Bar Review: The Icon

Posted on

By Taylor Nye

The IconThe Icon, located on the 200 block of State Street, is a restaurant and tapas bar that strives to deliver Spanish-style elegance in their cuisine and Hollywood nightlife in their drinks. Although the atmosphere falls a little short of iconic, the food and drink make this place legendary.

The atmosphere of The Icon is trying to be L.A., but for some reason, there’s always a disconnect. Perhaps it’s because there are two very distinct decorating styles. The clean lines, white tiled walls and red leather booths do boast a contemporary, Hollywood hills feel, maybe as if it was a restaurant an A-lister owns on the side.

The run-of-the-mill artwork, though, makes the patron suspend disbelief. Stock portraits of  Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra remind you that you’re in Madison, Wisconsin, at a restaurant between a comedy club and a defunct shoe store.

Where The Icon is really a shining star, though, is in their food and drink.

The drinks, most with cute, movie themed names (such as ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’) cater to a wide range of tastes. From 1940s throwbacks to exciting new cocktails, the drink menu is likely to entice any customer, despite the high price.

The tapas, too, are heavenly. While expensive, they are authentically Spanish to a T. The menu even includes “cocas,” a menu item usually only seen in Spain and rarely at American tapas restaurants. The flavors are spot on and the selection is unmatched, and with a lack of tapas restaurants in Madison, The Icon’s culinary offerings make it a must-go.



  • half price glass pours and bottles of wine all night


  • 1/2 price pitchers and glasses of Sangria, with purchase of a tapa


  • half price glass pours and bottles of wine 8pm-close


  • 1/2 price pitchers and glasses of Sangria, with purchase of a tapa
  • $5 Martinis after 11pm


  • $5 Martinis after 11pm


  • $5 Martinis after 11pm

Drinks: 10/10

Specials: 3/10

Atmosphere: 6/10

Location: 10/10

Overall: 7.25

The Icon is located at 206 State Street. Its hours are 4 to 9 pm Sundays and Tuesdays, 4 to 11pm Wednesdays and 4pm to 2am Thursday through Saturday. For additional information and detailed kitchen hours please call 608-268-0126 or visit

MODA Magazine and the WUD Publications Committee do not endorse underage or irresponsible drinking. This article is intended for informative culinary purposes, and these beverages should be consumed in moderation by those of the legal drinking age.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *