Friday Fish Fry at Gates & Brovi

Gates & Brovi – 3502 Monroe Street, Madison, WI 53711


It’s Good Friday — it’s a nice day — who wants to go out for dinner after a long day at work? … THIS girl! That’s who! (hahaha)… So the husband and I decide to head to Gates & Brovi, we haven’t been in a long while.  Mostly because the parking is horrendous!

Nestled on corner on busy Monroe Street you generally need to circle several blocks around the area to find a spot to park.  However, once you step inside and see what I believe to be New England styled décor; that previous ten minutes you just spent driving in circles was totally worth it to get transported somewhere in East Coast.

Since it’s a Friday and towards the end of happy hour the bar was busy and the tables were full.  We had, what seemed to be a quick 30 minute wait for a table.

Friday Night Special

While sipping my drink I notice a large hand written chalkboard sign over the bar (and then again when we are seated at our table). Dinner Special: Linguini, Sautéed Gulf Shrimp, Spinach, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Capers & Breadcrumbs.

Yum that sounds delicious.


I’m pretty sure I already know what I’m getting, but of course we check out the menu.

Clam Chowder

To start off the meal we decide to share a bowl of clam chowder and roasted beet bruschetta.

Roasted Beet Bruschetta

The clam chowder, although not your traditional color,  is seasoned very well and full of tender carrots, celery and potatoes; pieces of clam can be found throughout the bowl.  Add the oyster crackers that come on the side and you have one satisfying bowl of chowder.

Next up: Roasted Beet Bruschetta – Oh my! – I think I could make it a light meal or what the heck – just order two and call it a satisfying dinner portion. Who needs anything else? Thick slices of toasted baguette topped with whipped goat cheese, slices of cooked and chilled beets, arugula, match stick radishes, walnuts and a hint of orange zest to finish it off.  Pretty sure it was my favorite of the night.  … Yes, I would circle the block two or three times in order to get this app again.

For our entrees the husband ordered a Friday special: baked cod that came with boiled potatoes, coleslaw, spicy zip sauce and tartar sauce.

Baked Cod

The fish is moist and seasoned well, sadly the boiled potatoes seemed a bit bland and could have used some fresh cracked pepper maybe even a hint more salt. They looked as if after the boil they were pan seared, so we had high hopes that they would be flavorful.  I can’t really comment on the taste of the coleslaw.  I didn’t try it and I can’t use my husbands comments. He is what I deem a “coleslaw-snob”.  In his humble opinion, his Mom was the only person who could make coleslaw and there are VERY few that even come close to “edible”. Which I find hysterical, because almost every time I try a fork full, I wind up eating it because I like it. (Really honey, coleslaw in a lot of restaurants are edible.)

Linguini Special

Now on to my entre: The linguini special of the night. Five large sized sautéed gulf shrimp (tail on), freshly wilted spinach, roasted cherry tomatoes, capers, in a light seafood sauce topped with seasoned breadcrumbs (the breadcrumbs looked homemade, possibly from a day old baguette?) Speaking of the baguette my dish came with a sizable portion to soak up the sauce. This dish was delicious. Where the boiled potatoes lacked in seasoning this dish more than made up for it. It was flavorful, the spinach was wilted just enough but not too far – it was still a vibrant green. The shrimp was cooked “just right”. The portion itself was sizable.  I was able to bring home a small amount of leftovers. OK, I have to admit not any shrimp they generally do not travel well, but linguini, veg and sauce will make a nice light lunch.

This restaurant might bill itself as a neighborhood restaurant but it is totally worth the parking hassle to drive, park and enjoy a meal here.

I look forward to our next visit…. I sure hope the beet bruschetta is still on the menu!




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