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The Spirit of Old Madison Is Alive and Well at Tornado Steak House

Welcome to the photo series Eater Scenes, where Eater photographers visit some of the country's great restaurants to capture them at a certain, and very specific, point in the day. Today, Tornado Steak House in Madison, WI.

Hillary Dixler Canavan is Eater's restaurant editor and the author of the publication's debut book, Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes From the Authority on Where to Eat and Why It Matters (Abrams, September 2023). Her work focuses on dining trends and the people changing the industry — and scouting the next hot restaurant you need to try on Eater's annual Best New Restaurant list.

eaterclassicsweek_black.0.jpgMadison, Wisconsin's Tornado Steak House is approaching its 20th birthday, but it feels much older. That's because when owner Henry Doane took over the space that was once home to Crandall's — a beloved fish fry — he kept much of the interiors the same. The historic building's wood paneling, ceiling beams, and painted words of wisdom all carried through from Crandall's to Tornado. Along with an old-timey interior, the restaurant now serves a throw-back steakhouse menu featuring shrimp cocktail, Caesar salads, hash browns, king crab legs, and of course, a whole array of steaks. Photographer Paulius Musteikis stopped by on a Friday night earlier this month. Here's what he saw at 6 p.m.