A Madison Gem: The Cooper's Tavern
You know what we love? Incredible food. You know what else we love? The Capitol. So it's fitting that the restaurant we are featuring this week combines both of those things. The Cooper's Tavern is one of our favorite downtown restaurants. Cooper's is a gastro pub located ON Capitol Square in the heart of downtown Madison - which means you can sit outside, sipping your drink and eat incredible food, with an amazing view of the Capitol itself.
Opened in 2010 as part of the Food Fight Restaurant Group, the restaurant has Irish roots with the founder, Peter, born and raised in Ireland before moving to New York. The food featured on their menus is inspired by the travels Peter and his wife took before settling in Madison. However they source their ingredients as locally and sustainably as they can, including meats, cheese, produce, and breads. YUM!
From the outside, Cooper's isn't over imposing. It's subtly built into the walls of Capitol Square. But it packs a punch and is full of goodies...The Coopers Tavern has an impressive alcohol collection offering 28 premium craft beers on draft (inspired by European style taverns) as well as 120 bottled beers from around the world. Even more impressive is their whiskey list, which features over 120 of the finest bourbons, American, Scotch and Irish whiskeys available. Something interesting to note is that Coopers (their namesake) were barrel builders so they feature oak barreled wines, whiskeys and bourbons whenever possible.
The Keeling Homes Team has been following The Coopers Tavern on Facebook for a while as one of their long time bar tenders is a connection who posts a picture of his lunch EVERY DAY. Chicken parmigiana sandwich, fish tacos, bratwurst sandwich with onion & apple relish, cheddar cheese and Guinness stout mustard served on a pretzel bun...we just couldn't keep looking at it through a screen!
What's kept us going back? The Cooper's Tavern has an INCREDIBLE Reuben which we are told has a cult following ;) We also love the traditional fish and chips as well as the pork belly Mac...which (in case you were wondering) is mac and cheese with carr valley applewood smoked cheddar, roth fontina, and roth van gogh gouda cheeses topped with house-cured fox heritage farms pork belly, herb bread crumbs, and roth buttermilk blue cheese. I mean seriously. Mouth. Watering.
We love even just stopping by for beers and appetizers after work. They have a Sconnie Egg - an organic egg from new century farms wrapped in house-made brat sausage, breaded and fried, and served with beer and mustard aioli and tavern pickles. Trust me...it's as good as it sounds. Their beer cheese pretzel is also to die for, served with your choice of our belgian beer cheese dip or guinness stout mustard. 100% recommend!
The atmosphere is a warm, pub like setting, with industrial ceilings, rich woods and painted brick throughout. They are open 7 days a week. Check them out at www.thecooperstavern.com. If you haven't stopped by yet, this is your perfect opportunity....
This next week is the last Concert's on the Square of the season and Cooper's is giving away a $50 gift card to one lucky winner, meaning you could be dining at Cooper's before next week's concert. All you have to do is like our Facebook page and The Cooper's Tavern Facebook Page, then like and share our post! Winners will be announced next Wednesday morning 8/1.