Restaurant evaluation: On the Rox carries over properly from the Roxbury Tavern | Eating evaluations

ROXBURY — The final time I used to be on the Roxbury Tavern was March 2014. I used to be there to cowl an annual sock-burning fundraiser and bid farewell to the coldest winter in 35 years.

The sock burning is not any extra, and the bar, 15 miles northwest of Madison, close to Sauk Metropolis, has modified fingers twice since then.

Tom Gresser, who owned the Roxbury Tavern for 25 years, bought it in 2018 to Eric Stonehocker and Nick Kroeger, who renamed it The Roxbury Bar and Grill.

Then, in February 2020, Jessica (pronounced “Yessica”) Fitzgerald purchased it, spent seven months gutting and renovating it, and reopened it in December 2020 as On the Rox.

Fitzgerald, who lives in Lodi, mentioned she’s been within the bar enterprise for 25 years.

A giant attraction at On the Rox are the bar’s two goats, Rox and Bury.

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The 2 goats within the spacious yard patio are an enormous attraction, Fitzgerald mentioned. Portraits of the goats draw consideration to a banner on the again gate that reads: “Rox & Bury Welcome You to Their Goat Backyard,” and beneath, “Please be variety to us and never throw meals objects into our space.”

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Goat cheese marinara

The baked goat cheese & marinara dip would not include milk from the bar’s goats, Rox and Bury.

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After I ordered the baked goat cheese & marinara dip ($9.99), somebody in my group of six requested if the milk used to make the cheese got here from Rox and Bury, who we visited on the best way in. After I talked to Fitzgerald later she mentioned it doesn’t, including that she will get that query quite a bit.

The dip was baked in its serving dish, which was extremely sizzling. The mix of cheese and tomato was an excellent one, and whereas the menu promised crostini, what we obtained was higher: properly seasoned naan rounds baked till crispy.

Spinach artichoke dip

The spinach artichoke dip, half order pictured above, has a number of tacky pull.

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Nevertheless, the dish obtained tiring midway in. Higher was a half order of spinach artichoke dip ($8/$5), with a lot tacky pull it was arduous to scoop out a serving with out getting strands of cheese in every single place. It got here with tortilla chips.

Together with a powerful record of appetizers, the menu boasts 19 specialty pizzas, and 6 salad decisions.

Surprisingly, there have been no burgers. After I requested Fitzgerald about that she mentioned for a time they had been doing each pizzas and burgers, however needed to cease as a result of she didn’t have workers to run the grill.

On the Rox pizza

The Roxbury particular is notable for its beneficiant toppings and skinny, crisp crust. 

Samara Kalk Derby | Wisconsin State Journal

The pizza was notable for its beneficiant toppings and skinny, crisp crust. My buddies and I shared the Roxbury particular ($22.50 for the 16-inch) with sausage, mushrooms, onions and inexperienced peppers.

When Fitzgerald introduced it up the three massive stairs, into the eating room, the place we had settled right into a tall desk, she put it on a pizza stand that was unusually tall. Everybody appreciated the small steel plates we ate it on.

The pizza was reduce into squares, and my buddy’s teenage daughter commented, “It’s extra toppings than pizza.” The pizza maker was undoubtedly beneficiant with the toppings.

On the Rox salad

The grilled rooster salad.

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The grilled rooster salad ($7.99) was large enough to share, with a recent spring combine, pink onions, inexperienced peppers, mushrooms, grated cheese, croutons and tiny cubes of rooster. With it got here a pouch of balsamic French dressing.

5 massive TVs within the good-looking eating room had been in some way unobtrusive, tuned to the Olympics on three totally different channels, with wrestling on the fourth. A fifth was broadcasting a fire.

Gresser, who owned the tavern from 1989 to 2018, famously removed the bar’s TV after some Badgers followers grew to become too rowdy one recreation day.

He had already ditched the bar’s jukebox and pool desk. He prohibited swearing to “herald a sure clientele, and to discourage others,” he mentioned in 2016.

Gresser’s bar was additionally identified for piano burnings on the summer time solstice.

Now the bar will likely be identified for its ambiance, meals and cutesy title. Our invoice was modest — $52 earlier than tip — probably as a result of we had been in round midday and the one particular person to order a drink obtained a soda.

Rox the goat

Rox the goat hangs out behind On the Rox in Roxbury.

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On the Rox can even get a repute for its goat backyard. It’s not an expertise simply replicated in Madison.

On the Rox interior

The Roxbury Tavern is getting new life as On the Rox.

Samara Kalk Derby | Wisconsin State Journal

On the Rox exterior

In February 2020, Jessica Fitzgerald purchased the previous Roxbury Tavern, and reopened it 10 months later as On the Rox.

Samara Kalk Derby | Wisconsin State Journal

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