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.
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.
Over priced, lacked flavor and too loud.
We love Merchant. We had a great waiter and the food and drinks were fantastic as usual. Love the atmosphere too!
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.
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.
Celebrated a birthday but no acknowledgement by wait staff.
Food was ok... not terribly hot.
Great service food and craft cocktails
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
We love Merchant! The cocktail menu is the best, and the food is the same! Never disappointed!
We went this place for restaurant week. Second course menu came out little late, but besides that, everything else were beyond expectation.
Food and drink were amazing. Will likely return to try more of the drinks and small plates.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Great service with wonderful food and drink. I’ll be back again
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!).
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.
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!