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
215 reviews since May 6, 2014
- Ambiance4.4Noise LevelModerate
scenic view (160)great for outdoor dining (148)special occasion (125)romantic (119)fit for foodies (110)notable wine list (36)neighborhood gem (32)hot spot (31)good for groups (20)late-night find (18)vibrant bar scene (12)great for brunch (6)great for lunch (5)kid-friendly (2)Show More
- 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 downOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined 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!OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Girlsnightout5Dined on 7/25/2014We had an amazing time at Fresco.The wine and desserts were fabulous.The rooftop outside seeting was most impressive.Our server was wonderful as well. Thank you for a great experience FrescoSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Consistently the BestBayatbeachDined on 7/25/2014Fresco is, time after time, the best restaurant in Madison. We will have one, maybe two, good meals at other restaurants, but eventually, the quality slips and they disappoint.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Restaurant weekSteveDined on 7/24/2014We went there during restaurant week, and it was delicious. The wine was great, and we sat on their rooftop which overlooked state street. Great experience, we will definitely go back the next time we are in Madison.Special Features:
- ambience great, food mehbbcaDined on 7/23/2014Thought the decor, location, view, service, everything was great... except the food felt a little bland for my wife and I. We're used to big flavors, and I get it that this type of cuisine lends itself to let the ingredients "speak for themselves," but it's just not our thing. Most people would probably like it, but I need SOME seasonings on my food! The pork belly I got was an exception though since there was some flavor in it, so that gave the food an extra star because of that entree.Special Features:
- Excellent meal!foodiesimplyputDined on 7/22/2014The food was excellent. Prepared expertly. The tastes worked wonderfully together. A must for dining in Madison!Special Features:
- Delicious foodTastyDined on 7/21/2014Very quality ingredients and well presented. Enjoyed the pleasant rooftop garden too.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- LeisureSuitLarryDined on 7/20/2014Service was excellent. Not only was the waitstaff pleasant and informative, but it was refreshing to see people smiling as if they were truly enjoying their work. I enjoyed my restaurant week meal of ricotta gnocchi and especially loved the ruby port sorbet that was part of my dessert. The corn pot de creme was very good as well.Special Features:
- made her happy!stunningDined on 7/19/2014I was looking for a restaurant with great ambiance, and the web pointed to fresco as a fit for the style I needed. I booked with them for a birthday dinner at 830, but had to change it to 730, which wasnt available on a Saturday, the day before. So I decided to go to fresco before 730 to see if I could get a reservation change. Nothing was available, but, the hostess worked her magic to make it happen. My girlfriend was especially happy with the view, "beautiful", she said and watched the sun set. I got the New York strip, the cut was good, the flavors were great, I could taste a lingering citrus. Asparagus was perfect. She had the salmon, said it was on the top of her list. AhiTuna for the appetizer, good selection. Overall, stunning!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Pleasant Saturday night dinnerbookworksDined on 7/19/20145 of us dined at Fresco on Saturday night to celebrate my granddaughter's birthday. We were seated immediately. They have great cocktails and wine coolers. We shared a couple of appetizers and went on to all get different entrees. Everyone liked what they got. They have an excellent chocolate crème brulee for dessert that I would definitely recommend. The cheesecake was just OK. We had a very pleasant dinner and will return again soon.Special Features:
- Enjoyable first visit.cowprofDined on 7/18/2014Very good seasonal menu. Great friendly and helpful service. The menu had excellent taste combinations in each dish. The mocha creme broulee was the best dessert we've had in quite a while. We will return.Special Features:
- One of Madison's bestSlubarDined on 7/17/2014Sitting outside surrounded by the beauty of downtown Madison with spectacular food and outstanding service, is an incomparable experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amazing place!FrescofabulousDined on 7/15/2014I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Fresco. The food was absolutely amazing. The wine was well worth it. And the dessert Mocha Crème Brûlée was phenomenal! I would go back in a heartbeat!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- small and lovely dining spotwelltraveledDined on 7/12/2014This restaurant is at the top of the Madison art museum and perfectly located in walking distance from downtown Capitol area. Since it was a rainy night, we were inside by the window- nice view! Drinks were delightfully well balanced- we particularly enjoyed the ginger cocktail and the cucumber/gin cocktail. Food was simple and tastefully seasoned, just the way we like it and the service was prompt and polite, even if our waitress was a bit stiff. Overall, a delicious choice and we would go back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.