After a week of craziness I decided to drive.  I found myself in Madison.  No phone calls. No Emails.  I did tm my buddy on the way down to ask where I should eat.  He gave me a couple places he liked and after a priceline miracle hotel room I was on my way to Nostrano.  And let me tell you - you should be too. 
The Night was eerie, the Capital looked ghostly with low clouds and dew but the night was nice.  I got to Nostrano (which is right off the Capital) walked in and saw a quaint place, 15 tables or so and a small bar.  Tall ceilings but narrow.  Felt...right.  There was windows hung up all over the walls, like they were wanting you to look out them into a different part of the world- maybe a field full of peonies or white water rapids or maybe out your bedroom window......
 I was seated at a great table and got my first look at the bar.  Behind the bar they had about 40 empty bottles of wine hung from different lengths of string.  It was pretty neat looking and I would actually maybe do it in my house (well a new one anyway)  My server came up - Dane - i ordered a glass of Furst pInot gris from Alsace.  Shouldnt of.  Too sweet - I should have known better.  I then ordered a glass of gamay sparkling from France - SUPER delish.  Had Scallops with celery root and just ever so faintly vanilla cream sauce - a surprise on the plate was pulled oxtail  - outstanding
DInner - Braised Pork Shoulder with the most amazing pan sauce.  Demi Glace and red wine simmered down to the most flavorful broth ive had in years.  My crispy on the outside and delicious and moist inside pork shoulder was almost addictive.  It had white beans, grilled ciabatta bread and olive oil.  WOW.  Because I cant resist the risotto - I ordered that too.  It was Canaroli Risotto (a lil longer and thicker then arborio) and it had FRESH IN SEASON MORELS with spring onions and goat butter - it was so creamy and savory and hearty and delicious that I couldnt stop.  I would pile risotto on my fork, put pork on top of that and then dredge the whole thing in that exotice broth.........wow
Had a scoop of Caramel, cocoa nib and buttermilk homeade ice cream.  I wanted to try ALL things on the menu.  I will go back.  No Doubt.  One of the best meals Ive had in WI. 
NOSTRANOS - 111 s Hamilton Street Madison  *****  5 stars

I woke up and Went to Marigold Kitchen for Brunch - they have indoor and outdoor seating.  You order and then sit down and they serve you up fast and efficiently. I had a fresh squeezed oj - fresh fruit - Ham, gruyere, parsley and green onion omelet with Marigolds famous breakfast potatoes (thin sliced with spicy finish) and a green salad.  Rye toast with homeade raspberry jam (with seeds)  Great breakfast to start the day -
Marigold Kitchen - 118 s Pinckney street (right off the capital)

Went Hiking at Devils Lake all day - cloudy day and great weather to hike in and try to sort through all of lifes questions....I think I may have actually answered some of them!

Off to dinner Lombardinos ( A klitchy glitchy Old - school Italian joint)
I will admit whomever made their website was a genious.  They made the place look entirely amazing - the ambiance was a little deceiving compared to the website.  Got there - bread was really good with olive oil - Had the Antipasto platter and it really was well put together.  Fresh Proscuitto, fresh bufala mozzarella with balsalmic, eggplant and Fabronis sausage caponatta and grilled bread - oh and mortadella mousse on bruschetta bread.  I was full after that but did order the Halibut already - it came out a tad overdone but still well seasoned - GORGEOUS grilled artichokes and arugula salad. 
Had a scoop of fig icecream - wow fig icecream the way it should be - real figs in it ground up - almost a heary ice cream.
Oh and wine - had a rosso di montalcino - Since i will be in montalcino in a month I thought i should study up
Lombardinos - 2500 university Ave  **** 4 stars

Decided to end my weekend At Frank Lloyd Wrights - Taliesen in Spring Green.  Have never done the tour and being I used to live in an old Frank LLoyd Wright Design home I thought it would be interesting and neat to see how it compared to my old house.  And honestly it did compare - almost too well.  Kinda made my heart hurt. 
The grounds are beautiful in a wore down kind of way. Knowing he built this house for the love of his life and he lost her in this very same house from a horrifying homicide - how terrible.
i Saw the Still running architechture school, the Romeo and Juliet Windmill and then toured the grounds of Taliesin and the inside.  The lines, trees, windows, wood, rooms, style, and little things like pea gravel and type of flowers, were so insanely similar. Everything. 
There was an old architect (one of flws' first students) that still lives on the property with his old greyhound.  He had to be 90 and his dog older.  He was walking (or I should say slowly making his way) around with his cane to what I thought may be his "daily walk".  They dog was slowly trailing behind, tail in between his legs in pain or exhaustedness.  half hour Later in the house I looked out and saw the 2 from the 2nd floor walking below.  He sat down on a rock wall and the dog looked like he just couldnt make it to him.  I watched as he was coaxing him to try and make it and that damn dog did.  Then the dog leaned into him and that old man started scratching that old dogs hinder.  You could slowly see that tail start wagging and as the seconds pass his tail was wagging harder.  Standing in that window of THAT house, watching this poor dog with his master and witnessing a moment of true love was pretty special.  He had no idea i was watching.  I think  moments like those are so often over looked.  I dont want to overlook these moments anymore
Best moment of the weekend - Theres 2 - Im going to Italy and that dogs wagging tail
carry each other

 


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