesthetic quite like its richly decorated bar. Its shelving extends to the ceiling, including far more than an impressive collection of liquor and spirits. Leather-bound books and large embellishing pieces and figurines enhance its chic nature and beckon to those inside to take a seat and take in the curious view.
The Field Table’s menu is intriguing and ever-changing, due to the restaurant’s seasonal rotation of produce. But whether it’s brunch, lunch or dinner, Field Table goers should expect au naturale eats with unusual, but saliva-inducing combinations — the perfect opportunity for the experimental food enthusiast, particularly of the vegetarian persuasion.
Due to its avant-garde nature, scouring the menu will likely prompt periodic Google searches, as some of the dish ingredients listed are difficult to recognize for even a foodie.
But seeing as the Field Table is far from conventional, restaurant goers should embrace the charred ramps, the sea vegetables, the star anise or the watercress chimichurri— and let their taste buds do the thinking.
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One look at the Field Table’s forest bowl can summon a raving appetite. The dish’s presentation is fully appetizing, each ingredient so specific and so delicate, they’re filtered out from any others in a grand competition of taste and style — and the resulting combination could not be any more delicious.
At the center of the plate lies about half a cup’s worth of pureed sweet potato with lentils surrounding, salty sautéed collard greens, roasted mushrooms bursting with flavor and a handful of toasted walnuts to satisfy any remote sweet tooth hankering.
With the forest bowl coming in at around $14, the rest of the menu seems gently overpriced at a glance. The dish’s surprisingly sizable portions, however, balance out the cost, leaving a customer’s belly full of rich produce well worth its price.
The Field Table’s savory ingredients are tilled and tossed into a reasonable delicacy not likely to be replicated outside the restaurant’s walls with their signature homemade vigor.
And while customers may leave with a dent in their wallets, they are exiting with full stomachs, satisfied cravings and a desire for a second encounter with the ornate green cuisine — and maybe even that intimidating watercress chimichurri.