When reader Nancy Jones asked for the recipe for the homemade tartar sauce served at Quivey’s Grove, it was a reminder to revisit one of Madison’s outstanding restaurants. Each previous visit has turned into a feast of delicious food prepared and served along with an outstanding history to appreciate while there.
Plans were made immediately, and in hopes that they would also respond with the tartar sauce recipe, I would brush up on the Groves story, reminding me of John Mann, who arrived in Madison from New York in the late 1840s. By 1850, he was running a successful livery stable and moved to Fitchburg, where he would build an Italianate-style mansion with 18-inch walls and 13-foot ceilings while trading in lumber from his black walnut, maple, and elm. When Joe Garton, a great chef with an appreciation for history, first saw John Mann’s buildings in 1979, he immediately envisioned a new kind of restaurant incorporating Wisconsin goodness, and on May 23, 1980, Mann’s historic doors opened. opened for Quivey’s Gorichka.
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Revisiting this incredible historic building, decorated with Wisconsin antiques and memorabilia, there are rooms with different names, while the kitchen, entry and bathrooms are new with a private dining room available upon request. Fish is served at the Stable Grill and Stone House plus takeout available just 2 miles south of the Beltline off Verona Road, right on Highway PD and left on Nesbitt Road.
General Manager Craig Koening was happy to share the coleslaw recipe as well as another customer favorite, Parmesan Potatoes.
Quivey’s Grove Tartar Sauce
½ cup pickles, finely chopped
2 tablespoons green pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons ripe olives, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Coarsely chopped pickles, peppers, onions, olives and parsley. Place in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely minced but not liquefied. In a large bowl, put the mayonnaise, minced vegetables, mustard, garlic and lemon juice. Stir to combine well. Let sit for 24 hours to allow the flavors to blend.
Note: This recipe was developed at Quivey’s Grove in 1980 to be good quality, homemade, simple, quick and can be made in large quantities. Today they make 10 gallons a week to use for fish fry on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Potatoes with Parmesan
2 pounds frozen shredded porridge, thawed completely
¼ kilo Parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 inch cake pan with food release.
Fry the onion in the oil in a heavy pot
Add half and half and heat through. Add the potatoes and heat, stirring, until the cream is absorbed and slightly thickened. Add half the Parmesan and stir until melted. Spread into a 9×11 inch cake pan. Top with the remaining cheese. Sprinkle lightly with red pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and place under broiler until lightly browned.
While surrounded by Madison lakes, I became a bona fide angler at an early age when my dad made me a panfish rod, while making sure to have a rod and reel handy as I paddled one of Wisconsin’s cleanest lakes up north in Burnet County. Years later, my experience culminated as I landed a 28-inch pot, now mounted to celebrate forever. Here’s a recipe for the dish found in Mary Burgin’s Wisconsin Supper Club cookbook, served many years ago at the Avenue Bar on East Washington Avenue, shared by former chef Christian Behr.
Cheddar Crusted Walleye
1 cup coarsely ground cheese-flavored crackers
1 tablespoon of dry parsley
Four 8oz pike fillets
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Place crushed biscuits in a large bowl. Combine with salt, pepper and parsley. Divide the mixture in half and place in two flat plates. Pour buttermilk onto a third flat dish. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange the dishes as follows: buttermilk, cracker mixture. Layer each fillet with cracker mixture. Dip in buttermilk. Cover with a final coating of the cracker mixture.
Place the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over high heat. Add breaded fillets and cook until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Flip to cook the other side as well. Remove from heat. Place the fillets on a greased baking tray. Top each with ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese. Bake 2 minutes or until cheese is completely melted. The recipe suggests serving with buttery succotash.
The Bountiful Wisconsin Cookbook by noted local author Terese Allen offers 110 favorite recipes, one shared by Kathryn Grefe, Mauston, who received an honorable mention in 1997 for using beloved fish from our lovely lakes.
NorthWoods Panfish and Harvest Vegetables
3 large potatoes, peeled and finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ pound mushrooms, sliced (2-3 cups)
1 to 2 small zucchini, chopped
4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 to 4 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons each chopped fresh thyme, basil, and oregano, or ½ teaspoon each dried, divided
1½ pounds fillets of perch, bluegill, flounder, rainbow trout, or other fish
2-3 tablespoons of butter, melted
* To peel tomatoes, see instructions below
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large baking dish, add potatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with foil; bake for 20 minutes. Uncover the dish and arrange the mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes and green onions on top of the partially cooked potatoes. Season lightly with salt, pepper and half the herbs. Cover and continue to bake for 10 minutes. Uncover the dish and arrange the fish on top of the vegetables; sprinkle with melted butter and remaining herbs; season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until fish is tender and lightly browned. Serves from 6 to 8.
* To peel the tomatoes, cut a shallow “X” in the bottom of each one and dip it briefly in boiling water. Drain, cool briefly and remove skins.
Contact Cooks’ Exchange in care of the Wisconsin State Journal, PO Box 8058, Madison, WI 53708 or by email at email@example.com.