Etouffee at Liliana's (Madison WI)
One of our favorite places to eat in the Madison area is Liliana's
in Fitchburg. The owner and chef specializes in New Orleans/Cajun/Creole cuisine and I thought he's originally from Louisiana, but apparently he's actually a local who learned authentic Big Easy cookery. A couple of weeks ago there was a retirement party at a nearby restaurant and since I had about an hour or so to kill before it started I decided to pop in to Liliana's for dinner (with Mrs. Chicken's grudging approval).
Since it was just me I chose to eat in the bar. The dining room is linen and silver so it's definitely an upper-scale place but not to the coat-and-tie level.
I started with a single crab cake. As a native Midwesterner I'm certainly no expert but I thought it was excellent, with plenty of crab, not much filler, and a nice touch of chile heat.
At first I was planning on just having a couple of different appetizers, but then I couldn't remember if I'd ever had the etouffee so I made a quick executive decision.
Honestly, we've never been disappointed here and the etouffee kept the streak alive. It had enough spice to give me "eye sweats" significant enough to warrant a couple of Abita Turbodogs
to keep the fire in check, and had plenty of shrimp, crawfish, and other goodies that gave it lots of flavor.
Of course, since I went on my own I now owe Mrs. C a dinner there. Not that that's a bad thing...