Restaurant of the Week: Mint Mark

What ultimately makes good food GREAT? Often that comes down to personable staff and a memorable vibe. And Mint Mark’s got all that plus a few more enticing elements to their dining and beverage service. Which is exactly why the hip bistro located in the Atwood Shank Neighborhood on Madison’s East Side has become a city fave since opening in December 2017. 

“Part of the experience is creating a sense of community. People coming together to truly share a meal and taste different things together,” explains chef Sean Pharr. “Eating shouldn’t feel like something you have to do. We’re an ideal spot for the intellectual diner.”


And if you aren’t one upon arrival, you may be before departure. The weekly rotating menu is concise, but Pharr and his culinary crew deliver BIG on taste. The massa-battered delicata rings are a joyful shock as to how sinfully good squash can actually be, while the fish sandwich, in actuality, is usually a grilled filet of a lesser known, yet meatier variety such as porgy. Their signature biscuits and burger are also edible testaments to the “simple, understated and intentional” approach Pharr believes is integral to establishing a standout culinary style.


Another seductive components is the prolific cocktail menu. Pharr, along with his co-owners Gwen and Kyle Johnson and Chad Vogel, designed the open concept to resemble a Golden Girls-era fern bar. More than one drink is meant to be enjoyed over plenty of laughs and lengthy conversations. Although the house specialties switch up seasonally, the emphasis on gin and tequila libationsliberally pouredremains consistent.


“We’re presenting modern fare that showcases French technique paired with Italian flavors,” says Pharr. A quirky spin which is paying off in spades for these inventive proprietors, whose next avant garde venture (the Muskellounge and Sporting Club) opens in Monona, WI this Spring. Stay tuned! 

For more information about Mint Mark Madison, visit

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