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Lounges




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Upscale and deliciously mellow, this establishment caters to folks who appreciate fine cigars and cocktails. As a result, you'll often find groups of business people scattered around, lounging on comfy sofas, taking in strains of jazz, and indulging in stogies from Honduras or the Dominican Republic. Maduro's poisons include premium scotch, tequila, bourbon, brandy, and all sorts of martinis, cordials, wines, and beers. Come Saturday, DJs spin house music and other intriguing mixes – a perfect cap to the weekend.

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Blue Velvet Lounge


Retro styling and a young, upscale crowd impart a certain sophistication to this bar, whose dark, streamlined interior glows with blue neon accents. Apropos to the decor, a martini menu offers up tasty potions and contributes a dose of mid-century chic. (Try a fresh kiwi martini or perhaps the Cajun, with jalapeno-infused vodka.) Beer, wine, and champagne cocktails are also available, along with frozen and ice-cream drinks. If food's in order, a selection of appetizers can help ward off the munchies.

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Tornado Club Steak House


Mellow and softly lit, this celebrated restaurant makes a strong showing as one of Madison's top steak houses. Flawless cuts of beef arrive with a crisp crust and pink, juicy interior, whether you choose an 8-ounce filet or a 25-ounce rib-eye. Rack of lamb, pork tenderloin, venison, duck breast, braised rabbit, pan-fried walleye, and crab legs also make a welcome showing. In fact, the restaurant is invariably accomplished in service, cuisine, and ambience. Plus, consistency is a strong suit and has patrons returning again and again.

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Restaurant Magnus


Gracious and sophisticated, this restaurant has risen steadily in the eyes of patrons and critics since its much-anticipated premiere and is lauded for both cuisine and nightlife. A refined setting serves as apt backdrop for Nuevo Latino fare, which includes black pepper-sesame-encrusted ahi tuna and delicious Argentinian beef. An enviable tapas menu also maintains its share of adherents. A full bar (try a caipirinha!), and nightly live music – usually jazz or South American music – add yet more appeal to Magnus. Fantastic desserts and incredible wines, too. Tapas average about $10 each.

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1
Downtown


When you feel the need to trade in typical, rowdy clubs for a more subdued experience, Opus stands out as an ideal oasis of urbanity. Dimly lit and romantic, the establishment provides an optimal environment wherein patrons can enjoy international wines, sip well-mixed cocktails, or munch globally-inspired appetizers, including sushi and tapas options. Prices run a bit towards the high side, but for ambience and style, it's hard to find a place of Opus' caliber in the vicinity.

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