227 State Street
Madison, WI 53703Neighborhood:
Contemporary AmericanPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://www.frescomadison.com/
- Phone: (608) 663-7374
- Hours of Operation:
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.
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
186 reviews since July 27, 2014
- Ambiance4.3Noise LevelModerate
scenic view (126)special occasion (121)fit for foodies (107)great for outdoor dining (94)romantic (89)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 DowntownJulieDined on 11/19/2014Fresco'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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A wonderful eveningOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 11/18/2014I'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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- SALT AND MORE SALTNEEDBULLSDined on 11/15/2014WAS 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:
- Group Dinner beflore Overture EventDowntownerDined on 11/14/2014Eight 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great view of the Capital/Nice to celebrateSilverSpineDined on 11/13/2014This 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Nice evening at FrescomammafoxDined on 11/13/2014We, 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The Server Was Better Than The Food2ndchance4foodfightDined on 11/8/2014The 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- RickDined on 11/8/2014You'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.I would recommend this to a friend.
- very good but a bit disappointedOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/7/2014We 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:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 10/28/2014We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- stayed late and friendlyjoeskiDined on 10/25/2014Very friendly staff and stayed late to help us. We didnt feel rushed. Great job!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- GREATOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 10/25/2014A totally wonderful experience . The entire experience was wonderful. The view, the food, the staff and the general ambiance were all top rate.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great First Timemad2dineDined on 10/25/2014We 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:
- Excellent food but noisyrrhenkeDined on 10/25/2014I 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:
- starving6starving6Dined on 10/25/2014The 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:
- Loved itOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/24/2014We had company from out of town and they enjoyed it very much - great night and dinner!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great b4 overturePartial2valueDined on 10/24/2014Very tasty halibut, great Cesar, very good service compromised by crowding, noise and a too small piece of halibut; overall, indefensibly pricy.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- nfyoungDined on 10/24/2014Too noisy but always nice and great location and love open table reservation systemSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Nice place with a great viewjoekerDined on 10/18/2014The 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Scenic State CapitolMortes1Dined on 10/16/2014Delightful dinner - salads were fresh and creative. Chicken was delicious - vegetables were crisp and flavorful. Steak was cooked to perfection .Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- MadisonCoupleDined on 10/15/2014We 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:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/12/2014This 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fresco Anniversary Dinnerluv2dineDined on 10/10/2014The 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- bobbieDined on 10/8/2014Great spot to eat a delicious dinner before an Overture performanceSpecial Features:
- ALWAYS AMAZINGDMPIDined on 10/8/2014Four 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:
- Great foodFeistyladyDined on 10/3/2014Love the food, service was very good, ambiance is very nice....noise level is too too much.Special Features:
- Fresco, A MUST GO!!!mrchubbsDined on 9/28/2014When 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- 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:
- Typical Wisconsin winter envyRichardVIPDined on 9/25/2014The 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.I would recommend this to a friend.
- 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.