Madisons New York Grill and Bar. Though the restaurant’s name says New York, and the the owner and G.M. both hale from Canada, it’s pure Boca, too. It’s upscale. It’s contemporary. It’s saavy and classy. This is a place t for all occasions: casual lunch; business lunch; Happy Hour; singles meet up; date night; married couples night out, you name it. Before even starting with the food, there are a few special, stand-out mentions about the place itself: comfy cushions in the waiting area, ramps that make everywhere accessible for all; Happy Hour All Day, Everyday; Early Bird Everyday (3pm to 5:30pm) and a walk-in wine cellar that would please even the most critical oenophile. It’s also comforting to note the open view kitchen so you can actually see the cleanliness and the preparations of your meal. The General Manager, Joseph Bras, said, “we are always proud to give kitchen tours. As you can see, we are constantly cleaning and everything sparkles, even the stainless steel.”
Indeed, you should let Joe take you on a tour of Madisons. He points out amenities that shouldn’t be missed. For example, the outside patio. Floridians as well as visiting guests relish the idea of dining outside, especially when there is snow on the ground up north. Joe called this a “state-of-the-art patio” because it has ceiling fans for hot weather and fully heated lamps throughout for cool weather. It has bistro tables for small cheek-to-cheek meetings, tables for 6-8 or a long family / party table that can seat 14. The benches at this table have fluy pillows and back supports. There is also an area on the side of the restaurant that’s perfect for a private party of 25 people with a thoughtfully placed outside bar. “We’ve thought of every angle,” Joe said.
Not only is this place extraordinary, but wait till you experience the food. We started with appetizers and it was dicult to choose from the 10 enticing offerings. The Fried Calamari is crispy and golden. If you like it spicy, it can be topped with hot peppers, sweet Thai chili sauce or spicy mayonnaise or they can be served on the side. The Brussel Sprouts are nicely browned on the outside and topped with a sesame garnish, definitely unbelievable and not the veggies mom wanted us to finish. The generous Coconut Shrimp come with 8 to an order and are made with a wonderful mix of Japanese Panko bread crumbs, brown sugar and shredded coconut, with mango salsa and sweet Thai chile sauce on top or on the side. Don’t shy away from trying the Octopus! It is re-grilled and Mediterranean style so it is prepared with a healthy and savory mix of small, halved grape tomatoes and Castelvetrano olives (a favorite even for those who think they don’t care for olives), capers, and a lemon-olive oil-herb drizzle. Joe came to the table and added a bit more olive oil which made the good taste even better. He asked which of the appetizers we liked the best? “All of them,” was the answer.
Again, facing almost 10 salad choices, we were delighted that Joe suggested “Madisons Chopped Salad.” Perfect as an accompaniment or as a meal on its own, this is a winner. It comes with a healthy assortment of, again, almost 10 ingredients that are presented in neat little piles, already-chopped and ready-to-mix with a sliced avocado resting on top. It’s colorful and neat, almost too pretty to mix, but well worth it to do so. There’s balsamic vinaigrette on the bottom and blue cheese crumbles on top just aching to toss in with the greens, chicken, cucumbers, chopped egg, garbanzo beans and cranberries. It’s shareable, and bursting with contrasting sweet and tangy flavors. You’ve never tasted such an exciting salad.
Save room for the exquisite North Atlantic Salmon. Lightly seasoned and showing o its grill marks, the dish is served with a generous portion of also-grilled asparagus spears. A mango plum sauce is served on the side but it’s not really needed since the ¢sh is already fresh and moist with a touch of olive oil and lemon that makes it simply divine.
For the carnivores in the house, don’t miss the Baby Back Ribs in a delightful sauce that is neither too boring nor too spicy, and also smoky but not burn-y. And… those grilled lamb chops… they will keep you coming back for more. With hints of seasoning, olive oil and lemon, they are nicknamed “Lollipop” chops since you can pick them up by the bone with your fingers to eat them, and you’ll want to, so you don’t miss a morsel. Joe said, “we can make any combination; we can mix and match the ribs and lamb chops, as you like.” Also, if you are a wine lover, a couple special dark, complex reds are perfect accompaniments. Try the rich J.Lohr, Seven Oaks from Paso Robles ((#810 on the menu) or the deep Red Blend, Charles and Charles from Columbia Valley (#804.)
Don’t even think of leaving without experiencing Madisons homemade Key Lime Pie with Kiwi-Lime glaze. It has a creamy texture and just the right balance of sweetness and tartness. Joe said, “I’ve already had it twice today.” Just taste it and you’ll understand why.
Throughout the meal, you’ll be impressed with the attentive staff the waiters, Jared and Yul, the hostess, Laura, and, “Sam” in charge of the bar who adeptly handles what has become the most sought-after scene in Boca. (Side note: Try the popular Quesadillas at Happy Hour; they are filling, fairly priced and flawless.) As Joe summed it up, “after 30 years in this business, I’ve found you’re only as good as who you work with. It can’t be done alone. One man can’t move a mountain.” You’ll find the teamwork and cameraderie here coincide with the ultimate in quality cuisine. It’s no wonder Madisons has had staying power in a land of fleeting dining establishments.
2006 NW Executive Circle, Boca Raton, FL 33431 • 561-994-0808 • MadisonsNewYork.com