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Mediterranean Comfort Food in Madison, Wisconsin: A Pig in a Fur Coat

By Paul Rowe

It's not every day that casual dining harmoniously mingles with fine dining cuisine. This is the case at A Pig in a Fur Coat, Madison, Wisconsin's premier Mediterranean restaurant.

"We call ourselves Mediterranean comfort food drawing inspiration from Spain, France, and Italy while using the freshest ingredients," says owner Bonnie Arent. "We didn't want to focus only on pork; we used pig in the name because we just love it."

The communal vibe at Pig in a Fur Coat is infectious. "We wanted to create a real experience for our guests and part of that is through our communal tables," says Arent. "We love interaction between guests and staff."

The staff is always willing to suggest their favorites from the menu, and this is important because it's hard to choose just one entrée. From small plates such as the Octopus featuring mole, testa, cilantro, potato, and lime, to larger dishes such as the Rabbit with succulent veal sausage, polenta, black truffle, carrot, porchini, and cipollini onion, the numerous options are mouth-watering.

The Burrata is a bit hit touting heirloom tomato, onion, calabrian pepper, and basil. Vegetarian options also shine: The Beet plate with goat cheese, carrots, balsamic, and pistachio malt oil keep guests coming back for more.

If you're just stopping by for drinks, there are terrific snack options to compliment any glass of wine. These include dates with chorizo and piquillo peppers, an artisanal charcuterie and cheese platter, and poutine with foie gras, cheese curds, and a poutine sauce.

"Our favorites on the menu are the Foie Gras Mousse with bombolini (a fried dough) wrapped in lardo topped with a foie gras mousse accompanied by a fig port jam," says Arent. "I really like this one because it is sweet, savory, and it melts in your mouth. Another popular dish is the ravioli: one large, fresh ravioli with a duck egg yolk, ricotta cheese in the middle, and finished with browned butter, Brussels sprouts, and bacon."

A Pig in a Fur Coat's brand new bar serves classic cocktails with a solid list of quality liquors. The beer and wine menu has evolved since the restaurant opened, and it's constantly changing to this very day. All of the wines here are chosen to compliment the food.

"We try to focus on lesser known grape varietals," says Arent. "This goes back to the dining experience. We want you to try new food, drink new wine and beer, and experience something you haven't tried before."

If you're searching for a harmonious, fresh, and exquisite dining experience wrapped in a casual ambiance, A Pig in a Fur Coat should be first on your list.

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About The Author

Paul Rowe is a graduate instructor of writing and master's student of Literature at...

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