Local Counsel with Jack W. Ebbott

The Madison attorney tells us what’s good in the neighborhood

Published in 2018 Wisconsin Super Lawyers magazine

By Jack W. Ebbott on November 13, 2018


Best place to take a client  –  Probably L’Etoile, if only I could afford it.

Local beverage of choice  –  Anything from Ale Asylum is a good bet, but their best is probably Hopalicious.

Favorite building  –  Wisconsin State Capitol. It is a building many Madison residents see daily, and probably take for granted, but is always impressive when you go inside.

Ugliest building  –  George L. Mosse Humanities Building. It’s an example of the aptly named brutalist architecture. 

Best restaurant  –  ​​​​​​​Heritage Tavern, where I have never had a bad meal. 

Favorite quote about Madison  –  ​​​​​​​A former Wisconsin governor, Lee Sherman Dreyfus, described Madison as “30 square miles surrounded by reality.” This slight has been worn as a badge of honor by many residents, and was even proposed as the official city motto by the mayor a few years ago.

Favorite historical resident  –  ​​​​​​​Frank Lloyd Wright. His imprint is found all over the city, including Monona Terrace, which was built more than 50 years after Wright initially designed it.

Favorite courthouse perk  –  ​​​​​​​The view of both Lake Mendota and Lake Monona from the top floor.  

Favorite breakfast spot  –  ​​​​​​​Marigold Kitchen. They make a great, unhealthy breakfast sandwich.

Favorite lunch spot  –  ​​​​​​​Great Dane has great lunch options. I tend to rotate between the reuben, falafel and chicken wrap.

Best place to reflect  –  ​​​​​​​With a busy law practice and two young kids, this no longer applies to me. During college and law school, the answer would probably be a run along Temin Lakeshore Path and Picnic Point.

Favorite park  –  ​​​​​​​Owen Park. I had no idea this place existed until a few years ago, but it has a great view of the city and you will frequently encounter deer, turkeys and other wildlife you would not expect to see in an urban environment.

Go-to sports venue  –  ​​​​​​​It is hard to find a better atmosphere in Madison than a Badger football Saturday at Camp Randall.

Best place for people watching  –  ​​​​​​​State Street. It is always fun when the high school tournaments come to town and you can tell when someone is experiencing State Street for the first time.

Favorite local shop  –  ​​​​​​​Paul’s Book Store and B-Side Records. Both have been around well before I arrived, and the city would be much poorer without its independent book and record stores, of which very few are left.

Favorite city sports moment  –  ​​​​​​​The 1994 Rose Bowl win is a big one, as it was the start of the resurgence of UW athletics. Personally, the Badgers basketball team clinching a trip to the Final Four in 2000 was a great college memory, as there was a spontaneous march on State Street, followed by greeting the team at Camp Randall when they returned to Madison that night.

Favorite city law  –  ​​​​​​​To the extent a city council resolution qualifies, I would say naming the plastic pink flamingo as the official city bird.

Favorite lesser-known tourist attraction  –  ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Yahara chain of lakes, which tend to get overshadowed by the Capitol and the university, even by the locals.

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