UW Health: American Bistro opens to public, patients and staff

August 17, 2015

CONTACT: Emily Kumlien

(608) 265-8199

(608) 516-9154

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Madison- American Bistro, the restaurant on the second floor of UW Health at The American Center, is now open to the public, patients and staff seven days a week.

The restaurant will offer local, seasonal, fresh made-to-order food for staff, guests and visitors. The goal is for everyone to have a high-quality, restaurant experience.

“There is no reason hospital food needs to be different than restaurant food,” said Sean O’Hara, manager of culinary services and clinical nutrition at The American Center. “We are looking for ways to be different and innovative at UW Health at The American Center and our menus have been carefully planned using locally sourced, healthy foods. We’ve created two seasonal menus we think everyone will enjoy.”

Located in the American Center Business Park, 4602 EastPark Blvd., the restaurant is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. on the weekends.

American Bistro offers both indoor and outdoor seating, the latter also home to the rooftop garden where the staff will grow fresh vegetables and herbs to use for cooking. A stone pizza oven will be used daily to make fresh pizza.

The restaurant-quality feel extends to the staff and patients. A patient-care technician will personally take patients’ food orders in their room and the meal will be delivered by a member of the culinary staff.

“There is no call center. Someone will take the order in person, like a waiter would at a restaurant. This way we can enhance the patient experience and make sure to get the right dietary needs for the patient,” said O’Hara.

The culinary staff is also working on programs to benefit hospital employees using the unique stone pizza oven, such as establishing a “take and bake” pizza program where they can take food home to their family after a long day. They are also working with the learning kitchen staff for cooking classes where staff can put together “freezer meals” for the week, with the help of the culinary staff in the learning kitchen.

“Food can make or break a patient’s experience at the hospital. If the food isn’t good, the patient’s stay is impacted. It is very important to make it a positive, healthy experience,” said Jessica Dern, director of professional services at UW Health at The American Center. “American Bistro is a high-quality restaurant that happens to be in a hospital.”

American Bistro anticipates serving approximately 400 meals a day with approximately 150 of those being patient meals. American Bistro currently employs 28 full-time staff. David Zanger, the sous chef, collaborates with O’Hara for the culinary services.