227 State Street
Madison, WI 53703Neighborhood:
Contemporary AmericanPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://www.frescomadison.com/
- Phone: 6086637374x
- Hours of Operation:
Tuesday-Thursday: Dinner served 5 pm - 9 pm
Friday-Saturday: Dinner served 5 pm - 10 pm
Sunday: Dinner served 5 pm - 9 pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Contemporary American
- Executive Chef: John Jerabek
- Dress Code: Business Casual
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
A word from Fresco
Located on the rooftop of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Fresco is a modern dining space boasting panoramic views of the Capitol and State Street. Enjoy exceptional views of Madison while relaxing with cocktails in the all-glass lounge. Dine indoors alongside a glass wall overlooking the museum’s 7,100 square-foot sculpture garden, or sit at the garden’s edge and enjoy dinner al fresco. Fresco's menu consists of contemporary American cuisine made with fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Fresco - Best Restaurants in Madison ›
Fresco reviews from OpenTable diners
205 reviews since June 4, 2014
- Ambiance4.4Noise LevelModerate
scenic view (146)great for outdoor dining (136)special occasion (116)fit for foodies (111)romantic (108)notable wine list (36)neighborhood gem (35)hot spot (35)good for groups (25)late-night find (18)vibrant bar scene (13)great for lunch (5)great for brunch (4)kid-friendly (1)Show More
- Excellent Food & Fantastic SettingnaluVIPDined on 9/27/2014We were lucky to have a reservation at this great place on one of the most beautiful days in Madison, Wisconsin & the outdoor dining area of this restaurant is spectacular. The food was very good & the service was also great. Can't wait to go back the next time we are in Madison.Special Features:
- Wonderful Experience!LisaDined on 9/26/2014We had a group of 24 and the entire staff was extremely accommodating. Drinks and food were outstanding and we thoroughly enjoyed our cocktail hour on the upper deck as well as our food in the beautiful setting.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A foodies dream dining experienceAmyLove2dineDined on 9/26/2014Fresco is a dining experience that needs to be added to everyone's list. The preparation of each plate from appetizer, main course to desert is a work of art and each bite is a burst of flavor. The atmosphere is breath taking from the clean lines and the view of the capitol.Special Features:
- Fresco DelightBadgerRicDined on 9/26/2014We had a quiet romantic evening at Fresco. We had a nice bottle of wine (reasonably priced) and sampled several of the appetizers and everything, save one, was really good. The ambiance is delightful and the outdoor dining experience (weather permitting) was special, featuring a magnificent view of the capital building. Overall, a really nice dining experience.Special Features:
- Wonderful date night spotKat1Dined on 9/24/2014Wondeful ambiance, great service, fun cocktails (extensive wine list we didn't try). Chicken fresco and the NY strip were excellent and the perfect amount of food for one special meal for each of us. It was very empty on the Wednesday evening we went, and it was nice to have space to ourselves. If I absolutely HAD to nitpick, it was a smidge too dark inside to be comfortable for me, but I guess that's part of the "cool" vibe. I would come back, but I feel like we've already done the "fresco experience" so it would be a while.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- birthday celebartionprelude2MSODined on 9/20/2014Dinner at Fresco often a preconcert event, but on this occasion also a birthday celebration joined by son and daughter-in-law. Dinner selections enjoyed by all. Special surprise, oldest daughter residing in California ordered wine from Fresco list to be served at our dinner celebration; "Paul Jaboulet Crozes" was great meal accompaniment. Dining experience enhanced by pleasant, efficient service.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great EveningSuztravelsDined on 9/16/2014We thoroughly enjoyed the evening. The food was special. Interesting combinations of textures and tastes. Good selection of wine. Attentive, friendly staff. Comfortable relaxed upscale dining. Would come back again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Meh...hurrayforporkfatDined on 9/14/2014Our server was great. No complaints there. And the building is beautiful. But the food? Generally bland and anything even remotely experimental missed the mark. All the proteins were dry and overcooked. Vegetables were soggy. Nothing was properly seasoned and the platings uninspired. I come up to Madison about twice a month from Chicago and like to see what's happening in the center of farm to table cooking. This city has amazing access to produce and some very impressive chefs. Fresco was a serious disappointment. Not to mention over priced, but I suppose your paying for the view. With all the new offerings in Madison (Forequarter and Heritage just to name a few) this is a definite "can miss."Special Features:
- more than we could have imaginedJasonHeienDined on 9/5/2014Our drinks, our cuisine, the atmosphere, were all more than anything we could have expected. I saw the sign as we were walking by, checked out the website, and we knew we would have to go while we were in town for the Ironman. Lori our server was perfect with her recommendations. The next time we are in Madison, we will be back to make Fresco a tradition.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food, great viewsmbeemsterboerDined on 9/5/2014I had been to Fresco one other time before this visit and it was exactly as great as I had remembered. The food was perfectly prepared and we were very pleased with the service. My girlfriend had some special dietary requests for her fish and the preparation of her fish and veggies and those were taken into account and the food was still delicious. Our only complaint for the night was that the noise level was very high due to a very loud DJ setup downstairs for a MMoCA event. If you are planning ahead, it may be worthwhile to check on their events before dining if you don't want it to be too loud.Special Features:
- Delightful Anniversary DinnerJohnnyDined on 9/3/2014I scheduled a last-minute anniversary dinner here for my wife and I after recommendations from friends. The service was excellent, the food delicious, appropriately sized portions, wide variety and combination of local and non-local fare. There was a also a good choice of wine. We were blessed with fine weather which helped. We would certainly go back again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- FoodDocRobDined on 8/30/2014Very good menu with plenty of choice. Love the desert!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A let downMaadFoodGuyDined on 8/30/2014Had heard a lot of good about Fresco but they didn't deliver. The Short Rib dinner was basically flavorless, like the cook forgot to season it. The Mussels in the Mussel app were so small you couldn't taste them. Wife got the Halibut which tasted great but was too crusty. Same goes for the scallop appetizer.
- Out-of-towners Impressed!BetzDined on 8/29/2014Loved by New Yorkers, excellent wine selection, good vegetarian choice! Our only criticism, desserts not normal enough! Who wants "corn" in their creme brûlée! Gorgeous location and atmosphere!Special Features:
- FrescoCathyDined on 8/28/2014An amazing dining experience. An excellent Bibb wedge and the best steak I have ever had. Chocolate filled beignets were heavenly. Service and ambience were excellent.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fresco DeliciousHhalwegDined on 8/28/2014I have been to Fresco many times and have never been disappointed. The gnocchi is fabulous, the salmon is fabulous, the risotto is fabulous, even the bread they bring out to every table for goodness sakes, is fabulous! If it's a nice evening, you can sit outside in the sculpture garden and listen to Madison come alive 3 floors beneath your feet. The staff is always friendly and willing to serve and they completely fit the classiness of this establishment. Date night or a celebration dinner, restaurant week or dinner out with the girls - perfect for many occasions.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014VIPDined on 8/27/2014Very nice to sit outside - however it was a little bit louder outside then I would have expected. Service was ok - and the food was also good. The outdoor seating is the highlight.Special Features:
- Fresco for dinnerOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 8/26/2014Very nice meal with excellent and friendly service. Would definitely recommend.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- one of the nicest restaurantsjuds18VIPDined on 8/23/2014A definite place to go when in Madison!!!Great atmosphere and delicious food!Special Features:
- Summer 2014 FrescoWikoloDined on 8/23/2014Excellent service and food as usual. Got a tat loud once the tables around us started on their drinks. Acoustics aren't 100% in that place, but it didn't really matter once the food arrived.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- AmazingieatlocalDined on 8/22/2014Fresco was absolutely gorgeous inside and out. The only complaint I had was the bar was very backed up and we sat there for about 10 minutes before even being acknowledged. Other then that...we had scallops to start which were very fresh tasting and cooked just right. We had the salmon which again was fresh and paired with a delicious risotto, and to finish off we had the short ribs which were cooked to perfection and paired with an amazing sauce. We will definitely be back.Special Features:
- Short rib heavenSnaggletoofDined on 8/22/2014Heavenly short ribs. Duck confit sliders, halibut entree and cocktails were outstanding. Service was excellent. Even though it was very busy, our server was attentive and pleasant. I would recommend Fresco to anyone.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Watch for the weatherDaisyDined on 8/22/2014This was my forth visit but the first time in summer and on Friday. There were a lot going on outside and where we sat (in front of the kitchen), the warm air came in whenever the door to the outside opened. It was too noisy and busy to enjoy the conversation with my friend. The food was so so. I ordered mushroom risotto cake and cippino pasta, and mango pudding to share. Risotto cake did not have much flavor; pasta was tasty and seafood was cooked perfect but it was too salty; pudding was really a rice pudding with mango pieces. Two other items fir the desert had totally different texture and I am sure that was what expected to enjoy but fried piece really did not make sense and sorbet was too sweet. I had much better experience before.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- First TimeMidnightBlueDined on 8/20/2014I stopped at Fresco with my girlfriend for the first time. Food was great. My only real issue was the time it took to receive food and drinks. New staff due to college just starting, but a simple drink took some time to come out. Otherwise I would recommend this restaurant to everyone.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- good food, but served coldOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 8/20/2014I think they forgot about us, and the dishes had been sitting out too long - 'm giving up on this place
- funwithfoodDined on 8/20/2014Excellent starter choices! All the food was delicious and so fresh. This was my first visit and I can't wait to come back.Special Features:
- One of the nicer places in MadisonnicknameDined on 8/15/2014To start off, this is definitely one of the nicer places in Madison. They have done very well being unique with their decor, view and outdoor seating. The menu is simple but very tasty and food presentation definitely adds to the overall quality of the dishes. Staff was welcoming and helpful when there were questions about food and drink. The one set back was that even though we had a reservation, it still took us about an hour to sit down at a table outside. I understand that outdoor seating is first come first serve but that was something that we found out after we arrived. This was minor and we grabbed apps at the bar but I wish we had known ahead of time being that sitting outside was one of the main reasons we chose Fresco.Special Features:
- Food Good, Ambiance DisappointingMK608Dined on 8/15/2014Selected Fresco for an anniversary dinner. First time there and the experience was so-so. My main dislike is the decor and ambiance. Sitting inside, I felt like I was in a diner rather than an upscale restaurant. I get it's supposed to be minimalist but it didn't work for me. There was a private party in the sculpture garden. Maybe a table there would've proved more appealing. The menu was fine but nothing stood out as particularly original. Both entrees were fine, well-prepared- but did not stand out beyond the many other fine eateries in Madison. Service was fast. Too fast. Barely sipped my wine before app arrived, and so it went. Waiter was efficient but kind of stern. Seemed to tower over us. Didn't smile. Not engaging.Special Features:
- Poor Environment, Good FoodmadisoneaterDined on 8/14/2014Our table was close to the door to the outside dining area, and waiters frequently were moving in and out, making huge gusts of wind that blew at us throughout dinner. Although it was a warm night, those constant winds made our area very chilly. Although we asked a manager if the staff could use the other door, more out of the dining section's range, there was no effort made to change anything. Our service was very slow, although the dining room was not seemingly busy. The food was very good, however the other flaws definitely detracted from the overall experience.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/9/2014A great night! The only thing I wish they would have done was let me know that the outside would have been closed for a private event. When making the reservation I specifically let them know we were a bachelorette party and requested a great seat. We probably got the worse seat in the house looking into the kitchen. Other than that, great food, great setting. Would definitely go back!Special Features:
- Great mealDan123Dined on 8/9/2014This is really a great place for a romantic dinner- we ordered a series of appetizers which filled us up easily- the gin Rickey is a great alternative to the sweeter cocktails on the menu.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent view, foodWinegirlVIPDined on 8/9/2014Surprisingly good food, some reviews have been up and down but we loved our apps and entrees and portions certainly more than adequate. View from top of museum was a bonus and service was friendly and accommodating. We'll return.Special Features:
- Great nightFoodieInTrainingDined on 8/8/2014I diner at Fresco with a few co-workers to celebrate the end of summer. The food and drinks all tasted great and were unique to the restaurant, which we loved. I also really liked that the dishes all used local and seasonal ingredients (the Farmer's Market salad was wonderful). The ambiance was nice, as was the layout, though if the tables had been any closer they would have been "too close." Nice atmosphere, overall. Unfortunately, the wait for an outside table was 45 minutes so we opted to eat inside, but I would love the opportunity to come back and sit outside on a nice evening.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wedding AnniversarymasmoeDined on 8/7/2014My wife and I celebrated our anniversary at Fresco last week and loved it. The ambiance, food and service were outstanding - and at a very reasonable cost. I would have no problem recommending it to anyone - especially for a special event of some sort. The rooftop setting was unique and most enjoyable, but that's a summertime only opportunity.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- RC13Dined on 8/1/2014Fantastic view from tables outside. Very good food and service at reasonable prices.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fun on a Stormy NightcitasunchildDined on 8/1/2014We visited FRESCO for the first time this week. There were four of us. Service was well-paced (4 courses in about 2.5 hours). All 4 people at our table ordered different things for each course; so they were nearly making their entire menu for our table. We sampled each other's fare and get a good idea for the menu. The "favorite" starter were the pork tostados. In each of the other courses, everything was so good we couldn't really come up with a favorite. I had the ricotta gnocchi for the main course--fantastic! On the particular evening we visited, I was hoping for outdoor rooftop seating; that didn't happen due to thunderstorms and rain. Panoramic view was still fantastic during the storm! Rose' wine pitcher was awesome!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- WonderfulGreatMartiniDined on 8/1/2014The food, service and view were wonderful. Would not recommend Fresco for young children but sure they would be welcome. The pace is slow and perfect for enjoying a good martini without feeling rushed to order.Special Features:
- Had a wonderful timeOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 7/30/2014We would have rather sat near the live music but understood that outdoor seating is first come first serve. Next time will get there earlier or later so we can enjoy the larger area of the roof top!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Very accomodatingCarolineDined on 7/29/2014We had a great group meal at Fresco. Unfortunately that evening, it chose to rain and we were seated indoors instead. The view was not as spectacular as you would think for a "scenic view" but we were indoors. Our server was super accommodating, and when an extra guest arrived she didn't bat an eyelash. The food was good, (I enjoyed the duck confit slider with peanut butter!) and we all enjoyed our meal. Overall would recommend it to anyone.Special Features:
- Excellent dining experience!MikenleslieDined on 7/26/2014Fresco was excellent! My husband and I waited for a table outdoors, which was worth it! Beautiful view on the rooftop and the hostess was very helpful. We had drinks at the bar while we waited & the bartender was very friendly. My husband had fish & I had the ny strip. Absolutely, wonderful! One of the best steals I have ever had. The asparagus & potatoes were Also great. For dessert we had the creme brûlée. Perfect! Nice & crisp top, very flavorful. Our waitress was one of the best we have ever had too. She was fast, knowledgable, kind, and not too overbearing My husband and I picked the perfect spot to dine for dinner! I would definitely come back to dine at Frescos. I would not bring my kids though. It was business casual and we enjoyed!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.