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Inside Estrellon, Tory Miller’s Tapas Blockbuster in Madison

The JBFA-winning empire builder readies his newest restaurant.

Tory Miller's empire continues to grow in Madison, Wisconsin. As promised, the James Beard Award-winning chef is set to debut his hotly anticipated, Spanish-inspired tapas restaurant, Estrellon, tomorrow night (Friday, August 21) in a brand-new downtown Madison building. The 6,000-square-foot spot boasts two dining spaces: a 100-seat main dining room, complete with a "dining counter" facing an open hearth, and a 55-seat bar and taperia. "I'm so inspired by Spain and by the risks that chefs take there: following traditions but not [at the same time]," Miller told Eater earlier this spring. "I love Spain, I love the flavors and the food, and the freshness of the seafood."

But of course, Wisconsin influences — and its famous love of meat and cheese — emerge as well. On the main dining room menu, Miller plans a section devoted to the wood-fired rotisserie (featuring roasted chicken, pork shoulder, and beef brisket), which allows for "slicing up big chunks of meat, putting a little bit on a plate... and having all those natural flavors come through and not really following a strict 'This has to be Spanish' approach," Miller said. In the tapas bar, the cheese program proudly features 15 varieties from Wisconsin, to be eaten alongside more-Mediterranean tapas like grilled shrimp, blood sausage, house-made charcuterie, and ham (five kinds).

Diners can also expect a bevy of "medium" plates (grilled scallops and corn elotes; meatballs with saffron and tomato), plus Miller's takes on paella, in the main dining room. The wine list leans strongly to the Iberian peninsula, while many cocktails feature fortified wines. "In my mind, it's a little nicer than Graze, and a little less formal than L'Etolie," Miller said of where Estrellon ("star" in Spanish) falls within his local restaurant constellation. Check it out in the gallery above.

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