Palette Bar and Grill, a steak and seafood restaurant from the majority owners of Madison’s two Eno Vino tapas and wine bars, opened on schedule Monday on a rapidly expanding section of East Washington Avenue.
The restaurant, open for breakfast and dinner, but not lunch, is on the ground floor of developer Curt Brink’s new building that converted the historic Mautz Paint warehouse into a Hotel Indigo.
The name of the restaurant, 901 E. Washington Ave., is a play on color palette and taste palate, said Jose Luis “Pepe” Granados, a partner in Palette and both Eno Vinos.
“We’re doing an upscale concept, not fine dining, but traditional steaks and seafood,” Granados said.
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Appetizers on the dinner menu include lobster bites with mango sweet and sour sauce, green apple slaw and mostarda aioli; mushrooms with herbed cream cheese, panko and Parmigiano-Reggiano; and chicharrones, or pork rinds with Parmigiano-Reggiano and chilis.
The menu features soups, small and big salads, steaks, chops and "chef's masterpieces," including slow-roasted chicken with mirepoix, smoked Gouda hash cake and Madeira jus; and mahi mahi with pineapple-chorizo chutney, asparagus, crispy carrots and local microgreens.
Palette doesn't have a wine focus because it’s too close to the Downtown Eno Vino, which opened in the AC Hotel in 2017. “By our own policies, regulations and agreements, we can’t compete with each other,” Granados said.
The original Eno Vino opened in 2004 at 601 Junction Road on the Far West Side.