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  • Nostrano

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Nostrano Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://nostranomadison.com
  • Email: isabella@nostranomadison.com
  • Phone: (608) 395-3295
  • 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: Italian, Mediterranean, Contemporary Italian
  • 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 & Promotions: 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.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "From the moment of arrival until departure, the experience at Nostrano was delightful. Our server, Natalia, was knowledgable and attentive without being intrusive. Her descriptions of menu items helped us make choices. The food was filled with a multitude of flavors that worked so well together, portion sizes were just enough to be satisfying. We were allowed to dine leisurely never feeling rushed. In total, this was one of the overall best dining experiences I have had in a long while. Thanks."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "The food was very good, but not outstanding. The appetizers were very good. However, the main courses were spotty. The rabbit was excellent, the pan roasted quail was OK, and the sturgeon was disappointing - fish was good but surrounded by very ordinary broth with pastina. My kids, although not huge eaters, ordered pasta dishes, which were VERY small. I was very surprised that no bread was served with dinner, and really missed this with my meal. Lastly, the place was so noisy you could not have a conversation. Overall, I would not go back, the food does not live up to the price."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "I made reservations through "OpenTable" a week in advance for this place. My wife and I were celebrating our 2nd Anniversary and are also huge foodies. We arrived earlier about 6:30 pm to the restaurant and started off with some signature drinks from the bar...I had an Old Fashioned (one of the best I have ever had -- It was spot on). My wife had a Sangria (one of the best she had since she worked at a restaurant up by the Cities). The hostess also was kind and hung up our coats in the back while we waited. They eventually seated us at a table for 2, decorated with beautiful flowers. We started off with the Salumi Board (absolutely outstanding). Our entree's were terrific as well, Orecchiette and she Brodatto. We ended with dessert to."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Nostrano's was in Madison Originals magazine so decided to try it for our anniversary. It was fabulous. Food was outstanding along with the service."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "great way to spend our friend's anniversary. awesome food & service."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "Food was well prepared, but with unidentified ingredients (snapper brodetto had strong taste of fennel (which I really don't like and wouldn't have ordered) and the Orecchiette seemed to have some sort of seed (which my companion didn't like), neither of which were identified on the menu). Our inquiry about the ingredients wasn't very well received. The service was extremely slow, yet no explanation or offer of accommodation ( a glass of wine while we were waiting?) was offered. I really want to like this restaurant, as I think the menu is interesting. Unfortunately, this is the second so-so experience we've had, so we may not be back."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Met a girlfriend for dinner. Nice cocktail selection. Delicious food. Waiter was not well informed about food preparation. Felt we were being rushed although it was mid week and restaurant was not busy. Food was great enjoyed our evening."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "Maybe I go to too many nice restaurants, but this one was a little pricey for Madison. $11 for soup? But the rabbit sausage was divine. The olives as a starter were a little ridiculous: they were like eating a peach. I wouldn't go here on a date with someone new... But most of the crowd, like me, were there with friends. It's got a great vibe. And the wine list was simple but good, as it should be."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Nostrano is one of my favorite restaurants in Madison. It is a bit expensive so my boyfriend and I only go there for special occasions. Every time we've been there, we've had a great time and delicious food. Their dessert menu is amazing. If their dinner menu is too expensive for you, just go there for a dessert and a cocktail. You have got to try their desserts!"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "First time to Nostrano--splendid all around, but the goat cheese cheesecake deserves special mention-it was one of the best desserts we have ever had! We will be back!!"
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "This is a great place for a special dinner to relax and enjoy talking with friends. We ate early because we were going to a show at the Overture Center and Nostano's was only a quick walk (about 3 blocks) away. So it was a good place to eat and walk to the Overture show. We all had different 3 courses and everyone loved their meal. I had celery soup and quail and it was fabulous! The Quail was stuffed with a quail sausage (that also appeared on my husband's salumi plate) and was just a wonderful surprise. The salumi plate was plenty for two if you are a sharing group. The service was prompt, efficient and friendly without being overbearing. I can't wait to go again and would definitely recommend it to my friends."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "Nostrano in downtown Madison has consistently delicious food. The chef is creative. In addition to the quality main menu, the specials are always wonderful."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "The dishes at Nostrano are not only very delicious, but full of unexpected ingredients and flavor surprises. Love this place!"
    Dined on 2/20/2014
  • "I've eaten at a lot of places in Madison and nostrano is at the top of my list. Definitely order the affogato for desert!"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "I have wanted to try Nostrono for a long time but never had the time. That was a mistake. The food was amazing, service friendly and drinks were fantastic."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Saturday night dinner every table was packed, so be sure to get reservations. We had the whole wheat pappardelle with lamb ragout and the cauliflower risotto. The pasta was quite good but the risotto was described as being a little undercooked - but still good. The high point of the meal was the dessert however, as both the basque cake and the copetta were excellent. The hostess and bartenders were very good but the waiter was not very attentive which did bring things down a little overall but it was still a fine meal."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Food is always amazing however the restaurant was so loud it was hard to hear our own table. We also sat at a large booth for only 3 people and would have preferred a table."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Picked Nostrano's over several other nice downtown restaurants for a special anniversary celebration, and were not disappointed. Excellent cocktails, followed by a shared cauliflower/wild mushroom risotto for an appetizer - creamy and full of flavor. Then sturgeon for my partner and quail for me - both excellent, flavorful and beautifully presented. Attentive service, lovely table with warm lighting - just an excellent experience all-around. Nice place to celebrate a special occasion, like 31 years together."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "We loved everything -- from the unusual appetizer to the perfectly balanced entree to the lovely dessert. And our waiter was very attentive and friendly. The only miss was one of their custom martinis, which was too heavy on the compari. But this was a very, very small complaint in an otherwise stunning experience."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "I only go to Nostrano once a year, admittedly, for restaurant week because it's more affordable then. It's pricey but very good. You must get dessert- Affogato will blow your mind."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "I have been in Madison for three years now and my Nostrano experience was incredible. Honestly, the best meal I've had so far, and it was only lunch. Service was great. Get the Salami board! All house made spreads and meats, my favorite being the roasted bella spread. The restaurant week lunch special was a steal. Will definitely be back for a special dinner."
    Dined on 1/22/2014
  • "best best best we've had in a long time will go back yum!"
    Dined on 1/22/2014
  • "I had the pleasure of enjoying Nostrano's Restaurant Week lunch selections. The Brussels Sprout Salad was spectacular! I will look for that selection again. The orecchiette with rapine was a bit heavy on the Meyer Lemon, but very flavorful. Overall, an excellent menu for a very fair price."
    Dined on 1/22/2014
  • "It's Restaurant Week, so that can be both a good & bad time to try a restaurant for the first time. The food was fun & beautifully presented. I liked my food, but my companion was not as impressed. The biggest letdown for me (& this restaurant came highly recommended by several friends, so it's been on my "to-try" list) was our server/service. Our server was not very engaged, seemed a bit "put out" about serving us, & did not do well with some of serving 101s. As a higher end restaurant, I would expect much more (but then again, I would hope for good service from any place). Having spent many years in the restaurant service, I may have high expectations, but also really appreciate friendly service,"
    Dined on 1/22/2014
  • "Wonderful food, well-prepared and presented. The desserts were especially notable! Have recommended it highly to friends, but definitely get a reservation -- it is small, so the wait can be significant."
    Dined on 1/21/2014
  • "We ate at Nostrano for lunch as part of Restaurant Week. We had eaten at the restaurant before but our most recent experience was absolutely outstanding, especially the dessert which was a chocolate masterpiece!"
    Dined on 1/21/2014
  • "This was my first time at Nostranos. I went for Restaurant Week. Although it was a pricier Rest. Wk participant ($35 vs $25/$30). Every item on the special menu sounded great. So we sampled several items. We tried the Pate and the farro salad. the Risotto was delicious. The portions were generous. The desserts outstanding too. The food was creative. The feel to the place is casual; wooden tables and simple. The restaurant is small. It has a comfortable feeling about it. The service was good. I had a wine paring. About 3 ounces /glass, 3 glasses, $15 total. I will be going back to Nostranos."
    Dined on 1/20/2014
  • "We visited Nostrano during Restaurant Week - the food is very Wisconsin-y local and tasty, everything on the menu sounded good. The risotto was excellent, the brussel sprout salad with farro was maybe my favorite course, and the almond-cake dessert was also very delicious. The portion sizes were perfect for me but small compared to most restaurants - if you like big plates of food, you'd be disappointed at Nostrano. Restaurant Week was 3 courses, so we were not hungry! And it's nice to have small portions so you can enjoy each course. The ambiance was nice, lots of wood and it felt warm (even the cold air didn't come in the front door because they were very smart and hung a giant thick curtain) so it felt very intimate and special."
    Dined on 1/20/2014
  • "We started with the marinated olives and sourdough focaccia, which was wonderful. The selection of olives compliment the bread nicely. The olives are unpitted in case that makes you nervous in front of your boss or date of whatever... My companion had the cauliflower risotto, the hedgehog mushrooms were incredible. They taste like a piney campfire and the pecorino cheese went well with it. I had the orecchiette, which was good, sorry, but the risotto was the star of our night. For dessert, my date out ordered me, we enjoyed the gianduja cremeux over the affogato, although the bombolini (Italian donut) was melt in your mouth perfection. The hostess was kind enough to hang up my companions long coat. The ambiance was dark, warm and intimate"
    Dined on 1/20/2014
  • "Nostrano is one of my absolute favorite restaurants in Madison. Would recommend to anyone who loves good food and drink!"
    Dined on 1/20/2014
  • "Went for lunch during restaurant week, had a generally mixed experience - especially given the reputation . Our server was generally disinterested and made little effort, however the server working the section behind us was clearly on top of things and recognized that our server wasn't really around and helped take care of us. Was more disappointed that one of the courses we ordered was HOT, like full of jalepenos and not described as such on the menu. That said, everything else was pretty good and this may have been an isolated restaurant week / lunch issue."
    Dined on 1/20/2014
  • "I went here with a girlfriend for restaurant week because she had never been (had to remedy it). It's apparent that a lot of attention to detail goes into the preparation and presentation of each dish. The ingredients are high quality; Itry the snapper or rabbit. An an appetizer, or if you're just stopping by for a glass of wine, try to olives and focaccia. The desserts are beautifully presented. I'm not a big dessert person - I'd rather skip it and enjoy a different glass. Last night was an exception. I had a pear and cake dessert with gelato that was impressive. MY friend opted for the chocolate hazelnut dessert and enjoyed it as well. This is perfect for an intimate dinner or a small group. Our waitress was attentive, not clingy."
    Dined on 1/20/2014
  • "One of a kind place with dishes, cocktails, and exquisite desserts not to be found elsewhere in town. Very nice selection of liqueurs and beers. Staff gracious, knowledgeable, and passionate about fine cuisine. Yet the atmosphere is not pretentious, but elegant, small intimate, and located in a beautiful spot on the capital square."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "Nostrano never disappoints! Everything was excellent! Started with the chicken liver mousse - very tasty. We had the Orecchiette and pan roasted quail - delicious and both paired with a nice wine. Finished with goats milk cheesecake - yum."
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "During the evening we threw a few challenges at our waitress, like a entree somebody didn't prefer (immediately replaced). And our "holiday" behavior. She handled everything with kindness and understanding. The food is excellent and interesting. We tried many dishes, passing them around so all could taste. We were encouraged to take risks with our selections, reassured that they would be replaced if they weren't "our thing." A wonderful restaurant for "foodies"."
    Dined on 1/3/2014
  • "what an awesome experience. we chose the special chef's menu & drink pairing - WOW! The tastes were layered & complex, but not over-whelming. and the wine/drink paring for each course was well thought out & amazing. was a great balanced dinner. i've been to Nostrano before, but this was, by far the best dinner i've ever had. ever. at any restaurant. they really out did themselves."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "Both the pappardelle and the orechiette dishes my husband and I share were very good and quite unusual. No bread. No salad. The place isn't inexpensive, but it is perfect for a quiet dinner for foodies, but the menu is too limited for the average diner."
    Dined on 12/28/2013
  • "Food was great, dessert was excellent! My wife and I will be back."
    Dined on 12/26/2013
  • "The ambience is plain and the dining room is small. The food is well-prepared with some delicious and uncommon ingredients. However, the menu is so limited, some people may not be able to find something to their liking. Our server took care to meet our needs albeit without a single smile."
    Dined on 12/14/2013
  • "Great restaurant - the server wasn't very interactive but the host was great and very accommodating. Excellent entrees but the Salumi Board doesn't have much flavor which was a disappointment."
    Dined on 12/14/2013