Cento

4.6
1374 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
Chef Chris Myers focuses on local ingredients and authentic Italian preparation methods with a modern twist. Translating to “100″ in Italian, the significance behind Cento’s name (pronounced Chento), lies in our location.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Italian, Wine Bar, Pizzeria
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Hours of operation
BRUNCH: Saturday & Sunday, 10 am - 2 pm

DINNER
Sunday, 5 pm - 9 pm
Monday-Saturday, 5 pm - 10 pm
[Bar opens daily at 4 pm]

LATE NIGHT
Thursday-Saturday, 10 pm - 12 am
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Phone number
(608) 284-9378
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Chris Myers
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Private party facilities
At Cento, we pride ourselves on hosting spectacular private events. Whether you would like to entertain a select small group, or host a large reception throughout the entire restaurant, Cento offers a number of options suitable for any occasion. We tailor each event to suit your needs, and a dedicated staff will ensure that every detail of your event is attended to.

Experience Cento from within the intimate atmosphere of our second dining room, which can accommodate up to 35 guests. Our second dining room is equipped with a private bar and is perfect for any occasion, whether it"s a business function or a celebration with family and friends, and is situated a few steps up from our main dining room. For larger groups, exclusive use of the restaurant can be arranged for both luncheon and dinner events, with the front lounge and bar as the perfect setting for a reception in advance of a seated event.
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Private party contact
Jordan Bright: (608) 284-9378
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Catering
For catering inquiries, please contact Jordan Bright at jbright@foodfightinc.com.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Fairchild
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Parking details
Cento’s central location on the corner of Mifflin & Fairchild Streets ensures easy access to convenient downtown parking. Two public parking structures adjacent to Overture Center offer more than 1,400 parking spaces. Additional parking ramps can be found on State Street and the Capitol Square, and on-street metered parking is also available for short-term parking in the downtown area. www.cityofmadison.com/transportation/parking.cfm
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Specials

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Celebrate New Year's Eve with a three course prix fixe menu from Chef Chris Myers.

$65 per person includes three courses and a glass of Prosecco. Price does not include tax or gratuity. Bar opens at 4pm. Reserve today; first seating at 5pm, last seating at 10pm.

Monday, December 31, 2018

What 1374 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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BW
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere and delicious food. A nice date night venue.

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OT
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Cento was a very cool restaurant-industrial, yet hip. My food we excellent! They prepared the Tagliatelle the way I wanted it, which wasn’t on the menu. Awesome! Appreciated it! My husbands trout was wonderful, as well. Had the marinaded warm olives and beef carpaccio , too/ which was good! Our waitress, Wendi was fantastic! Will definitely come back!!

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GA
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful atmosphere, delicious food, knowledgeable sever...a wonderful dining experience!

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P
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

So very convenient for dining after a concert at the Overture Center. Beautiful Italian food served in the relaxed manner of the Old Country. Our server Ava took time to go over the menu, highlighting gluten-free and pescatarian options. Great cocktails and wine list. Three courses, three hours, four stars. Thank you!

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TR
Milwaukee
19 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

I was disappointed. The menu on the website included lamb ossobuco but it was not on the actual menu. I ordered the lamb loin as a substitute. The lamb was fatty (more fat that meat) and it was fairly tough. It was not worthy of its $35 price. The items served with the lamb were very good and the presentation was attractive but overall it was a disappointment. Others in our party had pasta dishes and were pleased with their choices.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cento is by far my favorite restaurant ! I live in Chicago and every time I am in Wisconsin I have to stop by for dinner! Cento has a beautiful atmosphere and the food and drinks are always incredible. I always order the bacon wrapped dates, butcher board, and orecchiette pasta - but you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu ! Highly recommend

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BS
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 2

Super food. So loud we couldn't hear each other at our table for six.

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h
Milwaukee
4 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We were at Cento for a Thursday evening night out before a show. It was relatively empty when we arrived at 5:45, so we sat at the bar for a little while to catch up with some friends. The bartenders were attentive and the cocktails were beautifully-prepared. However, one of the only two complaints I have with our visit regards the bar: I ordered the same drink three times, an Old Fashioned, sweet, with J. Henry. The first one I received was sour, not sweet, the second was a whiskey-soda, and the third was a proper Old Fashioned. I never complained to the staff, but thought it noteworthy. The second complaint was about the noise level. Overall, things were good, but we were sandwiched between two large parties and they were a tad rowdy. It was distracting at times. Now to the good: The venue is beautiful, and the food was absolutely amazing. We ordered the charcuterie board, and it was wonderful. Three meats, two cheeses, and local honey; all delicious. We followed with pastas. I had the orecchiette, which is prepared with the most delicious italian sausage I've ever had, spinach, tomato, and topped with parmesan cheese. I wanted to try the house-made gnocchi, but thought I'd save that for my next visit. And I will visit again. Well done, Cento.

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ES
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Cento will always be one of our favorite restaurants in Madison. Amazing food, great atmosphere. Perfect place for a date, anniversary dinner, brunch, or pre-theater. Also have an extensive wine menu. Totally recommend to anyone willing to spend a moderate amount.

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MW
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on November 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food! Fantastic service! Excellent ambiance! Gluten free options!

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TF
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We all had an enjoyable 3 course meal from the Theater Menu. We also ordered the sourdough bread appetizer which was fresh and warm when it arrived. Please note that the portion sizes are large. Only one slight issue arose and we had to remind our waitress that we had tickets to the Overture. We ended up rushing though our dessert to make the show on time. My husband and I plus our friends all said we would come back.

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DP
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We recently had dinner at Cento and had a party of seven. We had drinks at the bar beforehand and would highly recommend the old fashioned. At dinner, the service was outstanding as was the food. We had a wide variety of appetizers, salads and entrees and everything was awesome. Desserts were delicious as well. We had a great table with a nice view of the open kitchen/staging area. The atmosphere was nice as well. Lastly, we found the pricing to be very reasonable. Would highly recommend Cento!

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a
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Hit or miss and prices are expensive. Drinks are very small and expensive and the entrees are not inventive

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AE
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great bunch place, reasonable prices, good service and great food.

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LL
Milwaukee
10 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The food is very good and the service was excellent. One criticism is that the wine by the glass is WAY over priced. We ordered a bottle which was better but we brought friends with us this time and they were really put off by but prices. You need some more reasonable options.

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K
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Average Italian food. Was expecting much better quality based on the reviews and the price point. The ambiance and bar staff were very nice, but the pasta and appetizers were of average quality and incredibly bland.

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KM
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and great service, but VERY loud. Hard to hear the conversation at our own table.

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MH
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 1

Way too noisy, our group could not hold a conversation. I have raised this issue before.

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FD
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

The service, food and wine could stand for lots of improvement. We find the service to be mediocre, at best and

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OT
Milwaukee
4 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Extremely crowded

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DQ
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 2

Cento, a good place for the two of us before going to Overture on a Sunday afternoon. Easy to make and
confirm reservations over the internet. Food and service were excellent. A table at the window was reserved for us with proper shading from the noon sun. Spirited younger crowd was fun,
yet entirely too noisy. We would go back, prior to an Overture event, as the location is so very close.

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OT
Milwaukee
7 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Baked egg was disappointing. Lacked flavor in the polenta. But overall atmosphere and service was great.

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MM
Seattle
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful place for Sunday brunch--gorgeous windows and sparkling chandeliers. Nice booth for conversation and privacy that was great for one of our party who is hard of hearing. Food was great and reasonably priced. Recommend it highly.

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m
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

Cento has good food but pricey. Dining room was very loud and dark. Small selection of wine by the glass, expensive and a very small pour. I had soup that was a solid mass with no broth at all. I will look elsewhere before I would return.

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G
Minneapolis
3 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

My wife and I really enjoy Cento- as do our friends. Excellent service and very good food that has great flavor but isn't over-embellished. Each dish stands on its own very nicely. The wine list allows for excellent pairings!

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JK
New England
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

The food we had was delicious and exquisitely presented. Our waitperson was knowledgeable and attentive. Unfortunately, the noise level made conversation extremely difficult. If we return, we would ask to be seated in the smaller area that we saw through the window as we headed toward the Square; we think it might be quieter there.

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MA
Milwaukee
30 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 2

While better than a previous visit when fish was served raw (twice!), still has a very long way to go to qualify as a good restaurant. Octopus appetizer was rubbery. The grouper was way over-sauced killing the side vegetable. Shrimp scampi was, in a word, skimpy. The accompanying pasta was over-cooked. We double-checked when he got home - yup, Cento refers to itself as Italian. But, so does Olive Garden! The extra-charge sourdough was "tough," something not easy to accomplish. We asked for butter, but received butter soaked in olive oil. Splatters all around! What was good? The romaine lettuce salad was cold and crisp. The sound level is, to use Open Table's word, "energetic." I call it painfully awful. The best part of the evening was the staff. Attentive, efficient, and Midwestern nice.

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MH
Milwaukee
5 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Creative cuisine; outstanding foraged mushrooms; great service. A little noisy, so ask for a booth for conversation.

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w
Seattle
29 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service was attentive, almost to the point of making us feel rushed. Once we got our server to understand that we wanted to take our time, all was good. The sommelier provided helpful information for our wine selection. And all the food was outstanding.

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L
Milwaukee
22 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 4

I went for brunch on a Sunday afternoon with a party of 7. We arrived earlier than our reservation and they were very accommodating -- we were seated almost immediately. While the cocktails were very good, we were disappointed in most of the food preparations -- pizza and biscuits/gravy were both overcooked; baked eggs were bland; butcher board had three large meat portions, two of which were not at all appealing, and the board came with very limited cheese, despite our questioning our server regarding the size of the cheese portion ahead of time.

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GD
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I eat here often before the symphony or opera, and I'm always treated like I own the place.

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l
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

From multiple friends, I had heard the exceptional reputation regarding Cento's brunch. Following my half marathon, I decided this would be the ideal situation to try their breakfast in celebration. Did not disappoint. I obviously ordered the breakfast pizza AND lemon ricotta pancakes because I just ran 13.1 miles in thirty degree weather and both were phenomenal. My entire group relished in their meal and the hype was most definitely met.

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Everything was excellent. Brunch pizza, eggs Benedict, coffee. Pastrami was sub par.

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CC
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

Cento is visually appealing for sure -- I enjoy the lovely restoration, colors, lights, open kitchen. The noise level is just too much though -- some noise is convivial, too much noise is painful. That's Cento. If you're over 40, and/or have sensitive ears, you probably shouldn't eat there. Or plan on ear plugs and lip-reading. The food is fine but not inspired. We were served a botched dessert and had to return it. A lot of the items are pre-made, maybe even frozen? The waitress I had was fantastic, but in the past I've had less than great service. Cento is just too expensive for what it is. Wish we had a classier restaurant across the street from the Overture Center.

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BA
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Went to Cento for Saturday Brunch and we were blown away by the value of the food and drinks. A boozy brunch costs $25 per person and comes with 2 cocktails, 1 croissant with jam, 1 dish, and bottomless tea or coffee. AMAZING!

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RM
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service

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C
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 5

Food used to be better but nice ambiance and service.

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OT
Monterrey
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Aniversay dinner... took both our kids, definitey the only ones with children but it worked for us. Food is delicious.

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M
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 3

Wonderful sauce on the Atlantic trout. For a quieter dinner I have friends and I have decided we would come lead on his show knight.

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great food and beautiful atmosphere. Drinks were a little pricey as was the appetizers but everything was quality! Will definitely be back!

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