4 Wisconsin Restaurants with Incredible Chef's Tables

For a foodie, nothing beats eating at the Chef’s Table in a rave-worthy restaurant. You get front row seats to a cooking show, designed specifically for you. Your unique vantage point and special status mean you’re presented with the chef’s skills and style, on top of the various Instagram-ready courses.

These distinguished Wisconsin restaurants boast deservedly popular Chef’s Tables. Don’t forget to make reservations well in advance and save money for wine pairings!

Cento – Madison

Cento is proud of its award-winning chef, flown-in Italian ingredients, and attentive service—it’s all on display with their open kitchen. Anyone eating at this trendy restaurant in downtown Madison can see a glimpse of the artistry that brings dishes like egg pappardelle with porcini mushrooms to life. But it’s a special treat to eat at the Kitchen Table.

As the name suggests, you’ll be seated in the kitchen with the opportunity to interact with the kitchen staff as the chef specially prepares your five courses. Consider adding the premium wine pairings (one of the things Cento hangs its hat on), and the sommelier will track down the perfect Italian wines for your meal and serve you throughout the experience. Ask the Chef questions about sourcing, inspiration, and history when he greets you at the end of your meal.

Chives — Suamico

Generally, eating at the Chef’s Table makes you feel like a celebrity. But what about sitting at the Chef’s Table in a restaurant frequented by famous Green Bay Packers? Located near Green Bay, Chives is a cozy restaurant that serves surf ’n’ turf Aaron Rodgers can’t resist.

Reserve the Chef’s Table at Chives and sit right in the kitchen. You’ll have a regular server, but the Chef will deliver each course to explain what local ingredients make the dish extraordinary. You’ll get to try small versions of all the specials that day, which might be French onion soup, fresh salmon, or berry tart.

Bodegón at Hotel Madrid – Milwaukee

Ernest Hemingway. Spanish bullfighting. Upscale mischievousness. This makes up the vibe of the new restaurant taking Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point by storm. Bodegón focuses on details that will transport you to another time and place. You’ll receive your check in a Hemingway novel, sip speakeasy-inspired cocktails, and marvel at mounted matador jackets. But the true magic is in the kitchen.

Bodegón’s Chef’s Table is located at the high-top expo station, providing a full view into the kitchen. The chef will serve you throughout the experience, explaining the behind-the-scenes stories of each course. And you’ll have many of those. You can choose between six, nine or twelve courses. Meat lovers will especially love Bodegón, which specializes in veal chops, dry-aged steaks, and wild boar.

Bijou Bistro — Eau Claire

Have you ever tried to cook lamb at home and can never get it right? Let the professionals show you how. Eating at the Chef’s Table at Bijou Bistro is a highly individualized experience. You can ask for specific dishes—like lamb—or create themes for your five-course meal. The chef will literally cater to your needs. Bijou Bistro is known for its intimate, European meals, so you may consider asking for a classic like eggplant parmesan or Mediterranean-style salmon.

Sitting inside the kitchen, you’ll be within 10 feet of the kitchen staff. But you don’t have to stay seated. Get up and interact with the chef, sous chef, or even the dishwashers throughout your experience.

Find more fine dining at these 6 Tapas Spots to Sample Madison's Local Flavor, or browse our full dining directory!

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