Nostrano

Nostrano

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://nostranomadison.com/
  • Phone: 6083953295
  • Hours of Operation:
    LUNCH /// MON-FRI | 11:30 - 2:30pm
    DINNER /// MON-WED | 5-9pm | THU-SAT | 5-10pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary Italian, Italian, Mediterranean
  • Executive Chef: Tim Dahl
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), View, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Special Events: You can follow Nostrano on Facebook and Twitter for news, menu changes and special events.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: W Main St | S Carroll St
  • Public Transit: Madison Metro | Routes 1-8
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Limited parking is available in front of the restaurant and around the square. There are public parking ramps located at adjacent corners of the Capitol square.
A word from Nostrano
Nostrano is owned by former Chicago Chefs Tim and Elizabeth Dahl, who have honed their skills in some of Chicago’s finest restaurants, such as Blackbird, Boka, Naha, Charlie Trotters and NoMi. Nostrano offers seasonal, Italian-influenced small plates, entrees and desserts created in-house from local ingredients. Nostrano’s wine list features selections from small producers throughout the Mediterranean region, and its unique cocktail list highlights classic cocktails from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
Nostrano reviews from OpenTable diners
88 reviews since June 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.3
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
85% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (73)special occasion (48)romantic (39)neighborhood gem (30)notable wine list (24)great for outdoor dining (13)vibrant bar scene (7)scenic view (6)great for lunch (6)late-night find (5)hot spot (3)good for groups (2)great for brunch (1)Show More
  • Amazing food!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    We came in late on a Monday evening. The Beet Sfrormato, Riagtoni, and Pan-Rosted Quail. Everything was outstanding!!! My girlfriend and I, who are no stranger to fine dining, found their beet salad to be the best we've EVER had. Amazing flavors! The quail and the rigatoni are fantastic!! If you try them, have them or ordered as separate courses. We did it together, and, honestley, they are best enjoyed within the first 5 minutes. Hot, tasty food!! As we were finishing to leave, I asked the bartender about a drink we've previously had. They not only made it, but brought us one "on the house". A special place, if you share you're enjoyment of food and drink with them, they'll acomidate. A wonderful place to enjoy!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great special occasion spot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    Enjoyed three courses - each one delicious and fit for foodies! Great wine pairings and coctails recommended by the waiter. Low noise level so great for conversation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food at Nostrano
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    My experience with fine dining is limited, but I needed to choose a place to take a guest from New York who has eaten at fine restaurants around the world. I remembered how much my wife liked Nostrano on our only visit, so I chose it. I was delighted when my guest liked the food so much that she sent her complements to the chef. The service was fine, but our server being a bit less personable than I prefer. I was also a bit puzzled that we were seated close to another table when the restaurant was mostly empty. (It was in the early evening on a Monday and the more guests came as the evening wore on.)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Stop at the bank first!
    mspm
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Two of our dishes were outstanding (cauliflower soup and lamb ragu). The third (snapper) was teensy, and contained not nearly enough spice or flavor. I appreciate that a lot of time goes into making a good soup. But $11 for a (not-large) bowl? $24 for a bowl of (barely-enough) pasta? If you have money to burn, and don't care for leftovers, you'll like this place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A gem of a place
    Punkseed
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    We were excited to try this place after hearing about it. They focus on farm to table. The bar serves twists on classic drinks and they very adapt and making you a familiar drink all over again. I tried their take a on old fashion and the result was enjoyable. The waiter was great at making suggestions with our wines and our meal. The wine list was very unusual, not the typical varietals or brands. We picked out a great wine with dinner based on his recommendation. The salami starter board/plate was excellent, they apparently make all these in house. Our main course, were done perfectly, my commented the broth and sauces were excellent. I enjoyed my meal as well. We finished with a very good dessert and would come back again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food-A+, Service B-
    madtowndiner
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    The food was absolutely fantastic, all around. Cocktails, food, wine. All flavors balanced perfectly! I highly recommend it to anybody, and will go back again myself. But for a meal of that high quality and for our group, sparing no expense, I would have liked a lot more attention from our waitres. In her defence, It was a busy evening, but I think we fell off her radar and it put a put an unfortunate damper on an otherwise perfect meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Meal in Madison
    SpecoVIP
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Very satisfying meal. The roast quail is exquisite. The salami plate is delicious also.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Wine!
    Ldtalb
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Have been here a few times for special events (birthdays/graduations) but we went on Friday cause an out of town foodie was visiting. We ordered a glass of wine and our friend wanted to order the bottle- they didn't have a bottle - but suggested another wine bottle that we ended up liking even more! We keep saying that wine on Friday was so good. The food was amazing as always that goes with out saying!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nancy
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Excellent food, creative presentation, friendly staff. Definitely not cheap, so I was less than pleased when we were asked to vacate our table at the two-hour mark (after a three-course meal with two bottles of wine and a tab over $200). That takes away the fifth star; otherwise, we enjoyed the meal very much.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fine Time when at Nostrano you dine
    Luvabountifulrepast
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    We had a lovely meal with friends in from out of town. It was their first time to Madison so we wanted to show off the city and some of its best cuisine. We were not disappointed! The food was really superb. The presentation of all of the entrees was very nice and the food was sensational.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful food-service off
    Miles
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    We have been here before and the food is fantastic! Unfortunately, the service was not tonite--hopefully, it was an off night.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday dinner
    Muskrat
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    Again, Nostrano does not disappoint. Imaginative, sophisticated dishes well-executed, along with some of the finest cocktails in Madison.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • fantastic salads
    janmadison
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    The radish salad was the most beautiful I've ever seen. Still mad at myself for not taking a picture with my iphone. Delicious beyond words. The server was great in letting us know how large the quantities were before we ordered. Limited number of entrees so may not please everyone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fancy pants
    ba28
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    I'm not a foodie so this was a little over my head. The waitress didn't provide very good descriptions of the menu items that we had no idea what it would taste or look like. This place is fit for foodies and people with fat wallets. I won't be coming back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Evening
    Suztravels
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    Most enjoyable dining experience. Very interesting taste combinations. Excellent wine. Trendy fun place. Would come back again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious Date Night
    MadisonFoodie
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    The salumi board, rigatoni with lamb ragu, and snapper brodetto, rounded out by espresso and the affogato was great. They also have some really great beers that I have struggled to find at other upscale restuarants in Madison - e.g. Lolita from Goose Island. Nice wine list as well, the waiter was knowledgeable and courteous in letting me sample a few to find the right match for my meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food!
    KLeigh
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    We had a wonderful meal! Highly recommend the Snapper Brodetto. Drinks and dessert were great too!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not for foodies
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    My husband and I were looking forward to a special night out at Nostrano, but had a very disappointing experience. The waitress was snobby and unwelcoming. Meal prices are very high for Madison, more on par with prices we used to pay while living in New York City. We didn't mind paying that, but expected the same quality as you would find in a New York Italian restaurant where the pasta is handmade daily and served perfectly al dente. The flavors of our entrees were good, but they served us pasta from a box that was extremely overcooked. It was a mediocre meal that came with a large bill! We left hungry and had ice cream at jazz on the square.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good food service need improvement
    madcrystal22
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    We had high hopes for Nostrano since we knew about the chef owners from their time in Chicago. Unfortunately, though the food was good, it didn't make up for an unfriendly welcome and overall vibe as well as the prices seemed just a tad high for what was being served. Again, we live in Chicago so sticker shock is not the issue here but my husband is also a chef and he thought the pricing was a little high for some of the items. Our server was very friendly. But the hostess gave off a chilly vibe when 'greeting' us and when we left the chef was out in the bar and yet nobody thanked us or said goodbye as we left. Something my husband took particular note of. If you don't expect much in the way of service then this may not bother you as much.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding!
    Lieb22
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    We attended Nostranos for our anniversary. The food was delicious. Our server was understated but attentive. The meal was not rushed but well paced. We will definitely choose Nostranos for other special occasions or just for an excellent dinner out.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Slow, slow kitchen
    DCVisitor
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Although I appreciate that the entrees offered take a while to prepare, it took the kitchen a very long time to send out our 3 entrees. There was a very long gap of time between our salad and main course. Diners who came in after us received their main courses before we did.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • For foodies
    PascaleVIP
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Menu had new dishes , we tried the snaper very testy and the beet salad plus the buckwheat pasta everything was delicious .
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic restaurant
    cdlaVIP
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Wonderful, sophisticated Italian cuisine. Small but inventive menu. Wine list short but very well thought out and relatively inexpensive. Excellent advice from knowledgeable, helpful server. Charming spot.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nostrano Stand Out
    happygrandma
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    We had an excellent meal last Tuesday night, creatively designed and perfectly executed from beginning to end, from the little gem summer salad with summer beans, peas and tendrils and fingerling potatoes with a subtle, bright sauce, to the dynamite buckwheat tagliatelle with spring onion pesto, green beans and basil, to creative and flavorful pan roasted quail stuffed with quail sausage and served with grilled cucumber (have to try that at home), to great deserts, a deconstructed goat's milk cheesecake with blue berries and a nifty salted carmel gelato, and Nostrano's terrific take on the classic affogato, this meal rated a come back again soon to try more entries rating from us.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • GREAT food, but unfortunate service
    hungryhungrylady
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    We waited about an a half for our food. As a pregnant lady, I was ready to pass out. The server was very apologetic and gave us some free bread, she said that the owners were stuck cooking (their chefs must have quit?). The restaurant was not very crowded, so we were pretty confused. The food was great, though. Will be back when they have more cooks in the kitchen :-)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • localfoodlover
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Went during restaurant week. Will never go back. Took 50 minutes for our second course to come back. Portions were a joke - they must have been operating on a 90% margin - I work with local farmers and know the cost of products. Really disappointing. That place has gone down hill
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Pretty good--too salty, though.
    MadisonDiner001
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    The restaurant opened about 20 minutes late. We enjoyed the ambiance, and the service was excellent. The portion sizes were smaller, and we appreciated that. The presentation of the food was lovely, but two of the dishes were way too salty.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • good food
    bbca
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    Food was good, the area was nice too. Overall nice place, no complaints.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good Food, Rude Service
    Dottie
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    Nostrano is a great place to eat some decadent, unique food. You can tell that the chef takes special care in creating outstanding dishes. I ordered the Orecchiette with Spicy Fennel Sausage, Roasted Turnips, Rapini, Preserved Meyer Lemon, Fiore Sardo (without the sausage because I am a vegetarian). The waitress gave me quite the huff about no meat and said the chef would not do it. I politely told her that I have dined here on several occasions and the kitchen was more than happy to accommodate my request. When the dish did finally arrive, it was superb! I suggest you order the Affogato for dessert. The decadent bambolini (similar to a small doughnut) dipped in espresso was divine! Too bad the waitress was condescending and rude.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nostrano Was Fantastic!!!
    LRC65
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    The food was fantastic. I wanted to go back the next day and would have but already had other plans.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Food, Awful Service
    AwfulService
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    We visited Nostrano over lunch during restaurant week. The food was good, dessert was excellent. The service was terrible. We were there for almost 2 hours. Two other tables were served before us and they arrived after us. When we asked what was taking so long they told us it was because there was only 2 people working in the kitchen. Our waitress then had an attidude with us. They should have been more prepared for Restaurant week. We also had problems with our bill. Beware they put a hold on your credit card for more than your bill. Even though the food was good I will not be returning.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Excellent for a date
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    Nice corner restaurant near the capital. Food was excellent, although slightly pricey. Nice wine list.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great. Just great.
    BMLC
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    Great food. Great space. Great prices. Check it out.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Disappointing
    ChefPVIP
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    Cocktails were excellent but unfortunately ended there. Cauliflower soup was quite good to start. Wettest risotto I have ever had, like porridge. Flavor was fine. I think we were forgotten about outside. We waited for drink order and waited probably 20 min for each first two courses. We will try dinner again sometime. .
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • slow service and overpriced
    1234
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    The server that we had seemed pretty disinterested and both the pasta dishes and the appetizer were uninspired for the $20+ price tag. Not really sure why this place is so well reviewed...
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice place for special occasion
    ratdog
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    I had the pleasure of dining at Nostrano for the second time. Our greeter was tepid in her greeting but our server was very warm. We started with the Salumi appetizer which we had in the past. I did not disappoint. I was excited to see sturgeon on the menu. My husband had had it before and raved about how it was. But when I received the dish, it wasn't grilled as I expected but came as a small piece in a bowl of soup that seemed more of a starter dish rather than an entree. My husband ordered the snapper which also came as a soup. The flavors were very good but again, it seemed more of a starter dish rather than an entree. The coffee was excellent as well as the caramel desert. Don't expect to have a quick dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Still an excellent restaurant
    WIFoodLover
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    We've eaten at Nostrano a number of times, and the food is consistently high quality and inventive. We ordered the buckwheat pasta with an interesting "pesto," very delicious, and the orecchiette with a very delicious, somhwat spicy sausage, though the mustard in the sauce was a bit overpowering. My wife usually orders the old-fashioned, and the current one needs some work. The Pimms was fine. Unfortunately, the service was not what we had come to expect at Nostrano, where the waitstaff are typically very knowledgeable about food and beverages. This time, our waitress was not a "foodie" and not congenial, especially in comparison to earlier visits. She had to check her notes when we asked her questions, and her responses were vague,
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • KonovanVIP
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    Near the beginning of 2013 we stopped going to Nostrano as for our taste there was trend of too much salt in the food. Because of the interesting menu we decided to give Nostrano another try. Alas, there hadn't been a changed and again everyone in our party felt there was too much salt.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Celebrating the marriage of friends
    willtryagain
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    We've had several superb special occasion dinners at Nostrano and raved about it to our friends. We were delighted to find we could cancel our indoor reservation and eat outdoors, which we enjoyed. The refreshing Pink Ranunculus was a perfect start for the ladies, and our server could not have been friendlier, more knowledgeable, or more accommodating. We expected a leisurely dinner, but 50 minutes between salads and entrees was simply unacceptable! Also, the dishes were less consistent than I remembered from our last dining experience. We were offered free desserts for our wait, and did get free coffee and tea. However, when we asked to remove the charge of a drink, we were somewhat grudgingly given a $25 gift certificate instead.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014VIP
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    Food was outstanding - with ambitious menu that they are able to pull off. Staff was very friendly - though the servers seemed quite new and nervous. Great space, with a lovely bar. Tables can be quite close together.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate