This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.
Saturday, July 23
A feast of sample-sized dishes will be on the menu at the fifth annual Taste of Sun Prairie, served by restaurants and other businesses in the suburban community. Organized as a benefit for Dream Park, this food festival also features a beer garden hosted by the Sun Prairie Lions Club, as well as sidewalk sales, live music, children's activities, and more. Cannery Square Plaza, Sun Prairie, noon-7 p.m. Call 837-5213 for more info.
Sunday, July 24
The Willy Street Co-op is decamping the city for the rolling hills and riverways of the Driftless Region for its annual farm tour. Opening with a visit to the factory and wastewater treatment greenhouse at Cedar Grove Cheese in Plain, this daylong excursion also includes lunch and tastings at Wollersheim Winery in Prairie du Sac, and a trek to the organic fruit and vegetable fields of Vermont Valley Community Farm in Blue Mounds. Willy Street Co-op West, 6825 University Ave., 8 a.m.-5 p.m., $25 owners and all others. Call 284-7800 for more info.
Wisconsin's seasonal bounty is likewise at the heart of Day on the Farm, an annual catered picnic and fundraiser for the REAP Food Group and its Buy Fresh Buy Local program. Presented every summer in a different setting of fields and pastures, this year's celebration will be held at DreamFarm in Cross Plains, distinguished for its fresh goat cheese and pasture-raised eggs. The meal will feature dishes prepared by chefs Dan Fox of the Madison Club, Charles Lazzareschi of Dayton Street Grille, and Tim Dahl of Nostrano, and will be accompanied by tours of the farm and talks about its sustainable practices. DreamFarm, 8877 Table Bluff Rd., Cross Plains, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., $20 adults and $12 kids 3-12. Call 310-7836 for more info.
Underground Kitchen closed its doors for the foreseeable future after a devastating June 30 fire gutted the restaurant, adjoining salon, and three stories of apartments above them. The Underground Food Collective remains active, though, and will be presenting a series of pop up dinners as fundraisers to support its staff and build momentum towards reopening. The first special meal, to be prepared in the kitchen of L'Etoile, will consist of a five-course tasting menu featuring dishes served in and inspired by the Kitchen. Graze, 1 S. Pinckney St., 6 p.m., $50. Purchase tickets online, and call 251-2700 for more info.
Sunday, July 24 - Friday, July 29
Madison diners can indulge in a special visit to one or more of the 37 restaurants participating in the summer edition of Restaurant Week, a biannual showcase of the city's cuisine. Diners are offered a three-course prix-fixe dinner menu for $25, and a lunch version for $15. The selections are oftentimes house standards, but can also be created by chefs just for the week. Restaurants serving dinner include 43 North, The Blue Marlin, Brocach Irish Pub, Captain Bill's, Daisy Café & Cupcakery, Dayton Street Grille, Delaney's Charcoal Steaks, Eldorado Grill, Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Fresco, Graze, Harvest, The Icon, La Brioche True Food, Lombardino's, Mariner's Inn, Nau-Ti-Gal, Quivey's Grove Stone House, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Sa Bai Thong, Samba Brazilian Grill, and Sardine. Both dinner and lunch will be served by Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano, Bluphies Restaurant & Vodkatorium, Bonfyre American Grill, Brickhouse BBQ, Capitol Chophouse, The Continental Fitchburg, Inka Heritage, Johnny Delmonico's, Johnny's Italian Steakhouse, Liliana's, The Melting Pot, Ocean Grill, Osteria Papavero, Quivey's Grove Stable Grill, and Steenbock's on Orchard. Diners are encouraged to make reservations in advance, as seatings will be going quick.
More events this week
Tuesday, July 19
Insects in the Garden: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly walk and talk, with UW-Extension entomology specialist Phil Pellitteri leading participants through the University Display Gardens for a lesson about identification of insects and their varying beneficial and negative roles in the garden ecosystem. UW West Madison Agricultural Research Station, 8502 Mineral Point Rd., Verona, 6 p.m., free. Call 262-2257 for more info.
Wednesday, July 20
Dane County Fair, an annual five-day community festival, featuring more than two dozen food vendors and a beer tent, a carnival, animal exhibits, acrobatics and magic shows, live music, children's activities, and more. Alliant Energy Center, 1919 Energy Center Way, 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday, $7 adults and $3 kids 6-11 per day and $15 adults and $6 kids for the season with kids 5 and under free. Call 223-4054 for more info.
Green County Fair, an annual five-day community festival, featuring food vendors and a cheese auction, a carnival, animal exhibits, a rodeo, harness racing, horse and tractor pulls, a demolition derby, live music, children's activities, and more. Green County Fairgrounds, 2600 Tenth St., Monroe, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Wednesday, 2 p.m.-10 p.m. Thursday, 1 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, noon-8 p.m. Sunday, $8 per day and $20 for the season. Call 608-325-9159 for more info.
Columbia County Fair, an annual five-day community festival, featuring chicken and pork barbecues and a steak fry, food vendors and a beer tent, a carnival, animal exhibits, motorcross, a demolition derby and tractor pull, live music, children's activities, fireworks, and more. Veterans Memorial Field, 300 Superior St., Portage, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Wednesday, 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Thursday, 1 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday, 8:30 a.m.-midnight Saturday, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday, free admission. Call 608-697-5307 for more info.
Vegetable fermentation class, with instructor Mike Bieser covering the basics of lacto-fermenting veggies and their place in a daily diet. Willy Street Co-op West, 6825 University Ave., 6-8 p.m., $20 owners and $30 all others. Call 284-7800 for more info.
Thursday, July 21
Body Basics: Make Your Own Condiments class, with instructors Teri Klas and Brittany Sandoval covering how to use fresh and fermented ingredients to prepare catsup, mayonnaise, and seasoned salts. Willy Street Co-op West, 6825 University Ave., 6-8 p.m., $8 owners and $18 all others. Call 284-7800 for more info.
Cooking Basics for Teens class, with instructor Hallie Klecker of the blog Daily Bites preparing a menu of strawberry almond smoothies, wraps, chickpea and noodle stir-fry, and dark chocolate brownie balls. Willy Street Co-op West, 6825 University Ave., 6-8 p.m., $10 owners and $20 all others. Call 284-7800 for more info.
Cooking Around the World, a gathering for kids ages 5-11 with books around the world and make-your-own tacos. Monona Library, 1000 Nichols Rd., Monona, 10-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-1:30 p.m. Call 222-6127 for more info.
Risotto alla Milanese cooking class, with instructor Jennifer Jones preparing her family recipe for the northern Italian rice dish. Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 6-7:30 p.m., $25. Call 233-9566 for more info.
Saturday, July 23
Baraboo Old-Fashioned Festival, an annual community celebration, featuring a farmers' market and food vendors, a pie contest, sidewalk sales, an antiques and collectibles show, a classic car show, water fights, live music, and more. Downtown Baraboo, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Call 608-356-3133 for more info.
Dog Days of Summer, a canine-themed festival and benefit for the Dane County Humane Society, featuring grilled foods and beer, dog contests with the crowning of King and Queen Schnitzel, a MPD K-9 demonstration, live music, and more. Essen Haus, 514 E. Wilson St., 1-6 p.m. Call 255-4674 for more info.
Wisconsin River Ale Trail, a day-long excursion featuring tours and tastings at O'so Brewing in Plover and Central Waters Brewing in Amherst, and dinner at Red Eye Brewing in Wausau. Hophead Beer Tours, 11 a.m.-9 p.m., $90. Call 467-5707 for more info.
Barbecue on the Banks, a third-annual gathering hosted by the River Alliance of Wisconsin, featuring a tour of Willow Creek Farm and picnic showcasing its pork products. Willow Creek Farm, E5293 Ohio Rd., Loganville, 3-7 p.m., $35. Call 257-2424 for more info.
Sunday, July 24
First Tastes: Adventures in Baby Food Making, with instructor Tara Verma demonstrating the basics of preparing, storing and serving fruits and vegetables for infants. Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 2-3:30 p.m., $15. Call 233-9566 for more info.
Monday, July 25
CSA Field Day, one of several summer agricultural tours organized by the Madison Area CSA Coalition, featuring a visit to the pick-your-own Carandale Farm and talk by proprietors Dale and Cindy Secher about both familiar and uncommon fruits. Carandale Farm, 5683 Lincoln Rd., Oregon, 1-4 p.m., free. Call 226-0300 for more info.
Get Your Salsa On! class, with instructor Hallie Klecker of the blog Daily Bites preparing spicy pineapple, go-Greek Mediterranean, zesty tomato and avocado, and fruit dessert salsas. Willy Street Co-op West, 6825 University Ave., 6-8 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 284-7800 for more info.
Save the date
Sunday, August 21