Brasserie V


29 Reviews
Brasserie VBrasserie V

Type: Bar, Eatery

1923 Monroe St
Madison, Wisconsin, 53711-2026
United States

(608) 255-8500 | map

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Added by DaPeculierDane on 12-08-2007

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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 64
Photo of richkrull
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I stopped in here with my buddy after hitting up the homebrew shop a couple doors down and I'm incredibly happy that we did.

This is a very cool small bar and restaurant. After sitting at the bar, we were a bit taken aback by all of the taps and bottles on the shelves that we have never even heard of. We talked to a couple of the bartenders and learned that their tap selection changes every week. They are constantly bringing in new beers. Knowing this, I was impressed that they had branded glassware to match nearly every beer they had on tap. I tried the Piraat which was very good.

Their bottle selection was also very extensive. We split a bottle of Jewbelation 14 based on the bartenders recommendation and it was great! All of the bartenders and waitresses were very friendly and knowledgeable about all of the beers. We tried some fries as well and they were very good.

I'll definitely be returning here in the near future.

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Photo of manabozo3
5/5  rDev +12.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This place is amazing. We went for dinner after GTMW. The restaurant was crowded however we were able to find room at the bar after 10 min. Meanwhile in that 10 min, we got to the beer. This place had a Shelton Bros. special going that featured Nogone, Mikkeller, Aphrodyte and Peche, and various others. All served in its proper glassware. During dinner we were looking into the bottle menu and this place had 30+ belgian styled/influanced beers lined up. Also they have beers in cellar so if you don't see it ask, they might have it. All in all its a great place to eat. I'll be back for sure!

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Stopped in here with a friend of mine following my interview with Epic. From what I'm told, this is what a Belgian beer bar is supposed to be like, with a kind of cellar-like atmosphere, rather quiet with low-ish lighting and a focus on the Belgian brews. We split a bottle of Mikkeller Black Tie, which was served to us in Buffalo tulips. Good times. We ordered some burgers and a side of fries (complete with two aioli servings), all of which was very tasty. Our waitress was more than attentive, describing some of the beers on-tap and all of the menu entries we inquired into. She was very cheery, pretty quick, and extremely helpful. There may not be many taps, but the beer flowing from them is quality stuff (though I can't now remember specifics). My only issue with the selection was the comparative lack of American offerings, but this is to be expected from a Belgian-focused place. Overall, a very nice little spot to enjoy a pint and a bite. (My buddy, living in Madison for a few months now, had never heard of this place, but now plans on bringing his girlfriend here the next time she's in town...among other future visits. We have a convert, people.)

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Photo of Czap
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

What can I say that hasn't been said? My wife and I recently spent the weekend in Madison and I had quite a list of places I wanted to try, all of which were located in the downtown area. Once my wife told me she wanted to stop at Trader Joe's on the way home, I did some research on any establishments worth visiting in the area.

We could not have been happier. As far as food, all we had were the frites, and they were delicious! I did scan the menu and it looked great. Their Belgium and Trippel selection was wonderful and the quality of all their beer was fantastic.

Service was a little lackluster. It was a little after lunch and the girl who served us, while she was very sweet and polite, wasn't very attentive. I had to wait about 5 minutes until I could get her attention to order a second beer. I understand that if it's busy, but it was not. I ordered a Kwak, however, and she poured it quite nicely, so bonus points there.

All in all, great experience, this is a must visit for us every time we visit Madison from here on out.

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Photo of Yojimbo1941
4.83/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

In my opinion: one of the best restaurant/bars in Madison. Everyone I've brought here has loved it and can't wait to return.

The restaurant specializes primarily in sandwiches and moules et frites; the sandwiches are delicious (try the V Burger or its big brother, the V Burger II) and the frites and pub chips are housemade and delicious (The mussels aren't bad either but the other stuff blows them away).

At the bar they have 14 taps dedicated to the rotating selection of beers they offer. They also have about 100 or so different types of bottled beer so you'll have plenty of choices. The free tap samples help and if you'd like to know more about a bottled beer the staff are more than knowledgeable enough to help you select one. Brasserie V also has a decent wine selection but, to be honest, I always drink beer there.

Try it for lunch and on Tuesday it's 2 bucks off bottles.

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Photo of SurlyBadger
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

A small neighborhood restaurant/bistro on the near west side of Madison with a incredible selection of beers, particularly Belgians. Located in a narrow store front on Monroe Street and decorated in plenty of wood and earth tones, it exudes "great neighborhood hangout".

Roughly a dozen brews on tap with a heavy emphasis on Belgians and Belgian style beers. Taps rotate every month with a few classic stalwarts like St. Bernardus and Triple Karmeliet. The bottle list is particularly amazing; page upon page of simply wonderful beers. Tuesday is also bottle night, so $2 off all bottles. As other reviewers have mentioned, all beers are served in the correct glassware which to me is another great reason to try the offerings some different breweries.

Brasserie V's food is also great. A wonderful selection of sandwiches, salads, entrees with a Belgian/Northern France feel. As you might expect, great frites.

Service has always been quick, efficient and knowledgeable about both the beer list and food.

Prices are pretty fair considering the quality of beer and food but definitely not the kind of place you go to throw back five beers (the high ABV probably helps that too).

My only complaint is that isn't closer to my house...

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Photo of Florida9
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Located in an unassuming storefront, Brasserie V offers a wide selection of Belgian and craft beers matched with quality food. The restaurant itself is small and decorated quite simply with lots of wood and earthy colors. There is a bar to the left and some tables along the right side wall and near the back. For being as small and as busy as they the tables are not crowded together.

There are about 12 or so beers on draft, most of them being Belgians (or in the Belgian style) and the remainder being craft brews. Recent offerings included Ommegang, Corsendonk, NG Hop Hearty, and Tyranena Blackhawk. The bottle selections were so numerous I have to wonder how they could possible keep so many beers in such a small space. I pulled down a NG, while the wife enjoyed a wittekerke, both of which were served in the appropriate glassware. Beer prices were fair, with most of the Belgian draft beers being around $7.

Brasserie V offered a decent wine selection as well, though (thankfully) beer was clearly the focus.

Brasserie V's food turned out to be better than expected. It has a bit of a Belgian or Northern French influence, but is really more contemporary American than Belgian, with a nod to seasonal and local ingredients. Moules-frites and steak-frites are the main attractions, but it seems as the rest of menu changes weekly. I must say the food was pretty damn good. Started off with a goat cheese appetizer, followed by a mixed greens salad, and then a steak sandwich, all of which were freshly prepared. The frites came out hot and with a slight crispness. My steak was cooked correctly and coated with blue cheese, while the salad included some surprisingly aggressive greens in it. My wife had fried walleye, that was incredibly light, not at all greasy, and served with an oddly pleasant, vinegary cranberry slaw.

Service was both friendly and attentive. While the restaurant filed up early, our server was neither pushy nor sought to rush us. With all the beer choices, I didn't press her knowledge on the subject, but she was helpful enough.

Prices were on the higher end, but I would say the food and beer is on the higher end as well. Portions are not sizable, but clearly the focus here is on quality, not quantity.

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Photo of brewercraig
4.68/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I had read reviews of Brasserie V before going, however I still was surpised. First of all it really is a small place, and very non-descript from the outside. In fact I drove right past it the first time, as I was expecting something bigger. Once we finally found the place and got inside, it was obvious how popular the place is, with all the tables full and an estimated hour wait.

The wait allowed time to select a beer and enjoy it along with converasation in the 'waiting' area. With over 10 Belgian beers on tap and many more in bottles, it wasn't the easiest of tasks. It was great to see Saison Dupont on tap.

The dinner selection was almost as daunting as the beer selection. Belgian inspired, it included frites and mussels. However it didn't stop there; there were also steaks, duck, lamb and seafood, all of which sounded wonderful.

There were three of us in our party and we all enjoyed our various entrees. The chef did come out to our table to appologize for the delay, which we hadn't even noticed. Service was attentive but not intrusive. We weren't rushed, in fact we did stay a while after finishing our dinner and enjoyed the opportunity to relax and talk.

All in all, it was a very nice experience with food and beer to match.

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Photo of groovy24
4.08/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Being a Belgian beer fan this place really hit home for me now only if it was in my back yard would I be in trouble. The old Atlas is a bit narrow but I've never had any trouble getting a beer and finding a place to stand but it would be nice if it was a bit larger with some additional seating.

The quality of the beer is great and the food is just as good. How can you go wrong with a St. Bernardus and a side of frites.

The service is not too bad usually only one bartender but with such a small bar it usually too bad unless the crowd is quite large.

The slection is very nice and seems to be changing quite often to show quality products are being served.

The food at the V is great if you like mussles you'll love the V and they also have a great sandwhich slection and don't forget the cheese tray to have with your beer.

Overall the V is a great place for a good price, have a couple of beers and some frites and call it a night.

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Photo of spointon
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I visited Brasserie V for lunch on 11/28/2008.

Upon entering, this place really sets the scene for a quaint little Belgian/French experience. The room is narrow and deep, with the bar along the laft wall and most of the seating in booths down the right hand. There is also some seating in the front window and in the middle of the room at small square tables.

The food menu (lunch) was excellent and fairly priced. Most meals were in the $7 - $9 range. I had a fantastic applewood smoked ham and gruyere cheese sandwich with a pureed beet and root vegetable soup for just $7.75. It was excellent. My wife and I also split a cone of frites and they were freaking delicious. The guy at the next table ordered the mussels and I was kicking myself for not doing the same as they looked and smelled perfect.

The beer list was moderate in size but of excellent quality. There are 14 taps and they were filled with Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, 2-3 local brewery offerings, Ayinger Hefewizen, Delirium Nocturnum, as well as offerings from Lindeman's, St. Bernardus, etc. The bottle selection was larger and of exquisite quality. They even had a few Cantillon's!

All in all, I would sacrifice a limb to have this place move down the street from my house. I consider it a must see place for anyone traveling to Madison.

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Photo of jenitivecase
4.78/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Stopped by at the end of a weekend in Madison.

13 taps. Superb beer list - the standard Belgians (Duchesse, St. Bernardus 12 & Tripel, Gulden Draak, etc.) plus some non-Belgians (Sierra Nevada Wet Hop, New Glarus Belgian Red, etc.). Also, a great bottle list with some hard-to-come-by beers (e.g. Fantome).

Service was knowledgeable and friendly, and the cheese plate we ordered was great in terms of cheeses and accoutrements. The beers we ordered were very reasonably priced, especially given their rarity and the serving sizes. Plus, the glassware was, for the most part, the breweries' custom glassware for the brews.

I wish I lived near this place so that I could give them a ludicrous amount of my money on a regular basis. Definitely a quality establishment and a beer destination.

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Photo of datamike
4.63/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Drove up from Chicago this weekend. Great selection, correct glassware, friendly and knowledgeable staff. Server repeatedly asked if he could provide samples of tap beers - fantastic!

Only had lunch sandwiches, pulled pork and reuben, but both very, very good as was the carrot soup. Serving portions a bit on the small side, but only when compared to the buckets of food you get elsewhere. I'd rather have the quality over quantity anyday.

Nice decor and woodwork. It's a simple downtown storefront, but made very cozy and inviting. Not too dark like the Palm in Milwaukee.

Not sure about smoking. Didn't see anyone while we were there.

We'll definitely be going back!

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Photo of PaulQH27
4.6/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

If Belgians are your thing and you are near this place you need to visit. There are typically >10 Belgians on tap, as well as some other quality brews. Ask for a few tasters, when I have been there the staff has been very willing to hand out 5-6 small tasters before I decided on a beer, a nice way to sort out their outstanding Belgian selection before deciding on something.

Their bottled beer selection is also really good. A fine selection of imports (both Belgians and non-Belgians) in addition to a number of good US beers.

Still haven't gotten the chance to sample the Jolly Pumpkin they have in bottle since I have been far too distracted by their Belgians on tap.

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Photo of emerge077
4.28/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

2011: GTMW '11 pre-party.
Arrived at peak time during the event, and were seated within 15 minutes for dinner. Service was a bit better than last time, though the crowd slowed things down a little. The main draw was draft Fou'Foune, then we learned it was an 8 oz. pour for $12. Oh well, splurge once in awhile... most other drafts were in the $6-8 range. Dinner service was good, the food was pretty tasty. Highlights were the steak sandwich and smoked salmon appetizer, lowlight was the bacon avocado BLT, which was mostly bread. The beer list was well organized by style, with price, abv, and tasting notes. Three Cantillon selections and a handful of traditional Lambics, along with a host of obscure imports and US micros. Definitely a popular beer destination in Madison.

05-05-2008 B+ / 3.98
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$

Stopped here after securing a ticket for the Great Taste, on a Sunday afternoon.

Cozy and intimate interior, soft colors, some art on the walls. Nice wooden bar with a rail below. Sizable glassware shelf and bottle display above the bar. Boards listed some seasonal bottles and cheese plate offerings.

They were serving brunch, and there was a good crowd around 1pm. On the menu were several varieties of eggs benedict, the crab and salmon ones were especially good although the side of potatoes were chewy to the point of being inedible.

Service was fairly quick, but the young bartender seemed a little aloof with requests for the usual things. Others in my group (seated at the other end of the bar) had better service, and offered samples even.

Focus on Belgian beer, 12 or so taps of quality imports. Bottle selection had a few gems, such as Mikkeller and Nøgne Ø. Recommended if Belgian beer is your thing... but Maduro and Malt House smoke them in terms of overall selection.

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Photo of Sconnie
4.95/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This is my new favorite place to go in Madison. They have 15 taps, the majority being Belgian imports with the rest split between one or two German, English, or American micro-brews. Always a great selection, they know their beer. I've had everything from standards like St. Bernardas 12, Chimay white and Delerium Tremens to Val Dieu Gran Crew, La Trappe Quadrupel, and Lindeman's Framboise. And they have a ton of bottles available as well.
The food is really good, a little on the pricey side but a good value for the quality.
If you're in Madison and you like good beer (and if you're reading this I hope you do) this is a place you must check out.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.2/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

i have apparently overlooked commenting on the brasserie, which is certainly a major addition to the beer-map in madison

the most recent time i visited was this past sunday for brunch and an enormous portion of st bernardus 12 (easily 12-16oz, a huge chalice filled to the brim)

this joint is pretty anonymous from the exterior and you likely would not notice it unless you were specifically seeking it out or were familiar with the monroe street hood. its narrow with bright modern wood and artsy european photography on the walls. the bar is moderate size with room for about 10 and the kitchen is open, in the back.

service has always been spotty, but i can overlook this if served overflowing massive chalices

if you dont like the selection, you dont like belgian beer. st bernardus 12, Abbaye Des Rocs , chimay, allagash, delirium, piraat, duchesse and a number of others all on tap. there are typically a few american stragglers from anchor, bells, etc. the bottle list is long and contains all the nogne beers you can desire in this market and tons of other belgians. 2nd best beer selection to maduro, if not the best

the food is good - i can vouch for solid lunch and brunch options but have never come in for dinner. i have enjoyed the belgian waffles and biscuits/gravy and the lady seemed to like the crab cake benedict.

prices are somewhat steep but its all relative. st bernardus 12 ran me $7 but it was a massive portion and seemed like a steal...most taps run 6-7$ and are all served in proper glassware

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Photo of citrusjim
4.05/5  rDev -9.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Visited on a Tuesday night while in town. I loved this place. It is so rare to find really nice food along with good beer. Brasserie V has that. It is a small, comfortable place - more a restaurant than a bar. The beer selection is excellent. They focus on Belgians and have several on tap. I had a Rochfort 8 (bottle, served in a Rochfor glass), a Three Philosophers (on tap, don't see that often), and a Bell's Kalamazoo Stout (bottle). The food is what makes this place. I had fresh pea soup followed by tagliatelle bolognese. Both were great. My colleague had the cheese board and the mussels. Nice too. For the quality of the food, I think the prices are great.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.98/5  rDev -10.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Occupying the space formerly known as the Relish Deli, Brasserie V manages to maintain a comfortable level of casualness and price while offering some pretty ostentatious brews and entrées. Since it opened late last August, I have visited around twenty times, mostly around happy hour for drinks, a few times for dinner, and several times for lunch. I've been largely pleased with the establishment though I consistently find one major flaw stands out...but we'll get to that later.

First, let's talk about the beer. Brasserie V boasts fourteen taps of frequently rotating high end and often obscures brews. Generally one will find 8-10 Belgian offerings, one Brit, one Deutsch, and a handful of well selected regional crafts. Plan on seeing brews from St. Bernie, Des Rocs, Unibroue, Liefmans, Fullers, etc... when you go. Tap prices hover in the $5-$7 range. Expect an overly generous pour.

In addition to its tap lines Brasserie V offers an ever expanding list of bottles. The bottle list is well selected and features rare treats such as Cantillon St. Lamvinus ($42) and Saison d'Epeautre ($18) as well as local favorites like Tyranena Bitter Woman ($4).

Food is another selling point for Brasserie V. Lunch consists of exquisite soups and small but delicious sandwiches, my favorite being the BLT. My only criticism of their lunch menu is that sandwiches are served with chips or pasta salad. I would like to see fries added as an option, even for an up charge.

The rotating dinner menu is more up scale featuring a number of seasonal and local products. I've seen and tasted items such as a seasonal vegetable risotto, duck breast with Door County cherry sauce, Cornish game hen or chicken breast with a wonderful herb rub, and pork tenderloin. Steak Frites and Moules Frites are always an option as well and personally I can't get enough of Brasserie V's frites served in a cone with ample sides of varying aioli. They are wonderful.

Also, for your money you can't beat the cheese plate. $12 dollars buys two a selection of three world renowned cheeses, often locally produced along with Potter's crackers, fresh breads, candied nuts, and herbed olives. Some might argue that chocolate is the ultimate companion to a fine Belgian brew but in my opinion nothing pares better with a funky lambic than a funky slice of Wisconsin goodness.

Now for the part of the review I have been dreading...service. If Brasserie V is trying to mimic the French style of service they are doing a fine job. Particularly a problem at lunch I find that I am often not greeted when I enter, not presented with silverware or water, and not offered a drink for a solid 10-15 minutes time after time after time at Brasserie V. The place can be empty with staff chatting amongst each other and I still can't seem to ever get their attention.

Yes I have had good service, particularly at dinner and when the owner is present, often behind the bar himself. I've also had great service on Sundays; however, more often than not Brasserie V's staff are aloof to the point of rudeness. Their knowledge of beer could use improvement as well, although this has been getting better with time.

That was tough but I had to say it. I'd like to give this place straight 5s across the board but it's just not there yet. Hopefully with time it will be and as long as high quality brews keep flowing, I'll keep going.

Update: 4-4-08 - I'm bumping service from 2 to 3. The staff seems more professional these days and I have received top notch service on my last two visits.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Stopped in for the first time today - a lazy Sunday afternoon lunch with my ma'.

There were a dozen or so other people distributed among the half dozen or so tables opposite the long bar. The kitchen can be seen in the back of the room with a counter for the waiter/bartender to pick up and deliver orders to the tables. Behind the bar, shelves are lined with glassware, unique to each beer on tap. The overall atmosphere was clean - about what you'd expect from a slightly upscale, contemporary bistro/beer cafe.

On-tap were 12 or so beers, mostly Belgian/Belgian-style, all high-quality but few that can't be found elsewhere in town (especially Maduro, V's only real competition on the Belgian beer front in town). In bottle, an impressive spread of some 50-60 beers - local, American, European with a focus again on Belgian. Selection ranges from Cantilllon St. Lamvinus ($42) and Panil Barrique ($28) to Spotted Cow ($4) and Anchor Steam ($4). Prices are reasonable to slightly pricey, especially compared to the downright steals at Maduro (on-tap).

The food was great - their lunch menu consists of several warm and cold sandwhiches, salads, and a couple soups du jour. I had a fresh and very generously portioned Muffaleta ($8.50) and a delicious cup of Sweet Pea and Terragon soup ($?). Ma' had a half-reuben and the soup ($8). We both were happy with our choices.

Service was what stuck out the most for me in my first visit to V. After sitting down, perusing the menu and patiently waiting for 10 minutes without any apparent acknowledement from the single bartender/waiter, he finally approached, apologizing for not getting to us sooner (which was puzzling given the rather small afternoon crowd) and offering our first beers on the house. WOW! I chose the Goliath Tripel ($7 - a tasty all malt tripel - apparently the only such tripel made in Belgium) while Ma' boldly went with the Bernie's Abt 12 ($7). While Ma' nursed her 10% abv ale throughout the lunch and had at least half her chalice when I finished my tripel, the waiter must have noticed me helping her finish the Bernie's and promptly brought a 2/3 or so pour of the Goliath tripel gratis so I wasn't sitting there watching the paint dry while Ma' nursed her beer. After the auspicious start, the waiter more than made up for it with upwards of $18 in free beer. This is precisely why I love neighborhood spots like Wonder's, Maduro and now V - they take care of their customers and generally give you the impression that they are trying to become a part of the local community.

Overall, I was very pleased with my experience at Brasserie V and I'm just thrilled to have another great local haunt serving great beer and tasty food with gracious service and a stake in the neighborhood.

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Brasserie V in Madison, WI
4.46 out of 5 based on 64 ratings.
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