Why My Dinner At Oliver's Public House Is Better Than Yours

I had the absolute privilege to be able to attend the Founders Beer Dinner at Oliver's Public House in Madison, WI and indulge in a 5-course dinner and beer pairing that absolutely blew my mind!

I've been waiting for about a month to attend this dinner event, so when January 31st came around, I could hardly contain myself.

I've dined at Oliver's several times before, so I knew the food was going to be outstanding, but I've never attended any of their private dinner events until now.

So, I was definitely excited to get over to Oliver's to get my mind officially blown.

We were immediately greeted by the Manager (who was incredibly nice) and instructed to find our table located at the far corner of the restaurant right by the window.  

We always love sitting by the window.  

And look what I found waiting at my table!

They sure know how to make a gal feel special.

A nice touch to make their guest feel special                                                                                                                                                       photo by epicurean chronicles

And I just LOVE the cool yet sophisticated menu design and the nod to the Founders Brewing Company.

cool menu design next to what looks like the biggest spoon ever:-)                                                                                                      photo by epicurean chronicles

We arrived right at 5pm to take advantage of the cocktail hour and to sample the libations.

After immediately taking a seat at the bar, we were swiftly handed a cocktail menu by the bartender, Ricky Pajewski who is a master at his craft.  

Now, because we're Star Wars super fans, and (I'm going off a hunch here) since some of our readers may be into it as well, we just HAD to share Oliver's 'No ID Required' beverage menu, which is clearly on trend with the success of the movie franchise.


Check out the ChewBacca!                                                                                                                                                                                              photo by epicurean chronicles

Although we were tempted to order the Chewbacca, because... well, Chewy... we decided to opt for what we call the 'must be 21' selection of their cocktail menu.

The order?

The Principessa (on tap) and the Moscow Mule.  Both drinks that we have never tried before.

I gotta tell you, their bartender is legit.  Take a look.

The Principessa is one sneaky little cocktail.  It may look pretty, but I can see how it could be deliciously deadly in large quantities.  

I couldn't taste a lick of liquor in it, but I sure did feel the damn thing.

Here they are.

Check out the bar!

I want one of these in my house                                                                                                                                                                                   photo by epicurean chronicles

We also happened to sit next to an Oliver's regular, Larry Sharp, while we were enjoying our cocktails.  We were pleased to hear all the wonderful things he had to say about his dining experiences at Oliver's.  We enjoyed our conversation so much that we are now Facebook official friends! Yup!

Cheers to you Larry!

oliver's public house regular, Larry Sharp enjoying a tequilla mockingbird                                                                                    photo by epicurean chronicles

This dinner was quite an event, and not an empty seat in the house.  Every seat, including at the bar, was accounted for.

Just see for yourselves.

Now let me start telling all of you about the mind-blowing dining experience we had at Oliver's.  We still talk about this dinner!  That's how amazing it was.

The amuse bouche they served to us was a White Chocolate & Lobster Bisque.

Umm... Excuse me?

Did they just say White Chocolate and Lobster????

Mhhmmm...they sure did!

And let me tell you.  It was exquisite!  Who knew?!?!  I would gladly bathe in that bisque.  It was that good.  The Chef was a BOSS for this one.  It was beautifully paired with Founders Brewing Company's (which I will refer to as FBC) Spectra Trifecta - Kölsch served in a champagne flute.  

The first course was a Hop & Chili Steamed Sable Fish which was expertly paired with FBC's Azacca - India Pale Ale.  There was grilled starfruit in this!  Who knew that grilled starfruit would go so well with seafood?  I sure didn't.  It was definitely a successful dish and an equally successful beer pairing.

The second course was Smoked Lamb Ribs skillfully matched with FBC's Red's Rye - Rye P.A.




This dish was heaven on a plate.  You don't need a knife for this sophisticated dish.  The meat just fell off the bone!  One of my favorite components of the dish (aside from the ridiculously, mouthwatering lamb rib) was the bed of 'rye-sotto' it was served on made with sweet corn.  

Genius.  Freaking Genius!

Please add this to your regular menu!!!

And the beer... once again, a perfect pairing for the course.  beautifully done folks!  

The third course was Maple-Bourbon Roasted Pork Belly masterfully paired with one of FBC's rarest brews, the 'KBS' - Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout.  

This was my favorite beer and food pairing of the night.  The KBS complimented the Roasted Pork Belly perfectly, which was adorned with fried brussel sprout leaves that stole my food loving heart.  And the potatoes?!?!  There was some Hook's 5-year cheddar in them potatoes folks!  Don't even get me started on the soft-boiled egg.  There's nothing more food-sexy than a perfectly soft-boiled egg, and this one was damn sexy!

I hope that Oliver's will be one of the select few that can carry the KBS, and possibly induct this course into the brunch menu.  I would be all over this one!

The fourth course was a Crème De La Coulee "Leopold" exquisitely paired with FBC's Nitro Rubaeus - Raspberry Beer.

This was an absolutely refreshing beer and food pairing.  The soft cheese, the marcona almonds, the picante greens, and the raspberry vinaigrette all played a beautiful part in this invigorating dance of a meal.  

We're at the home stretch folks.

The chef has decided to end the meal on a high note.

Death by dessert!  And... we willingly accepted our fate.

The fifth and final course of the evening was the Oat & Chestnut Cake which was paired with FBC's Breakfast Stout - Imperial Stout.  This was a well thought out pairing, and the Stout was another favorite of the night.  The blood orange sherbet was a perfect compliment to this enlightened sweet, citrusy, and crispy delight!

I have to give props to the folks at Oliver's Public House for hosting such a fantastic beer pairing dinner, and for Founders Brewing Company for introducing us to such a great brand of truly amazing beer.  We'll give all of you beautiful people a lot more information about these talented folks and amazing brands right here on our site so stay tuned!

But first, let's give it up for the wonderful folks that we met during this  dinner, that made this experience such a memorable one.


So, was my dinner better than yours?

Damn straight it was!

After this dinner, I can't help but brag about it.  And, we sure hope that you share this post to anyone and everyone that you know and help us brag about it too!  

Tell all of your friends about Oliver's Public House, and make sure YOU go and eat there too!

You'll find yourself telling everyone that your dinner was better than theirs.

       By Chris Attaway

       By Chris Attaway