Madison's Sunprint Café not just for breakfast anymore

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Bill Livick
Thursday, June 20, 2013

MADISON--People who have spent time in Madison within the past three decades might be familiar with Sunprint Café, which has operated in various locations along State Street and on the square.

The café has always been associated with a space that fits its name, serving food and beverages in a bright room flooded with natural light.

That hasn't changed with Sunprint's latest move from a leased storefront on South Pinckney Street to an attractive space at 10 S. Mifflin St. Large windows offer a magnificent view of the Capitol. The cafe also offers outside seating on Mifflin Street.

Traditionally, Sunprint has been a breakfast and lunch spot. But owners Susan and Jason Hendrix decided that along with the new location, they would expand the operation and start serving dinner three nights a week.

The new Thursday-to-Saturday dinner menu is fairly tight, featuring a handful of appetizers, salads, sandwiches and entrees. The spacious dining room is comfortable and appealing, with exposed brick walls, blond wood tables set with white linen napkins, and a small beer and wine bar. During a recent meal, recorded jazz music played-perhaps just a tad too loudly-in the background.

The attention-getter among the appetizers is a charcuterie plate ($13.50) that features locally made sausages, bread, Wisconsin cheeses, mustard and preserves. Our party of four passed on that and chose instead a plate with several types of olives, along with shaved red onion, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and rosemary ($4.95).

Salads are served with a fresh baguette, sandwiches with a choice of sides (braised greens, carrot slaw, green bean salad, wild rice, hash browns or baked potato) and a pickle spear. Entrees come with a choice of soup or salad and one side dish.

The two sandwiches we tasted-a salmon club and the Cherokee bison burger-were predictably good. The club ($9.95) featured a grilled club ($9.95) featured a grilled salmon filet with lettuce, tomato, bacon, a hard-cooked egg and cucumber sauce on a brioche roll. The thick, firm filet was tasty, and the extras on the sandwich-along with a side of wild rice-turned it into a significant meal.

The burger ($11.95) came just as ordered-medium rare-and arrived on a brioche roll with tangy Gaujillo chile sauce, lettuce and tomato. A side of slightly bitter braised greens proved a fine complement to the juicy burger.

An entrée of penne pasta ($15.95) was heavy on the mushrooms and spinach-and very tasty. The recipe also included red peppers, broccoli, onion and garlic in a white wine sauce. My friend Sally was happy with a Caesar salad that came with the order.

We ordered one of the nightly specials-swordfish ($20.95)-that came on a plate with braised greens and wild rice. The fish filet was served in a large portion but was thick, dense and a bit too dry.

On the night of our visit, bottles of wine were half price. Sunprint also offers a small variety of bottled beers and a handful of cocktails.

Service was good last week, and the food came from the kitchen quickly.

The dining room was not particularly busy on a Thursday night but is very popular for lunch, our server said, when a soup and salad bar are rolled out cafeteria-style.

Head chef Susan Hendrix said she plans to keep expanding the list of dinner options, with a slight emphasis on entrees with "a little French influence."

Bill Livick is a freelance writer who writes entertainment stories and Madison-area restaurant reviews for The Gazette.

Last updated: 3:07 pm Tuesday, June 25, 2013

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