Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
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.
Madison, WI 50703
Contemporary American, Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service
Hours of Operation:
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)
E. Doty Street
$30 and under
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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
Please call if interested.
Streetside and Parking ramp available across the street
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
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Being made to feel invisible at the bar while many younger than I were served before I was, despite arriving well after I did; $14 for a slab of carbonized “french toast” that had barely been brushed by egg , with four pecan halves and a few thin slices of apple atop; no check-back by our server to see how our food was (I suspect out of fear that the burned-to-a-crisp dish would be sent back); and slow as molasses service despite our saying we had tickets to a matinee. The only good thing about my first and last visit to this place was the hostess, who handled with aplomb a last-minute change to our reservation.
I have been to Merchant many times I like the food and the service is generally excellent .
I love the local food sourcing and the menu always has a reliable vegetarian choice. the drinks are great My only complaint is the noise. makes it hard to have a conversation
The was our best dining experience during our four day visit to Madison. An interesting, seasonal menu with a variety of gluten-free options. Local vendors supply the restaurant and there seems to be an emphasis on charcuterie and craft drinks. Our party tried the pear and buttermilk salads, both very good. We also had burgers, a salmon dish and steak all were well prepared and delicious. Our server was great and the atmosphere was likely.
I came here to celebrate my guy's birthday, and it was perfect! The ambiance is fantastic, food was delicious, the location's pretty solid for any after-dinner plans around the square, and not too pricey (all things considered). Their cocktail list is pretty phenomenal, but drink service was a bit too slow for me to really explore it much (the bar area was very full for a Sunday though, so I assume that had something to do with it). Overall, I would definitey recommend this place to anyone looking for a cozy, romantic setting.
Menu choices for brunch were limited, especially if you do not eat meat. Server was very nice but had too many tables and was inattentive. I had to get up to find her to get service. And, when she did bring us things, it was too late....like extra bread for cheese that we ended up eating without it.
Took my parents there for Sunday Brunch. Very loud and request to turn down the music was denied. Also, the food was not good. Breakfast burrito lacked flavor, was not balanced (egg was unnoticeable), was covered in a soggy thick tortilla, and something gloppy and unnatural looking called “queso.” The French toast was worse—a high, barely toasted lump of brioche with two slices of apples and a few nuts. The waiter was good.
Merchant was more than we expected. The service was attentive, the craft cocktail selection and execution was very good! The food was delicious. We started with a Charcuterie Board which had a very nice selection of meats and cheeses . We had the pork belly it was amazing. The mussel dish had the best broth I have ever tasted. The lamb sliders were tender and flavorful. We will definitely visit Merchant next time we are in Madison!
We waited 15 min for a server after being seated due to a miscommunication with the hostess but they comped us two drinks so that was fine. Drinks were great ... meat/cheese board was nice. Had the pork belly and steak frites ... both were ok. Nothing amazing to comment on. Biggest issue was all the spiders and spider webs over the hostess station by the liquor bottles!
Merchant is a lively place with a wonderful reputation. It was so loud, however, that my wife and I could not hear one another across the table, so we opted to pay for drinks and dine elsewhere. Maybe we will have an opportunity to try again sometime when it isn't the night before a home football game, but the lack of sound dampening surfaces doesn't give me much hope for a better acoustic experience. The low food rating is because the app requires an entry; we didn't get as far as food but I had to indicate something...
Came to Madison to treat our freshman son to dinner, and it was fabulous. Started with a buratta salad and charcuterie board that were second to none. Lamb sliders and the perch fish fry were also delicious and well presented. Service and timing were also spot on. We'll be back!
Excellent experience and the food was unbelievable. Took the advice or our server, who was very knowledgeable on both drinks and the food. If you don't try the mussels you are missing out and may never forgive yourself. AWESOME experience and we will definitely be back again.
The noise level was far too loud to carry on a conversation among our party of 3. We requested that the volume of the music or at least the pounding bass be reduced, but our request was ignored. This really detracts from being able to enjoy a meal with the people you are with and may be appropriate for a single's dance club but not for Sunday brunch.
Please sign in to record your input. Thanks!
Report this review as inappropriate?
If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.