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  • Merchant

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Merchant Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.merchantmadison.com
  • Email: info@merchantmadison.com
  • Phone: (608) 259-9799
  • Hours of Operation: Happy Hour
    M-Sat 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

    Dinner & Late Night
    Every Night 5:00 PM - BARTIME

    Saturday 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM (Farmer's Market Season)
    Sunday 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM (Year Round)
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American, Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service
  • Executive Chef: Anna Dickson
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: Please call if interested.
  • Private Party Facilities: We have limited private dining available. Please call (608) 259-9799 to speak to management.
  • Private Party Contact: Joshua Berkson (608) 259-9799
  • Entertainment: We have Madison's finest DJs late night on Friday and Saturday nights and live bands on Thursdays at 9:30. Please check the entertainment schedule at
  • Special Events & Promotions: Please call us to arrange a special event, happy hour, or party.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: E. Doty Street
  • Public Transit: Downtown bus lines are one block away.
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Streetside and Parking ramp available across the street
A word from Merchant
Reservation policy: We accept reservations for Dinner and Brunch services. We save some tables for walk-in parties on Friday and Saturday night.

As Merchants, we consider ourselves stewards of great ingredients. We source the freshest and finest local and international products that we can get our hands on, and feature and sell these ingredients in our dining room in order to achieve complete transparency of our operations.

It is our goal to bring you enjoyment through method-driven food, cocktails using only the best liquors and the freshest ingredients, and a place for you to blow off the rigors of a stressful day.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
  • Diners' Choice WinnerVibrant Bar Scene
Diner Reviews
  • "Too loud. Not a good place to have a nice conversation during dinner."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "And had an excellent dinner! I was happily surprised to find the rare Michter's Rye whiskey on their menu. I choose the special of the day, Duck Meatballs with Chard and Cous Cous with lemon and it was outstanding. The portion size was very good and with the discount for attending the show at the Majestic the value was superb! I noticed that the other customers all seemed to be enjoying themselves both at tables and at the bar. I very much look forward to returning soon as possible."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "Went here before a show at the overture. One of the few places you can get reservations. The food is amazing. I had the mussels, which were absolutely delicious. The others had burgers that were fresh ground beef. They also have quite the drink selection. We will definitely be back. They even offered to hold our leftovers until we can't back after the show. Superior customer service!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Cocktails as good as ever but food prices are going up and portions are going down. Becoming a less desirable alternative in a very competitive market."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "I love the idea of having small plates - I love to graze, so this is an excellent format for me. The food was tasty, the wine lovely, and it was a good place for people watching--even though I was part of a group! I have to say that the staff is outstanding, very accommodating and friendly without hovering. Great place to dine!"
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "The craft cocktails were great, but the menu seemed a little short on options. This isn't a place to bring people if you need to find something for everyone. Check the menu before you make your reservation, and then get there early to enjoy a drink at the bar before your table is ready. The bartenders were willing to take their time with customers on a slow night."
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "We love the ambience and the food (always a new menu and daily specials)! One of the artisanal cheddars on our cheese plate was outstanding, and we asked the waitress to buy a chunk of it to take home. This was not a problem at all. Great service, in other words."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "First time to Merchant, sat down, waitress came right over. My husband ordered a specific whiskey off their menu and I ordered a Southern Comfort Old Fashion. She came back to tell us they didn't have the whiskey or southern comfort. Not a good first impression! My husband ordered something else, I stuck with water. Our dinners were fantastic, great presentation and delicious. I'll probably sound like an elderly person, but it's way too noisy when you want to have a conversation with someone. But because we got great service and the food was fantastic, I know we will be back!"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "We enjoyed a nice dinner with our family (2 kids - 13 & 7) and grandmother. This was a wonderful choice. We appreciate fine dining and excellent, fresh local foods. Our server was excellent and the cocktails were delicious!"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Any night is a great night to visit Merchant. Food is exquisite and SO well presented. Wait staff is always attentive and pleasant. Pricing is better than most downtown venues. I don't think there was a single menu item over $29. And save room for dessert!!!"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "I have never been let down by anything at Merchant. I actually finished writing my author's note for the Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs 2014 while enjoying some of the best smoked salmon I have had. I returned the next week and was amazed when the chef remembered my two plates of salmon and suggested a fish dish they had awesome. While I love fish, I have a weakness for pork. The pork shank was fabulous. I ordered the brusel sprouts as well. Yes, brussels sprouts (with bacon). WOW. If that was my last meal, I would leave the planet a very happy man. Service was exceptional. I ordered a rye Manhattan. Fabulous. tip the mixologists (bar tenders). They earn it. Great place. going there today. Where is that salmon?"
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Food is always tops. Drinks are fantastic and adventurous. Top notch service. Worth going back...again and again."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Great food, although I found some of the items on the menu lacking in originality. The scallops were cooked to perfection and the oyster mushroom sauce complemented the seafood very well. The arugula beet salad was super tasty...lavender-honey dressing! Mmmm...The bread pudding was also an excellent dessert. I found the mussels to be just ok, although they seem to be an incredibly popular dish at the restaurant. Our server wasn't outstanding, but it seemed like most of the other servers/bartenders were working hard and had smiles on their faces. The atmosphere is unique and very charming. Definitely highly recommended."
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "For a college student it's a bit pricy, but in terms of what you are paying for you get every penny worth. Our server was incredibly helpful with helping us order and in a great mood. He allowed us to steer the dinner instead of the traditional method of trying to get us to order food quickly so the table could be flipped. The personal window heaters were a nice touch as well"
    Dined on 3/2/2014
  • "Was our first time there, the drinks were amazing...so many options and the food was delicious. the service couldn't have been better..we can't wait to go back!"
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "My wife and i have eaten there a number of time and the food has always been good. My wife loves the creative mixed drinks that they create. One thing that is very negative about the place is how noisy it is. If you are with another person you constantly have to lean ove the table to hear them."
    Dined on 2/25/2014
  • "The hamburger was FANTASTIC! I also enjoyed the beer and general ambience. Our server seemed to be having a rough day, but apart from that everything was great."
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "It is a very nice restaurant, food is very good but small portions. The eating area was so dark we had to use the candle on the table to read the menu. The noise level at 5:30 in the evening was bad."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Our go to Madison restaurant, if we can get a reservation. Excellent local food!"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Drinks were delicious concoctions and the food was very tasty! The ambiance was cozy. Our server was really friendly and gave good recommendations but forgot one of our staters. She made up for it buy taking it off our bill. It was a lovely night out!"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Food was very tasty but the portion sizes were too small."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "DIned with 4 adults, 2 kids for Brunch. Brekafast sandwich was tasty. Steak and Eggs were just that; steak cook at medium, altho requested med-rare. The killers were the omelets: I can't ever recall an omelet so small and thin that I could see thru it to the contents!! This might have been a 1 egg omelet. The side potato portions were equally minute....literally 8 pieces of potato. One does not get a bread side either. Each omelet plate was $11. The taste was fine, but for about $0.25 more of food costs, the kitchen might have made enlarged the servings and made us happy. Instead, I would NOT recommend Brunch here: Overpriced and insanely small servings."
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "So glad I found out about Merchant in Madison, we visit often and are always looking for good food! I love that they use local sources and even organics as well as grass fed meat! Great service, love that they take reservations!!! Brunch was absolutely wonderful, great flavors and cooked to perfection! Will be back many times!!!!!!!"
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "The four if us really enjoyed our drinks, they have an extensive drink menu , our food, which is mostly from local sources, and our waitress was great!"
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "tiny portions of mediocre food. Glad I went, but I won't be back."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "Dined on Thursday night of restaurant week and considered this a wonderful dining experience: We arrived early; the hostess suggested we go to the bar and also told us that in the back of the restaurant there were a few chairs where we could wait. The bar was full but only had to wait a few minutes to place an order. The recommended beer was right on for my tastes. The menu items we selected were: First course -Brussel sprouts and cheese curds; Duck Confit; Chocolate Cherry dessert. All selections were fresh, balanced seasoning and the Duck Confit tender, moist and fell right off the bone. All the staff were friendly, helpful, and efficient. Definitely would return and recommend to others."
    Dined on 1/23/2014
  • "We happened to go on Friday of restaurant week, (didn't know, and website didn't say anything about it). Menu changed a little, but still variety of options for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Portions a bit small for some (the men) but fine for us women. Price was good. Drink selection (reason we came to celebrate our sons birthday) was awesome. Good service. Only complaint, difficult to converse. Very loud, but vibrant activity. Will return, especially for drinks"
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "I understand the desire to be "vibrant" but tall ceilings and few soft surfaces make this place far too loud for conversation. I don't wish to shout at my companions."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "We dined at the Merchant 1/24, and overall it was very positive. Drinks were well-made and delicious, the atmosphere is great, server was attentive but not over-bearing, and the food was delicious and perfectly cooked. Our main complaint is portion size. A couple of weeks ago we ate at Johnny Delmonico's and my wife got the scallops for her entree; she got 4 large scallops and the plate was $25. By comparison, the Merchant's plate of scallops was also $25 and she only got 2 scallops. Same price, same size scallops, same quality, but two less scallops. We thought that was a little skimpy."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "Went with a friend because they advertise for their craft cocktails. Sat down and found what I wanted to eat fairly quickly then spent the next seven or so minutes looking through a large cocktail menu finally deciding what I wanted. As I was putting down that menu the waiter came up to take our order and what I wanted was sold out so I ordered a medium rare steak. As I was reaching for the drink menu and opening my mouth to order my drink the waiter walked away. When we got the food it was overcooked in general, the steak was over seasoned and on the well side of medium, we were never asked once what we wanted to drink, and the only time the waiter never came back to ask how things were - we were done. We will not be returning."
    Dined on 1/22/2014
  • "The last time I ate at Merchant, things were quite good, considering the rush of Restaurant Week at the height of the lunch hour. The portion size and ingredient list and quality had been scaled down a bit, which some restaurants do to maintain a profit margin despite the set menu prices Restaurant Week requires. The service was a little slow, but very acceptable, all things considered. Our server was pleasant, though a little absent."
    Dined on 1/22/2014
  • "The menu was good and the portions were not tiny. I was more than full when I left, and happy about it!"
    Dined on 1/20/2014
  • "Dinner was good. Waiter not very attentive. To go dessert, mousse, was packed in a cardboard container while the leftover steak was packed in a container suitable for liquids. That didn't make much sense to us. We had three to-go containers and had to ask for a bag to put them in."
    Dined on 1/20/2014
  • "Went there for a friend's birthday, and she really enjoyed it. Great menu and greatly indulgent drinks menu as well. Staff was super and top notch. Was a little worried that it might be too busy (only been there once previously, on a late Friday night when it was super loud), but going on a Wednesday night allowed our group to talk."
    Dined on 1/15/2014
  • "Incredible drink selection. Very good food Great service Very good prices"
    Dined on 1/12/2014
  • "Great night out. Service from the hostess, waiter and bartender was excellent. Signature cocktails memorable 'fire&wine' not to be missed. Winter menu delicious. Especially the duck and tagliatelle. Brought a friend for their birthday, waitress had a special desert with candle brought out for no charge, and also bought our friend a shot of 'makers mark' on the house. Would highly recommend."
    Dined on 1/9/2014
  • "I have loved the Merchant as a date night restaurant for years, and last week was the first time I brought my 13 month old there for dinner. The food and drinks were incredible, as usual-- and I was so happy to discover that they were not simply tolerant of my baby, but they were welcoming, accommodating, and happy to have us all there. It is awesome to be able to go to a restaurant of this quality and bring kids and everyone has a great time. They have high chairs, and while there is no kids menu, there is plenty of healthy, delicious food that would be great for any kid who isn't just addicted to chicken nuggets. We highly recommend it to everyone and will definitely be back soon!"
    Dined on 12/21/2013
  • "Husband and I visited for our anniversary and thoroughly enjoyed the craft cocktails and the locally sourced meets and cheeses. Service was very good and the ambiance was outstanding. We look forward to going back on our next visit to Madison."
    Dined on 9/15/2013
  • "My husband & I dined here for our first date night in Madison. We're new to the area & Merchant was recommended to us. We were waiting for quite a while and then finally went back to the hostess to ask where our server was. Apparently, there was a mix-up and no one knew that they were supposed to be waiting on us. As soon as things got squared away & we had a waitress, the service was great. The food was good but not excellent. I started with the warm farro salad, which was good. My husband got the fries, very good. My husband's dish: the braised short ribs was pretty tasty but my scallops were just ok, I didn't really like it. Overall the dish was way too bitter but I am pretty picky. We will be back but I'll prob just stick with a burger."
    Dined on 12/22/2013
  • "Great place! We go whenever we arenin the Madison. Need to take the volume on the music down a bit as the place is loud all on is own. With the music blasting it is hard to carry on a conversation without shouting"
    Dined on 12/19/2013