Gates & Brovi
3502 Monroe Street, Madison WI
Date of Curd Tasting: 13DEC2012
To set the scene: We were heading to the Monroe Street neighborhood for a Trader Joe’s run, and decided to see if the mega-crowds had died down yet at the new Gates & Brovi restaurant/pub. A drive by paid off, and it was curdz time!
Chz Curdz with homemade ranch
We had heard that the majority of the wood in this joint was reclaimed from an old factory in Wausau, so we had high hopes that the owners leaned toward the local, and we would not be served frozen, Sysco curdz… We asked the waitress if they curdz came from a local dairy. Her answer: “I know they come from Wisconsin, but I don’t know which dairy”. She did not offer to find out.
These are some seriously flavorful curdz. HappySchnapps had to pause with a comment: “It’s sinful that I’m doing this without a beer.” (The iced tea was delicious, FYI). He persevered, and we continued with the review. Given our penchant for curd purity, these curdz were borderline overly herby with some sort of Herbs de Provence-ish mix in the breading, however the combo with the chz was rather delightful, and warranted high tasty points. Quite chewy, fresh curdz. Very enjoyable.
As per the stretch.
We postulated that the curdz were likely left in the fryer a bit too long…this was evidenced by the increased greaze factor and the occasional curd explosion. It was a bit of a Catch 22 as the lengthened fry time also resulted in a captivating crispiness to the curd coating.
A light and crunchy breading. It’s lovely golden hue was a sight to behold. As previously mentioned, the over frying resulted in a bit of chz bleed, and therefore sporadic hollow curd phenomenon. We decided to blame the cook, and not the breading.
Homemade per the menu description. “So thick that you can sit on it!”. Well, a curd could anyway…and did. Usually we prefer a thin ranch, however this was seriously scrumptious and paired well with the herby breading.
Slightly smallish order, but refreshingly priced at $5.25. A perfect size for two. They would be good for a crowd if you order them along with a few of the numerous other awesome sounding appetizers on the menu (eg. shrimpf fritters, fried artichoke hearts, antipasto relish, beer steamed shrimpf!)
These curdz went YUM. If properly executed, they would be a serious home run. Frying curdz is definitely an art, with a very small window of success for our perfectionist palates. It was a decent curd experience, and we were more than content with the curdz ingested. The joint is pretty cool, and all the food we ate was delish, including the curdz. We’ll be back for sure, and next time we will try them with beer!