Tag Archive | Madison

Supper Clubs – Smoky’s Club


9-30-17

 

 

I have lived in Madison for 33 years, Al about 23, and we had never been to Smoky’s Club before.  We figured it was about time!  For those who don’t know, this is a supper club, only open for dinner.  Wisconsin is famous for them all over the state, and we hope to spend more time exploring them. Find a supper club in your area here.

Smoky’s opened back in 1953 before there were many businesses on University Avenue. I hope they are there for their 100th anniversary in 2053. My Grandparents Norman and Barb Braton brought many people here during the 60’s-80’s. Leonard and Janet Schmock are the current owners and are grooming the next generation to continue the great service here.

When you enter, you forget it is 2017. It is the 60’s again and big band music plays softly in the background. No bright lights here, subdued lighting and a tension-free background leads to a relaxing dinner here.

Yes, that lamp above is a puffer fish.

We ate in the back dining room, inside was a picture of John F. Kennedy and candlelit tables with cloth napkins. The long table was soon filled with Badger football fans enjoying dinner after the game.

Our meal began with relishes, veggie while we wait for the meal.

And dinner itself! We ordered the sirloin steak with hash browns, another item Smoky’s is famous for. The steaks come a 500°F heated metal platter, you are warned not to touch it by your server. You also get a bread basket with your meal.

Dinner was delicious and we had no leftovers. Enjoy some pictures of the bar area, many twinkly lights and neat decor.

Get out of the water, SHARK!

We really enjoyed our dinner here and the relaxing ambiance. We recommend coming here for a great dinner, especially steak, as they are famous for them. Don’t pass up the hash browns either, Smoky’s is also famous for them as well.

 

Olblich Garden’s 3rd Annual GLEAM


9-15-17

Photo by Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Each year I eagerly look forward to Olbrich Botanical Garden‘s hottest new art display taking place at night. They really outdid themselves this time. Here is a map of all the art installations, more than ever this year!

For the first time, there are displays inside of the Boltz Conservatory. This display cycles through all the colors, just like the lights lining the inside of the conservatory.

Next I went outside to see those displays, the tree outside was raining light!

There is now a bar outside so you can enjoy an adult beverage while enjoying GLEAM.

 There was a surprise around every corner, I especially liked the columns on either side of the entrance to the Rose Garden, there were roses rotating around inside.

Loved the rainbow brick path.

Projected onto the path in the grand circle were messages, and butterflies flew through them.

New this year were lighted panels with a description of the displays. This one was really neat.

The star shower light made for a ghostly appearance of anyone standing under it.

This one was a little hard to take a picture, video is better.

This one was pretty too.

I am finishing my journey through the gardens, looking completely different from in the day.  As a member, it is $11 to come to GLEAM, 14 if you are not.  You can become a member at Olbrich at this time for a discount and save on future events, coupon is on GLEAM guide. I look forward to next year!

 

Iconic Madison Restaurants – Ella’s Deli


3-31-17, 5-17-17

 

I admit it, it had been years since we have been here.  You get into habits of going to the same places and sometimes forget to go to the truly unique destinations.

We heard that Ella’s Deli is for sale.  It started a ripple of panic through the city in May.  Since the early 1960’s the restaurant has only had one owner, Ella Hirschfeld. She wants to retire and looking for someone to continue the legacy, not close the restaurant. Ella’s was originally on 425 State Street, I remember it in 1984 when I was attending college downtown. This location opened in 1976 and has provided generations of fun for thousands of children, now their grandchildren.

A family-friendly restaurant, there is a carousel ride that opens as soon as the snow stops flying, this year it was March 31. I stopped by there to see it, it’s spring when the carousel is open for rides!

The carousel is made by C.W. Parker, made in Leavensworth, Kansas in 1927. A real beauty! The control booth is pretty too.  Ella’s was awarded by the National Carousel Association  in 2001 for their work in restoring this beautiful piece of history.

 

Get a token inside to take a ride at the cashier station. The carousel is $1.50 per rider. If an adult is standing next to a child for safety, the adult rides for free.

The inside has so many things to look at, it’s easy to spend hours there.  Learn more about the attractions here. A panorama of the dining room from the entrance.

We took a thorough tour after having lunch and this is the result, see video. A real visual treat!

The food was delicious too, we sat by the window with a carousel view.

Some of the displays, so unique! The rest of them can be seen in the video.

There is a refrigerated case of meats and cheese that you can take home too.

Ella’s is a friendly place we are glad we were here. Even if you are just visiting here for a day, Stopping here should be on your list. You don’t have to be a kid to have fun here!