For Memorial Weekend, we decided to take a last minute trip to Madison, WI. We have good friends that live there with children of similar ages. It is far enough for the kids to feel like they went on a “road trip” but close enough that we could get there and back easily. We had one full day in Madison and it was filled with good conversation, the smelling of lilacs and tree climbing at the Arboretum and the ever popular hotel swimming!
After swimming, we were HUNGRY!!!! Thankfully, our hotel was right near the Capitol so our Madison hosts said that there would be lots of options within walking distance. Unfortunately, we kept striking out! The restaurants we were finding were either closed for the holiday, closed for a wedding, or not optimal for four hungry, tired kidlets. Desperation and crankiness were beginning to take hold, and it was beginning to rain. We see a restaurant that looks okay and is open… we start to turn in, when our friend (who are even more foodie minded than ourselves) says… “You know, Sardine is only another few blocks…” It is where he works and I was a little skeptical knowing how he rolls foodie wise, I KNEW that it would be delicious, responsibly raised food, doled out by super skilled waitstaff. My fears were the kids in this place and what kind of reception would 8 weary, and soggy diners with no reservations get… He called ahead and excitedly informed us that the Harvest Table would be waiting for us. His son was clearly happy about the decision, so we started off!
I have to say, it was a little slice of crazy pie getting settled, but we were greeted with smiles and a few crayons. One of the waitstaff brought over a large sheet of butcher paper for the kidlets to color on and after three trips to the restroom, we were able to finally look at the menu! YUM! Such delicious options, it was very hard to choose but I finally went with the Sardine burger which had carmelized onions, fig jam, arugula and gorgonzola (I subbed gruyere due to allergies) on a ciabatta bun. Sardine does NOT have a menu dedicated to kids, but they do have bar and appetizer menus with great options. All of the kids chose to have the bistro hot dog… it is a hot dog served on a toasted roll with melted gruyere cheese, the hot dog also comes with both a side of fries and greens. TONS of delicious food… we definitely didn’t eat all of the sides but the hot dogs and burgers were demolished quickly. One of our hosts also ordered the mussels… heavenly! I was very happy that he was willing to share and so was June.
You know, as far as kid friendliness goes… I am not sure if we experienced more because we were with an employee, but this is definitely a place that I would feel comfortable bringing them to again. It was lovely, and delicious. My only suggestion would be to add a children’s menu with smaller portions so there is less waste. Both Elliot and June gave two thumbs up!
By the time we were done with our meal, it had stopped raining and we able to enjoy a much less frenzied walk back to the hotel. The kids even got to play on the Capitol grounds for a bit. It was a wonderful weekend!
Thanks to Sardine for being friendly to even the smallest foodie and to our friends for being amazing hosts!