New chef at 43 North

Photo by The Conscientious Omnivore (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Although I’ve heard good things about it recently, I confess to never having eating at the upscale Madison restaurant 43 North, which in the fall of 2010 opened in the space formerly occupied by Cafe Continental on King Street.

A few days ago I read this piece at and learned that 43 North pastry and sous chef Francesca Hong (who I remember from her time at La Brioche True Food) has taken over as head chef. She replaces Nick Johnson, who replaced inaugural chef Justin Carlisle.

As Lindsay Christians reports,

Hong has already introduced a fixed price menu for April, and by May the a la carte options will be almost entirely different…. 43 North’s focus as a ‘modern bistro’ “allows me to essentially play around with different ingredients and different cultures,” Hong said. “American food can be a really wide range. I like to keep things as seasonal as possible, and bring a little more focus to local produce, which we weren’t utilizing as much as I thought we could.”

Walking by the restaurant today, I was pleasantly surprised to notice the sign pictured at right, announcing an upcoming special five-course meal. Apparently efforts to encourage Madisonians to try goat meat are continuing!

UPDATED January 24, 2103: There’s an even newer chef at 43 North. As Samara Kalk Derby reports for 77 Square,

Francesca Hong, the restaurant’s executive chef, left after Thanksgiving. She was replaced by Chris Ketarkus, who has worked at the restaurant nearly since its inception two years ago, and before that at Lombardino’s, said owner Shinji Muramoto, of Restaurant Muramoto and Sushi Muramoto acclaim.

For more details and a review of Chef Ketarkus’s work, check out the full piece.

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