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Tempest Oyster Bar

Where are you eating and what do you think? What's opening, closing, succeeding, failing?

Tempests, Teapots and 747s

Postby kulgar » Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:03 pm

Accompanying the destruction of American small towns by Walmart et al. from the overwhelming power of the global supply/inventory chain is the unprecedented availability of "as fresh as Tokyo" seafood in the middle of North America. Even before they were charging $50 for a checked bag, frozen fish were flying in the bellies of those big passenger planes. And they fly from all over the world into Chicago and MSP and wherever. With seafood under your seat.

YES, if you are in a port on the ocean, the seafood is REALLY fresh and probably the best you'll ever have. But part of that is the smell of the place and memories as well as the six hours from the water time frame. And it's probably only a few specific seafoods that are phenomenal in that particular port. Not all seafoods in every single ocean port, just the great "local" supply.

Tsukiji arguably has the best fish in the world but a lot of it arrives after having been flash frozen in the factory ship and then transported to Tokyo. If they pay more in Tokyo to keep it there, then it's statistically better. But to argue that a fish caught by Norwegians and then shipped to Chicago is not as good as one shipped to Tokyo is cutting a fine line (or net as the case may be).

Read "A Perfect Storm" and find out that swordfish may have been caught and put on ice five weeks before the ship even gets back to port. Doesn't matter if you are in Maine or Memphis, almost the same time from the water to plate in either city.

Unless you watch the fisherman come up from the beach with squid that his wife cuts up for you to eat raw for breakfast or see the catch handed from boat to restaurant, the global supply chain brings an incredible variety of "as fresh as Tokyo" and it doesn't matter where in the world you are.

So oysters if you will at Tempest, but that guy who wants to continually chow down on lake fish with the methylated mercury sauce is nuts.
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Re: Tempest Oyster Bar

Postby indycoyote » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:31 am

While they may be done for the season, there's a chance they'll be here one more time. When I get my email or postcard from them I'll post the date and time here.
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Re: Tempest Oyster Bar

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:44 am

Image

I've seen similar signs in New Orleans.
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Re: Tempest Oyster Bar

Postby Osso Muriendo » Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:19 pm

I was in Tempest this summer and I had a 99% great experience.
As to portion size, I had the sturgeon and got a nice strip analogous to the size of Salmon you'd get in most places. Oh also it was exceptionally cooked. Fish is hard to cook well but that was nigh perfectly cooked.
As to the "a la carte" thing, these dishes arent truly ala carte in the steakhouse mold where all you would get on the dish is the steak, Tempest's entree's are composed full plates that yes can be supplemented with side orders (although these were somewhat underwhelming).
the wine was a little boring but I didnt ask for a recommendation and tried a varietal I'd never tried before so thats really on me.

Moral of the story Magnus was awesome, but unfortunately it died and Tempest is there now, go there try it with an open mind and if you really don't like the food/service dont go back but its small minded to sit on an internet forum and go "oooh i would never got to a place like that!" when you sole sources of information are snarky 1 paragraph complaints.

I'm in no way affiliated with Tempest and dont even live in Madison anymore but I love the Madison dining scene and I hope to see it stick around as I think its a cool and unique place in Madison (also its better than Harvest but thats another story)
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Re: Tempest Oyster Bar

Postby indycoyote » Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:07 pm

Tuesday November 8th noon-5pm at Steve's on University. Last time they will be here this year w/fresh shrimp, crab and oysters!
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Re: Tempest Oyster Bar

Postby city2countrygal » Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:47 pm

Sweet! Thanks indycoyote! I will mark my calendar and make a trip into Madison.
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Re: Tempest Oyster Bar

Postby indycoyote » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:10 am

my pleasure...if i recall they take personal checks/cash but not credit cards. And make sure you get on their mailing list so you know when they'll return in april or may:)
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Re: Tempest Oyster Bar

Postby iheartfood » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:29 pm

Thanks for the heads up on fabian seafood.
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Re: Tempest Oyster Bar

Postby indycoyote » Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:46 pm

My pleasure...I'm sure Tempest has some good shellfish, but for those of us who love to cook seafood dishes....this is as good as it gets in Madison. I am always chomping at the bit when APril rolls around, waiting for Fabians to bring up crawfish tails and oysters and crabmeat (and shrimp)! Whole Foods has good fresh seafood most weeks, but man do they gouge you on the price! I only buy mussels from them nowadays, sometimes tuna if it looks and smells just right. They used to fly in Dungeoness crabs but I don't think Madison is much of a market for a whole Dungeoness. We knock back 4 of those babies for supper in my household!
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Re: Tempest Oyster Bar

Postby iheartfood » Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:31 am

We're mainly looking for the shucked oysters. Hard finding good ones that you are able to eat with just a squeeze of lemon and tabasco. Too bad they don't have live crawfish, that'd be great for crawfish boils.
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Frozen versus fresh seafood, aging fish

Postby kulgar » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:09 pm

One thing that was pointed out by a local foodie, of which I was completely unaware, is that some fish requires aging. Just like beef and game are aged weeks in some cases to develop flavors, some fish like tuna taste better when they've aged a week rather than fresh from the sea.

And that whole "friends don't eat friends eat frozen fish" is bogus as a hard and fast rule. Given the time that some fishing boats are at sea, the fish has to be frozen. Yes, some of those delicate creatures from near shore are better when eaten soon after removal from the water, but it's not ALWAYS the case.

Marketers go with what seem to work and while Ruth Chris brags about how old their steaks are, I can't see that happening with fish so "fresh" is the buzzword but not always meaningful.
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Re: Tempest Oyster Bar

Postby john_titor » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:54 pm

My interest was renewed: http://host.madison.com/entertainment/d ... 963f4.html

I went back tonight for happy hour. Buddy related how he puked after eating oysters. I ordered for him the smoke stack, asked the bartender for a pick of the six oysters, a bunch of clams casino and oysters Rockefeller. Clams casino and Rockefeller were re-ordered. Good stuff.

The smoke stack and clams casino were devoured by the oyster puker with no ill effects.

Other timid boy grew a pair and ate the oyster selections with me. Go easy on the sauce. 5 of the 6 kicked a$$. A bit of grit in the flit.

Dropped close to a hundy with drinks, food and tip. Worth it.
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