Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.16mi
  2. Distance: 0.18mi
  3. Distance: 0.20mi
  4. Distance: 0.27mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.16mi
  2. Distance: 0.18mi
  3. Distance: 0.20mi
  4. Distance: 0.27mi

About 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.

121 S Pinckney St
Madison, WI 50703
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Contemporary American, Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service

Hours of Operation:
Happy Hour
M-Sat 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

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

Brunch
Saturday 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM (Farmer's Market Season)
Sunday 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM (Year Round)

Cross Street:
E. Doty Street

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(608) 259-9799

Website:
http://www.merchantmadison.com/

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
http://www.merchantmadison.com/entertainment/

Catering:
Please call if interested.

Parking Details:
Streetside and Parking ramp available across the street

Public Transit:
Downtown bus lines are one block away.

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

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Dancing, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Outdoor dining, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Please call us to arrange a special event, happy hour, or party.

Merchant Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.3

service

4.5

ambience

4.4

value

4.0

Noise

Moderate

86% would recommend it to a friend

Handcrafted Cocktails (21)
Local Ingredients (20)
Good for a Date (17)
See All
Vibrant Bar Scene (16)
Fit for Foodies (14)
Bar Seating (13)
Happy Hour (12)
Casual (11)
Special Occasion (10)
Seasonal (10)
Creative Cuisine (9)
Good for Birthdays (9)
Hot Spot (8)
Comfort Food (7)
Fun (7)
Neighborhood Gem (7)
Romantic (7)
Good for Anniversaries (6)
Authentic (6)
Healthy (6)
Late-night Find (6)
People Watching (6)
Pre/post Theatre (6)
Good Vegetarian Options (6)
Worth the Drive (6)
Cozy (5)
Organic (5)
Great Beer (5)
Great for Brunch (3)
Tasting Menu (3)
Business Meals (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Good for Groups (2)
Great for Lunch (2)
Notable Wine List (2)
Quick Bite (2)
Tapas (2)
Kid-friendly (1)
Live Music (1)
Spicy (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Vegan (1)
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784 reviews
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 (Chicago)·Dined 4 hours ago

French toast was so good, eggs were cooked perfect server was top notch

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined 2 days ago

For the price, there should not have been so many simple under/overseasoning missteps in the entrees. Appetizers (cheese curds and brussels sprouts) were tasty but much less quantity than you'd recieve elsewhere, and wouldn't rank on my own top 10 in Madison list for either dish. Our server was excellent though! Very attentive, although there was difficulty communicating at times with how incredibly noisy it is here.

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food1
ambience4
service5

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined 4 days ago

Our waitress was outstanding - incredibly attentive and took my food allergies very seriously (since it's something that can be in a lot of dishes). She went above and beyond. It was Valentine's Day so it was a price fixed three course menu. We were unimpressed with the dinner entree selection for the price comparison. While the lamb was great, the pasta and fish dishes were nothing special and the pasta portion plating looked incredibly small in comparison to the lamb entree. It just made things look off balanced. Wine pairs were a nice touch, but a $3 different isn't much to make it a nicety.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene
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food3
ambience4
service5
value3

 
·Dined 4 days ago

Over priced, lacked flavor and too loud.

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food2
ambience3
service3
value1

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on February 11, 2018

We love Merchant. We had a great waiter and the food and drinks were fantastic as usual. Love the atmosphere too!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 9, 2018

Ate at Merchant w/my two college age children, ordered papardelle & two burgers, cheese curds. papardlle was a small portion of heavily tomato flavored unidimensional dish that was mostly noodles ($22) and the burgers were average. I've been to Merchant twice before both times for drinks. I'd summarize that this is a good place to go for a specialty cocktail and munchies but not for the food.

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food2
ambience3
service3
value2

vip
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on February 7, 2018

The service was a little slow waiting for our entrees. And while most of the entrees were a decent price, it seemed that $30 for 3 scallops was too high-we were expecting more.

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food4
ambience3
service3
value3

vip
 (Phoenix)·Dined on February 2, 2018

Celebrated a birthday but no acknowledgement by wait staff.
Food was ok... not terribly hot.

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food3
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on February 2, 2018

Great service food and craft cocktails

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on February 1, 2018

We were there early about 5 o’clock before a badger game. It worked out great and was a nice alternative to unload busy bar. Loved The brussels sprouts, lamb sliders in Port proper deal. Honey cinnamon cake was a bit dry for our liking but everything else was great. Thanks

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on February 1, 2018

We love Merchant! The cocktail menu is the best, and the food is the same! Never disappointed!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on January 27, 2018

We went this place for restaurant week. Second course menu came out little late, but besides that, everything else were beyond expectation.

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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 27, 2018

Food and drink were amazing. Will likely return to try more of the drinks and small plates.

Tags: Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Local Ingredients, Casual, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 26, 2018

We recently visited Merchant for Restaurant Week in Madison. We love the vibe, and had dinner right before the DJ started (he came on at 10:30pm). After dinner, the dance scene was a lot of fun, too. Make sure to try the different cocktails when you visit!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Handcrafted Cocktails, Vibrant Bar Scene, Late-night Find, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Our first experience with Merchant and we went late on Friday, last night of restaurant week . . . . . and was disappointed given the generally very good reviews. Had a 15 minute wait at the bar for our table which did provided some excellent craft cocktails. We did order from the Restaurant Week Menu ($30 ea for 3 courses.) The Pear Salad was very good by my wife's comments, my field greens with house made "buttermilk ranch" was very so . . so, think a Dole bag salad. For the main courses; I had the Chicken Breast on couscous/butternut squash which again was very good. My wife on the other had the steak friets, which seamed to be a lower quality steak (by texture primarily and taste) and was over cooked. Course 3, desserts . . . . again a hit and miss. The wife had the dark chocolate and cherry custard which was very good, I selected the Honey Cinnamon Cake to have something different; bad choice. The cake was as if it had been cut/plated 3 hours earlier; everything about it was dried out. Service throughout the night was just ok and seemed a bit rushed. I would think for Restaurant Week a restaurant would offer a skinny'd down menu with a few specialty items (check), and items that they would be great at preparing (no-check.) Restaurant Week is about getting people into your establishment that might not otherwise give it a try and then wow'ing them with your food and service. In my opinion Merchant is a pass.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Vibrant Bar Scene, Handcrafted Cocktails, Cozy, Hot Spot, Good for a Date, Fun, Organic, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Tapas
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food2
ambience4
service2
value3

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on January 26, 2018

I reserved a table on open table a week in advance. Without knowing, I was assigned bar stool seating. The seats were uncomfortable and left our backs hurting (we tried to move and were given an excuse). With the exception of the brussels sprouts, the food was mediocre at best. Dry cake for dessert. Wish I had spent my money in a place that would have appreciated it more; it seems they are catering to a certain clientele.

Tags: Quick Bite, Gluten Free Options, Local Ingredients, Bar Seating, Seasonal
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food3
ambience4
service4
value2

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 26, 2018

We had outstanding service, food and drinks at the Merchant. Just right for ambiance. Lots of variety for food choices. Craft bar drinks are a big plus.

Tags: Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Casual, Good for Birthdays, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 25, 2018

Great service with wonderful food and drink. I’ll be back again

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 25, 2018

Great cocktails. Bonus points for ambiance. Highly recommend all the American fare on their menu. Some dishes have an interesting Asian twist to them (squash dumplings are great!).

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience5
service3
value3

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 24, 2018

First off the drinks are wonderful. The dinner's were ordered were spot on for taste, temperature and size. Rebecca was our server and she had a great personality and took great care of us. This is one of our regular spots for dinner and/or drinks and nothing has changed that after this visit. Always dependable for a great meal.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 24, 2018

January Restaurant week 2018: Everything was top notch from being greeted, the friendly service, the cocktails ( had their Merchant signature Old Fashion which was well constructed and did not skimp on quality alcohol). The food selections were varied from meat to vegetarian. I selected the beef carpaccio, Mahi Mahi fish and chocolate custard. All had eye appealing presentation, interesting combinations of ingredients and delicious! Another diner had the chicken breast over risotto which was moist and flavorful. There were four of us and our server was attentive and never rushed us through our meal. Looking forward to a return visit. A great dining experience. Thank you to all at Merchants!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 23, 2018

Great food and great service. Restaurant Week menu was large and appealing.

Tags: Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Bar Seating, Casual, Fit for Foodies, Great Beer, Notable Wine List, Local Ingredients, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good Vegetarian Options, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 23, 2018

Eric has been my server at least 3 times now, and he remains my favorite. He goes above and beyond for us every time with a friendly, informative demeanor.

I'm a HUGE fan of the food AND dessert here (the only other time I get dessert anywhere else is when there's flan involved--but I can't miss it at Merchant!).

Tuesday is the day I usually go. I like to take advantage of Cheap Date Night - you can't beat it! Looking forward to coming next Monday for burger night... This will be my first Merchant burger.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 23, 2018

Really good food. Was a little on the louder side and was sitting by the windows which were cold and the heater didn’t stay on. Otherwise, loved the experience!! Highly recommend.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 21, 2018

Great food, atmosphere and loved the ability to choose "dealer's choice" cocktails for $6 on Sundays. Such a fun way to try new drinks and be spontaneous. Can't wait to come back!

Tags: Tasting Menu, Hot Spot, Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Handcrafted Cocktails, Happy Hour
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 20, 2018

Great place !!!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on January 16, 2018

Excellent meal! Took advantage of the date night special- was beyond our expectations! Will be frequent customers.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 15, 2018

Always a great experience! Menu has staples and some items that change with seasons. Great service and excellent drink options!

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Bar Seating, Neighborhood Gem, Business Meals, Happy Hour
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 13, 2018

Fabulousimo!!!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 12, 2018

Loud and bustling bar. Tables very close together, however this was OK with us. Ok selection of micro brews at the bar. Food was just OK, I had Moroccan lamb sausage which just fell apart basically, on a bed of raw-ish chick peas and squash. (I guess.) Son had pork papardelle, he thought it was just ok. Spouse had chicken breast w/ risotto - risotto was very very undercooked. Portions very small, I might add.

Tags: Fun, Vibrant Bar Scene, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food3
ambience4
service3
value2

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 6, 2018

Arrived 40 mins early for reservation but hostess was very pleasant and was able to seat is right away. Large and delicious cocktail list!. Lots of unusual very flavorful food options all very well executed. Their charcuterie board is the best in Madison and the " small" portion is huge!

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Quick Bite, Late-night Find, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 5, 2018

We had a great time there. We had an awesome server, amazing drinks, and a delicious dinner. Cannot wait to go back.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, People Watching, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on December 31, 2017

we visited for the first time on New Years Eve... we tried your special menu. the soup was cold... the shrimp in the soup were cold... for $65 we received 3 scallops and the accompanying dishes did not enhance the flavor profile. The New York strip was at least 1/3 fat. The desserts were just okay. Part of the problem was an over zealous effort to be too trendy and mixing too many different flavors. Sometimes simple is best. let the food speak for itself. With all this said... the staff was great! our time at the bar prior to being seated was fun and met some really interesting people.

Tags: People Watching, Happy Hour, Pre/post Theatre, Bar Seating
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food2
ambience3
service4
value1

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on December 30, 2017

This is a mixed review, but I think it's fair. Part of it is because of environment (my personal preferences), and partly because of the food (personal opinion).

On the upside: most of the food was superlative. My wife's lamb sliders were lovely, and worth 5 stars just for them, as was my mom's pear salad. The waitstaff was very attentive but not asking me every three minutes if we were enjoying our meal. The fried cheese curds were among the best I've ever had, super light breading and fresh cheese. WAY better than the Old Fashion's supposedly stellar cheese curds.

So far, a solid 4-star plus review.

But...it's noisy, so noisy it was hard to have a conversation with those at my table. Now if this were a review for a bar, it would easily be a 4-star review. I suppose if I went there as a bar patron, I'd feel differently. If you want blaring music (Blondie? Seriously?), check out the festive atmosphere. But I was there as a diner. Perhaps that was my mistake.

Still, let's give it four stars...but then the mussels came.

The one preparation I felt was poor was the moules et frites. In every place I've ever had moules et frites, they were served in separate containers; the frites in a paper cone, Belgian style, and the mussels in a bowl, usually covered. The fries were on the side and a third of them were soaked with the preparation for the mussels. Not authentic, and not very good. The mussels were exceptionally large and would have been perfect in a lighter sauce. Yes, I am a moules fan, so maybe that's why I was sad they were sub par.

Overall, I feel like it's worth three and a half stars as a restaurant. The bar is huge and clearly these guys do some cool mixology. I'd say go as a bar patron and enjoy some sliders, but I think there are better choices for a quiet dinner rather than a night on the town.

Hats off to the chef for the sliders---they were exceptional, but please work on the moules et frites. I'll come back for brunch and give it another shot.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Great for Lunch, Casual
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food4
ambience2
service5
value3

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 23, 2017

Pros: Great ambiance! Nice for all ages. Great service. Nice variety, creative choices. Great cheese curds and brussel sprouts. Lamb sliders were great!
Not so pro, kind of con: Chicken dish was just ok. Risotto seemed more just smushy rice, no flavor. Sausage entrée was kind of bland.
Overall, I would go back. Just have a few things to work out.

Tags: Happy Hour, Bar Seating, Casual, Seasonal, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine
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food3
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on December 23, 2017

Amazing cocktails and fabulous food options every visit.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 18, 2017

Dope burger and beer deals on Monday

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 17, 2017

We were celebrating UW Graduation. It was Karaoke night also but that just added to the fun! Great drinks. We love to get the Bartender's Choice to see what he comes up with. The food also was great. We had a wonderful time.

Tags: Bar Seating, Good for Birthdays, Casual, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on December 10, 2017

Food was excellant. Server was very nice.
The restaurant was busy but our food was served auickly.

Tags: Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on November 26, 2017

A bit overpriced. Some of the food was in very small amounts... There have a couple of interesting cocktails which was the highlight of our meal.

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food3
ambience4
service4
value4

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