Fresco
Fresco

Fresco

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.frescomadison.com/
  • Phone: (608) 663-7374
  • Hours of Operation:
    Monday: Closed
    Tuesday-Thursday: Dinner served 5 pm - 9 pm
    Friday-Saturday: Dinner served 5 pm - 10 pm
    Sunday: Dinner served 4 pm - 8 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
  • Catering: For offsite catering inquiries, or catering within the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, please contact Megan Kirby.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: State Street / Henry Street / W. Johnson Street
  • Public Transit: Henry & Dayton
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Parking available at the Overture Center ramp on the corner of Henry & Dayton.
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 photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Fresco reviews from OpenTable diners
187 reviews since July 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.4
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
96% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
scenic view (128)special occasion (120)fit for foodies (106)great for outdoor dining (97)romantic (91)neighborhood gem (34)hot spot (33)good for groups (29)notable wine list (25)late-night find (22)vibrant bar scene (13)great for lunch (5)great for brunch (3)Show More
  • Hidden Gem in Downtown
    Julie
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    Fresco's rooftop location just off the square gives it a more low-key vibe than places like Graze or Merchant. The ambiance is suited to a business dinner or a romantic one. The wine list is notable, and I have enjoyed everything I have eaten at Fresco. I am a vegetarian, and I love their ricotta gnocchi.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A wonderful evening
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    I've been to Fresco many times and it's almost like my home away from home. (Since I hate to cook but love to eat, it's even better than my home.) The staff is stellar, there's a lot of variety on the menu, and the view is spectacular from the rooftop of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. All aspects combined to make another perfect evening!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • SALT AND MORE SALT
    NEEDBULLS
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    WAS THE POOREST SALMON I HAVE EATEN IN RECENT MEMORY. MY WIFE HAD THE RABBIT, AND IT WAS EVEN SALTIER THAN MY FISH...WHICH WAS HARD TO DO. NICE LOOKING PLACE, BUT WORSE MEAL I HAVE HAD IN MADISON. THEY DID COMP ME ON THE SALMON, BUT THEY STILL DID OK ON OUR DRINKS ETC.. NOT HEADED BACK ANYTIME SOON.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Group Dinner beflore Overture Event
    Downtowner
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Eight of us enjoyed an hour and a half of wine, drinks, beer and food, before our 7:30 event. The food was well prepared and tasty, the mussels and scallops shareable, the salads -- all different -- were each deemed delicious. The only criticism was that the chicken was a tad too salty. Our server was aware of our time constraints and was timely. She split the bill perfectly. We wish we had come earlier so as to have been a bit more leisurely.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great view of the Capital/Nice to celebrate
    SilverSpine
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    This evening was for a birthday celebration, so the event was special in and of itself. This was a good location for a celebration - the Capital view was spectacular, the salmon was outstanding and my guest was most delightful. Emily was an attentive server and brought our meals with grace and smiles. Our meals in total were not particularly outstanding, but the environment and the service along with our celebration was worth the trip to the top of the Overture Center.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice evening at Fresco
    mammafox
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    We, as many people had dinner reservations before a show at the Overture. We were seated immediately, and although they were aware of our time constraints, we never felt rushed, not did we worry we would get out in time. Everyone was very pleased with their dinners, and the view from the restaurant is a beautiful view of our Capital lit up ant night.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The Server Was Better Than The Food
    2ndchance4foodfight
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    The food was good, the presentation lovely, the crowd engaged, but our server was the best. He was accommodating of our quirkiness and we later realized he never once came by without a real purpose, executing every task in a relaxed yet competent manner. It was a welcome relief from the usual overly solicitous "How's everything tasting?" etc. tip-grooming style of other restaurants. Great night out for two people who don't get out enough.
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Rick
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    You're a first-class reataurant getting the important things right. The Haddock and Shrimp with Root Vegetables was otherwise excellent, but would have been better without the rutabaga. The texture was wrong for the fish. The Strip Steak with Mashed Potatoes and Shaved Brusssel Sprouts was almost perfect. The steak was closer to medium than medium-rare. The brussels sprouts were simply fabulous: flavors and texture were perfect, and the lovely mashed potatoes were a terrific contrast.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • very good but a bit disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    We dined before going to the MSO concert. First time for my wife and third for me. We liked most everything but were a bit disappointed in the wine. While we can both drink either red or white and thus a bottle was an option, we thought the prices were high. So, we chose to order a glass, one white and on red. There was one red choice by the glass and two for white. We thought the wine while OK was not befitting the menu and the overall price we paid for dining.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    We were here for a celebration with ten people and everything was wonderful except that we were placed at a long narrow table and couldn't talk to each other. It would have been better if there was a round table for large groups. Otherwise wonderful!! We had the best waitress in the world!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • stayed late and friendly
    joeski
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Very friendly staff and stayed late to help us. We didnt feel rushed. Great job!
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • GREAT
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    A totally wonderful experience . The entire experience was wonderful. The view, the food, the staff and the general ambiance were all top rate.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great First Time
    mad2dine
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    We have lived in Madison for a long time and been to the roof, but never to the restaurant. Beautiful view of the downtown area. Tables and restaurant are great. I had Sake Crispy Pork and is was great. Wife had braised short ribs and they were very well cooked and presented. Dessert of chocolates was awesome. Great wine list and bourbons. Our server was great and gave us great service. I would recommend it to anyone wanting something a little different. When it's warm there are tables outside to grab a bite to eat or relax with a drink.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent food but noisy
    rrhenke
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    I was shocked to see how small the dining area was. The noise level was much more than I had expected, but upon reflection, it was understandable. The view of the city was incredible, and so everyone could enjoy that view, the space was wide open. I had a hard time conversing with my husband and was constantly leaning in and saying "What?". The food was incredible though and I seem to have forgotten that I could not hold a conversation with my husband. The flavors were so unique and even now, I cannot explain how much I loved it. The staff were very friendly and attentive and helpful when we had questions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • starving6
    starving6
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    The atmosphere was very stark and cold. Too contemporary for my taste. The tables were so small that there was hardly room for two plates. The waitress was devoid of personality and did not seem thrilled to be serving customers. The entire experience seemed to lack any character. The dinner plate was a very small portion. The bread bowl looked like one dinner roll with three segments. Not enjoyable and a waste of money.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Loved it
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    We had company from out of town and they enjoyed it very much - great night and dinner!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great b4 overture
    Partial2value
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Very tasty halibut, great Cesar, very good service compromised by crowding, noise and a too small piece of halibut; overall, indefensibly pricy.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • nfyoung
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Too noisy but always nice and great location and love open table reservation system
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice place with a great view
    joeker
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    The food was very good. You can walk in hungry and leave full which I find rare with upscale dinning. I will definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Scenic State Capitol
    Mortes1
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Delightful dinner - salads were fresh and creative. Chicken was delicious - vegetables were crisp and flavorful. Steak was cooked to perfection .
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • MadisonCouple
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    We had a wonderful dinner at Fresco this week. Service was just right; attentive but not intrusive. Ambiance is wonderful, festive and fun down-town feel. And the meals were excellent! They were kind enough to offer me a birthday dessert on the house! We highly recommend Fresco, and our teenaged son was comfortable and enjoyed his meal also. Thanks to all at Fresco!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    This was the choice for our anniversary dinner (41 years). The setting was romantic and our service was very good. We would like to experience the outdoor seating some evening next summer. We were happy to wind our way up the stairs, but also appreciated using the elevators for returning to the street level. The stroll from and back to the ramp was just the perfect distance.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fresco Anniversary Dinner
    luv2dine
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    The ambiance was excellent, but the food was a little disappointing. The appetizers were barely warm and the food was average. Given the price of the dinner and our overall experience we are on the fence as to whether we would select Fresco again for a special occasion dinner.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • bobbie
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    Great spot to eat a delicious dinner before an Overture performance
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • ALWAYS AMAZING
    DMPI
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    Four of us always have a fantastic dinner at Fresco before we go to a show at the Overture. From the walk up the glass staircase to the moment we enter the restaurant, it is always so beautiful and exciting. The view is amazing - either dining inside or out. The food is always delicious and the staff is friendly and always helpful. The bar can even make my favorite cocktail - just perfect! Love the table settings as well - colors, etc. We always look forward to dining at Fresco.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food
    Feistylady
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Love the food, service was very good, ambiance is very nice....noise level is too too much.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fresco, A MUST GO!!!
    mrchubbs
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    When in Madison there are many restaurants, it's hard to choose but Fresco is one that should be on top of your list. If your looking for a place to be alone with a date or have a family gathering Fresco is the place to have a great experience, Fresco will not disappoint. The service was terrific and on point. Our waitress kept an eye on us so each coarse would be timed and brought out correctly. We had the chicken fresco and ricotta cheese gnocchi, excellent and flavorful. Can't wait to return to Madison and try several other entrees and bye the way, the cost of dining here won't break the bank. Enjoy...
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Food & Fantastic Setting
    naluVIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    We 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:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wonderful Experience!
    Lisa
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    We 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A foodies dream dining experience
    AmyLove2dine
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Fresco 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:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fresco Delight
    BadgerRic
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    We 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:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Typical Wisconsin winter envy
    RichardVIP
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    The manager must think we all just can't wait till January. On this beautiful early fall evening, the air conditioning was set to arctic vortex.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful date night spot
    Kat1
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    Wondeful 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:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • birthday celebartion
    prelude2MSO
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Dinner 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:
    notable wine list, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Evening
    Suztravels
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    We 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:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Meh...
    hurrayforporkfat
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Our 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:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • more than we could have imagined
    JasonHeien
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Our 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:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, great views
    mbeemsterboer
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    I 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:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delightful Anniversary Dinner
    Johnny
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    I 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food
    DocRob
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Very good menu with plenty of choice. Love the desert!!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.