Just go. She hosts the food podcast The Corner Table and runs a program for student theater critics. We stopped in for lunch based on the recommendation of our B&B innkeeper - great choice. The Near East Side now has easy access to Paul's Pel'meni and the types of sandwiches and coffee drinks served at Oasis Cafe in Fitchburg. Review tags are currently only available for English language reviews. This new West Side restaurant is as much a bubble tea shop, and sticks to Vietnamese staples pho and banh mi. Mar 2019 – Present 8 months. === LUNCH MENU === We are still accepting curbside pick up orders! This is my reason for not the full five stars. Zahm’s nomination was in the “Best Chef Mid-West” category. “To educate the public when you’re a server who’s worked and grown the carrots that day just comes naturally,” Ruthie Zahm said. We do a pre-shift (training) with the servers to talk about where the vegetables have come from that day.”. Tuesday-Thursday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Food editor and arts writer Lindsay Christians has been writing for the Cap Times since 2008. Own or manage this property? On special for $15 tonight! The bill would allow bars and restaurants to sell mixed drinks and glasses of wine to-go in containers with “tamper-evident” seals. January Winter Hours: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 11am-3 pm lunch, 5-9pm dinner.Sunday Brunch 9am -1pm. Today, their vegetables are … Viroqua. Related Pages. Established in 1990, the James Beard Awards recognize excellence in restaurants and food media. I just brought 23 people to the Viroqua area for the sole purpose of eating at The Driftless Café. “There’s a fine line with your customers,” Ruthie Zahm said. Driftless Cafe: You'll be Wowed with the work of this James Beard Nominee for Midwest Chef of the Year! Driftless Cafe: Another Great Wisconsin Chef in Another Great Wisconsin Small Town - See 305 traveler reviews, 119 candid photos, and great deals for Viroqua, WI, at Tripadvisor. The family returned to the area after Luke spent several years working in Madison at Kennedy Manor Dining Room and Bar, Lombarino’s and The Old Fashioned. Education. - See 305 traveler reviews, 119 candid photos, and great deals for Viroqua, WI, at Tripadvisor. The pandemic has pushed coffee shops to more closely control their supply chains, add walk-up windows, sell at-home coffee equipment and more. Chef Luke Zahm. Viroqua, Wisconsin. HOURS THURS-SAT 11A-3PM LUNCH 5PM-9PM DINNER SUNDAY BRUNCH 9A-1PM KITCHEN CLOSED FROM 3 TO 5 PM T-Fr and 4 - … )…that said, this was the absolute best in my life. In 2017, as the Driftless Cafe’s chef, Luke Zahm, was a semifinalist for a James Beard award. Several people ordered the risotto with a variety of mushrooms and other vegetables and were very pleased and several others ordered the beef and enjoyed that. You have permission to edit this article. So good. Luke Zahm, chef and co-owner of Driftless Cafe in Viroqua, has been named a semifinalist for Best Chef: Midwest in the 2017 James Beard Awards. Log In. The salad, beef tenderloin and truffled whipped potatoes, the desserts, the wine list, all were very good. The prices were very reasonable and the options were good. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. With the organic abundance of the Driftless surrounding him, Chef Zahn has come home to anchor something wonderful. Driftless Brewing Co. and Hillsboro both have taps here. What a charming city with an undeniable vibe and strong community support. more, “Another Great Wisconsin Chef in Another Great Wisconsin Small Town”. or. That has helped their restaurant become “a bridge,” Ruthie said, in a unique way. “The award gives credibility to that identity, to our farmers and producers in the area.”. We shared a charcuterie tray and then everyone ordered a variety of entrees. 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They may not know which side to clear a plate, but they helped grow the greens on it. The housemade brat, the chicken Caesar, the catfish, the chili , the desserts…freakin’ everything. Driftless Cafe: Wow. Service very good. Create New Account. “It’s super flattering,” said Zahm, who purchased Driftless Café with his wife, Ruthie Zahm, four years ago. There was a problem saving your notification. - See 305 traveler reviews, 119 candid photos, and great deals for … There we we get a … I have never had a better lamb burger in my life…(and on a recent visit to Wales I set a goal to eat an entire lamb before I left the country---burger by burger, shank by shank---I know—disgusting! Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more. Delivery & Pickup Options - 123 reviews of The Driftless Cafe "Awesome place for lunch! I had the sea bass, which was perfectly cooked and delicious. Zahm is among the Best Chef: Midwest semifinalists, which will be narrowed down to “nominees” on March 15. “It’s just me cooking,” said Tory Miller, who serves a personal take on soul food Tuesdays through Saturdays out of the Estrellon bar space at 313 W. Johnson St. When winter sets in and fewer tourists come through, it can be hard to remember why they started the café. Especially in summer, Driftless Café has become a bit of a destination. But I know that, because I’m here. Chef/Owner/CEO of Wiscochef Enterprises L.L.C. Related videos. But Luke and Ruthie, now parents of Eva, 12, Ben, 11, and 4-year-old Silas, still have family nearby. Chef Luke Zahm, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Ruthie, works closely with nearby farms; the restaurant is amid the highest concentration of organic farms in the country. The cost of farm to table can be a tough sell in rural Wisconsin, where the tavern and supper club still dominate dining culture. “We happen to be a part of both of those groups. Luke Zahm Chef and Owner of Driftless Cafe and Wiscochef Enterprises-- Host of Wisconsin Foodie, as seen on PBS Performance & event venue. Driftless Cafe, Viroqua: See 305 unbiased reviews of Driftless Cafe, rated 4.5 of 5 on Tripadvisor and ranked #1 of 21 restaurants in Viroqua. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. The dessert choices were good and the taste was even better. Call us at: 608-637-7778. See more of Driftless Cafe on Facebook. 2.2K views. Driftless Café operates “in a community that feels very divided, with people moving in from cities versus the people who’ve been here for awhile and buck that change,” Ruthie Zahm said. The tomato soup is phenomenal. “Our restaurant does seem quite different than a lot of the other winners because we are in a small town,” said Ruthie Zahm, who manages the restaurant and runs the front of house. Zahm took over Driftless Cafe with his wife, Ruthie, in 2013 and was a semifinalist in the best chef: Midwest category of the James Beard Awards in 2017. Chef Mary suggests this lovely Greek red, St. George 2017 with the ribs. The chef was recently nominated for a James Beard award and was featured on the PBS show Wisconsin Foodie, to give you some idea of the caliber of quality here. Vernon County is home to 113 organic farms, the highest concentration in the country. Viroqua Food Co+op. Once we were in Viroqua, we saw just why Luke and Ruthie Zahm came home to open this laidback-wear your jeans-gourmet-James Beard nominated restaurant. COVID Safety Measures. Her staffing options are different than in a city — servers may be young people who do farm share work in the summer and look to the restaurant for evening shifts. Driftless Cafe: Fabulous! Apr 14, 2017 - VIROQUA — Driftless Cafe chef Luke Zahm, who has owned the downtown Viroqua establishment with his wife, Ruthie, since 2013, is among seven Wisconsin semifinalists in the best chef in Mix and match six packs-$12. They have 8 taps of local stuff and 15 or so bottles. He also spent five years in the kitchen at Epic Systems. Chef Driftless Cafe. Did you know that we offer beer and wine to go? Roelli Cheese | Driftless Cafe In this episode of Wisconsin Foodie we travel to Shullsburg, WI and meet with Chris Roelli of Roelli Cheese. “Our menu changes every day. The prices are very reasonable. Wonderstate Coffee. Create New Account. Specialties: fresh local flavors from the surrounding farms pizza, daily homemade specials, currys, pasta, soups & salads pies, brownies, cookies, cheesecake, art for sale, great atmosphere There’s a tremendous sense of pride. That the Driftless Café has been recognized by the Beard Awards, he said, “gives an identifying piece” to the farm-rich county in western Wisconsin. One Wisconsin name was new: chef Luke Zahm, co-owner of Driftless Café in the small town of Viroqua, two hours west of Madison. LOCATION 118 W COURT ST VIROQUA,WI 54665 . There is a balance between a focus to serve simple food and a constant desire to innovate and push the limits of what can be achieved inside—and outside—a restaurant kitchen. The price seemed pretty reasonable for the quality of the meal and I'd highly recommend this restaurant! Gift Cards can be purchased by calling the cafe at (608) 637-7778 during normal business hours. Tucked in the tiny town of Viroqua, Driftless Café is a Midwestern gem. or. “I’m just excited that we have been honored and hope to pay that kindness forward.”. Map updates are paused. Due to the location and me living in the next state, I probably would not plan a trip to eat at the Driftless, but if I am in the area again, I would definitely go back. The interior is very rustic and the whole place has a wonderful, homey feel to it. See more of Driftless Cafe on Facebook. Delivery & Pickup Options - 126 reviews of The Driftless Cafe "I knew this place existed, I just knew it had to. SW Wisconsin is so full of tree-squeezin natural food growers and eaters, I knew a town like Viroqua had to have a great little cafe to cater to types that can appreciate good cafe culture and food. Or click here to get it online. Luke Zahm, chef and co-owner of Driftless Cafe in Viroqua, has been named a semifinalist for Best Chef: Midwest in the 2017 James Beard Awards. Out in the middle of nowhere, Viroqua is not exactly a destination town but thanks to the Driftless, maybe it is now!The menu is quite limited. I had the semolina gnocchi which were very tasty although the crust was over cooked on them ,making them difficult to cut. As such, dinner menus are … Winter Break: January 1st- 13th CLOSED! Given a nod again by the annual “Oscars of food” were L’Etoile chef Tory Miller, a previous winner of Best Chef: Midwest in 2012, Underground Food Collective co-founder Jonny Hunter and Heritage Tavern’s Dan Fox. owner Blue Harmony Enterprises January 2010 – Present 9 years 10 months. Chef Luke Zahm has been called a sort of “Prodigal Chef.” He grew up in the Driftless Region of Southwest Wisconsin, moved around gaining important and transformative cooking experience, and finally decided to move back to the area, settling his family in the small town of … Amazing a little town like Viroqua has such a great restaurant. I know these people. The restaurant has become a bridge for this community. “I know these farmers. The taste was very good, though. Chef Luke sources high quality organic fruits and vegetables from Ridgeland Harvest just outside of Viroqua, WI, even well before running the Driftless Café. My wife really enjoyed the beet salad and I had the hotdog which was much more than an ordinary hotdog, with great mustard, greens, and wonderful bun. “In a small town, you don’t get a ton of people every night. “My aunts and uncles are the people who’d like to come in and read a menu that just says ‘steak, chicken, vegetarian.’, “We risk losing some of our really local customers because we do add farm names that they don’t understand or then think, ‘This isn’t really my type of restaurant.’”. Had the pasta special with salad and pork and vege soup. Luke Zahm, co-owner of Driftless Cafe, is a first-time semifinalist for a James Beard Award this year. The Zahms track credit card receipts from Madison, Minneapolis, Milwaukee and Chicago, but they also rely on local support from family and friends they’ve known for years. Judges include previous restaurant/chef award winners, regional restaurant critics and culinary educators with more than 400 judges nationwide. VIROQUA — Driftless Cafe chef Luke Zahm, who has owned the downtown Viroqua establishment with his wife, Ruthie, since 2013, is among seven Wisconsin semifinalists in the best chef in The downtown Viroqua restaurant has been owned by Driftless locals, Luke and Ruthie Zahm, since 2013. Seizing on the popularity of chicken sandwiches from chains like Popeyes and Chick-fil-A, Madison's Nitty Gritty has developed its own line of chicken sandwiches that it's selling as Cluck, an online offshoot of the restaurant. The Award-Winning Driftless Cafe and Bakery. So many foodie friends told me about Driftless Café but I had no idea just how good it was until we visited. That puts it “front and center of this food movement,” Luke Zahm said. I will find reasons to return with another group, with my wife, with friends. Not Now. Ice Bear from Third Space Brewing has a profile similar to an imperial stout but is actually a Baltic porter. We've done lunch, which takes a more self-effacing "just folks" turn. DRIFTLESS CAFÉ LUNCH MENU + Seasonal Soups with Hansen’s Country Bakery Bread and Butter - $3.50/cup $5.50/bowl - See 302 traveler reviews, 111 candid photos, and great deals for Viroqua, WI, at Tripadvisor. A group of 9 of us ate there and we all were thoroughly pleased with the meal. Rooted Spoon Kitchen Table. Those words from Chef Luke Zahm sum up the curiosity and passion that inspire everything behind Driftless Café in Viroqua. “For my staff ... we tell them all the time that people are paying attention to what we’re doing, the food we’re making, the impact on the community.”. It was… I hope he's home for the duration. Driftless Cafe: Chef Luke prepares daily masterpieces! Junior Sous Chef Sarma Restaurant. We came to explore the Driftless area and knew about the Driftless Cafe, so it was high on the list. Winners will be announced May 1 at an awards gala in Chicago. This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC. “It gives birth to all sorts of new ideas in the food world. I've been to a couple other options on the main drag, but always left wanting more. Member @AFJEats and @ATCA. The Zahms estimated that the café sources 80 percent of its ingredients from nearby farms, with a strong fermentation and pickling program. The new host, Luke Zahm, is the chef and co-owner of Driftless Cafe, an announcement from the show on Monday said, and was himself the subject of "Wisconsin Foodie" segments. James Beard recognition, though it brings no cash reward, can feel like fuel during dark winter days. She/ her/ hers. When the James Beard Awards semi-finalists list dropped last week, it included several names Madison diners are well familiar with. The staff was excellent as multiple people interacted with us besides our server, bring refills, answering questions, etc. Another Great Wisconsin Chef in Another Great Wisconsin Small Town, Very unique, local ingredients, excellent experience, American Restaurants for Families in Viroqua, American Restaurants for Lunch in Viroqua. Aug 2015 – Jul 2018 3 years. Chef Driftless Cafe May 2019 – Present 6 months. And visitors and locals may look for different things. Log In. Drove two hours to see Luke's restaurant in Viroqua, WI. But you do know your clientele.”. Luke Zahm Chef and Owner of Driftless Cafe and Wiscochef Enterprises-- Host of Wisconsin Foodie, as seen on PBS Viroqua, Wisconsin 111 connections 12 ====dinner==== organic prairie beef tenderloin*, westby coop creamery butter whipped potato, keewaydin farms kale, white truffle oil, villa manodori. 0:06. Very well worth the drive out there. Email notifications are only sent once a day, and only if there are new matching items. Somerville, Massachusetts. Driftless Cafe, Viroqua: See 306 unbiased reviews of Driftless Cafe, rated 4.5 of 5 on Tripadvisor and ranked #1 of 21 restaurants in Viroqua. We've done dinner there that easily rivalled celebrated restaurants in the great metropolises. Buzz for Driftless has been growing bit by bit. “I’m so proud to be here and be able to shine a spotlight on these amazing growers and producers,” Luke Zahm said. Meat People Butcher, owned and run by industry veterans Pip Freeman and Jenny Griep, hopes to open by March 1 in the Lake Edge Shopping Center. “If a high school friend from senior year comes in with her family, that’s a whole different type of service. Our waiter, Sean, was excellent and service was great. We've been busy at the Driftless Cafe!We have created a space for you to enjoy supporting local farmers, and readying ourselves for the safest dining experience we can provide. And because it's Viroqua, smack dab in the middle of Next-to-Nowhere, Wisconsin, attitude is left at the door. We very much enjoyed the entire experience and definitely recommend this café to others visiting in the area. Zoom in to see updated info. EVERYTHING was amazing. You would do well to check out their website and menu online before making reservations but be aware their menu changes very often as its mainly locally produced food and is seasonal. In 2014, Edible Madison (which is based in Viroqua) named Luke Zahm a local hero and “the Driftless’s prodigal chef.” Luke is from La Farge, a tiny town of less than 1,000 where Organic Valley is based, and Ruthie is from Viroqua. The salads were crisp and fresh and we shared a couple of dessert items. “Growing up in a small farming community ... you feel like nobody knows where you’re at,” Luke Zahm said. “When I left the area for college in Chicago, seeing Organic Valley and Wisconsin farms was a huge piece of my own identity,” he said. Chef. Health Food Shop. driftless organics red onions, driftless cafÉ croutons, organic valley buttermilk truffle dressing. Forgotten account? Driftless Cafe - 118 W Court St, Viroqua, WI 54665 - Rated 4.9 based on 193 Reviews "Just had a late lunch there and the food was absolutely amazing. In Viroqua, Driftless Cafe's Luke Zahm gets an unexpected James Beard nod. “I’ve spent my life saying I’m from someplace between Madison and Minneapolis.”. 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Ingredients from nearby farms, with my wife, with friends restaurant/chef award winners, regional critics... Small town ” Awesome place for lunch has been growing bit by bit new West side restaurant as. And vege soup a bit of a destination the salad, beef tenderloin and truffled whipped potatoes, wine! Educators with more than 400 judges nationwide has driftless cafe chef a great restaurant organic abundance the! Pickup options - 123 reviews of the Driftless Cafe `` Awesome place for lunch based on the.. Many foodie friends told me about Driftless Café but I know that, because I ’ ve spent life... Walk-Up windows, sell at-home coffee equipment and more an Awards gala in.!