Fresco

4.5
2389 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Contemporary American
After strolling up to the third floor of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art via its stunning glass staircase, entering Fresco can feel like stepping into another world. The main dining room boasts wall-to-wall windows that provide panoramic views of downtown Madison. During warmer months, Fresco has plenty of outdoor seating in the Sculpture Garden.

The essence of Fresco is its menu – a thoughtfully prepared combination of fresh, seasonal offerings and contemporary twists on the classics. Fresco’s chefs have a deep appreciation for fresh, local ingredients, sourced directly when possible from the Dane County Farmers’ Market, just two blocks away on the Capitol Square.

Outdoor seating requests are accepted upon check in on a first come, first serve basis due to the possibility of inclement weather, and the limited amount of outdoor tables. Thank you for your understanding and we are excited to have you dine with us.
What 2389 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Filters
c
Nashville
5 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Enjoyable. Dinner was delicious and service was great. Dessert was lacking in flavor and we tried three of them. But for any dinner out, this was good and if kicking it up a notch, it can be romantic or special.

OT
Caribbean
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome food, great service! Loved sitting outside. Beautiful evening.

JR
Milwaukee
17 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 2ambience 5

No place better in Madison to eat alfresco, fantastic outdoor dining with awesome view. The food was great. I had the duck which had a wonderful combination of components that all worked so well together. My guest had the tagliatelle which she loved. While the food was great, the service was lacking. I ordered a glass of wine before my entree was served but didn't get it until I had completed my entree. Three in our group arrived after two of us had already arrived and it took 15 minutes to get their drink order. I wish the level of service matched the food and ambience.

VM
Milwaukee
13 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love, Love, Love Fresco. Always great service, good food, terrific portions & lovely view!

MS
Milwaukee
6 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Our server, Ian, was fantastic. He was funny, attentive, and took some really great photos of our group. He made a fun night even better. Great atmosphere and food was all delicious and fresh.

MR
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Already recommended! Great food, great service, nice evening! Perfect!

W
New York Area
68 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Great view and service. Food was so so on taste and for the money not a bargain by any means. Four scallops and some corn for $25 seems a little steep to me. The gnocchi was a nice portion. Brussel sprouts were delicious.

JW
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant for a before Overture Show. Location could not be more convenient! The food was wonderful, the drinks were wonderful and the beignets and coffee were great too!

LE
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 4

Very slow service for a Sunday night. Our waiter apologized many times and was able to subtract one of our three entrees from our bill . All of the meals were very cold after waiting close to an hour. We had theatre tickets, so we did not have time for them to adjust our entrees. Very disappointing experience.

NV
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of our favorite restaurants in Madison. Great place for special events and/or to take special guests

OT
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very cordial and personalized

M
Milwaukee
18 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

Not sure what “high top seating” means? Though we were ok with where we sat, we could hear cupboard doors banging which was a bit annoying. Our server was excellent and the food was decent. Space was tight, but understood why as to maximize space for more diners.

KH
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service was outstanding. Love the vibe as well as the view

D
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Service was slow and disappointed with the salmon, it took the server forever to come back to our table so by the time she got there appetite was gone, so pretty much paid for a meal that was not cooked to my expectation.

MO
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

I met an old friend and her daughter to catch up over dinner. We could not have had a more lovely server. We ordered the charcuterie board as a starter which was excellent. I had the halibut entree and tiramisu for dessert. The halibut was good... The carrots not as tender as they should be. The tiramisu was too soupy, and served in a soup tureen with ice cream on top...not the way it should be. My only other complaint is how the wine was served. Either the server or a young man would show up with a tiny beaker of wine and pour it into my glass - very odd.

LL
Milwaukee
12 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

they had a special starter crostini that was really good, would love to see that make the regular menu!

DB
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Patio setting was great! Appetizers were the best!

OT
Hawaii
26 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 5ambience 5

Good was bland. The fly problem still hasn’t been rectified from our visit and complaint from a year ago. We won’t be back.

LS
Milwaukee
11 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Rooftop can't be beat for view. Food was very good; Caesar salad excellent. Good wine selection by the bottle. Waiter was excellent--attwntive but not over bearing.

SU
1 review
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

Our visit to Fresco was a disappointment. While the setting was nice the food was mediocre at best and certainly not worth the price. My $32.00 steak was tough and the risotto side dish was not seasoned well. We often order risotto so we have some idea of how it should be prepared. The service was merely okay. We do not plan to return.

J
Milwaukee
12 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a beautiful setting for dinner, seated outside with views of the Capitol. We enjoyed delicious drinks, lightly salted rolls, hush puppies and our Seared Scallops and Seared Halibut entrees. I definitely recommend this restaurant!

DL
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a treat to come to Fresco. A little more than I would typically spend on dinner, but you absolutely get what you pay for at Fresco. We sat inside, which was far less crowded than the outdoor seating, and service was excellent. The food was superb, as always, and we had a great time.

e
Milwaukee
45 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always consistently good. The scallops and the other fish dishes are consistently outstanding. Our new favorite in Madison. Dining on the rooftop during a sunset is also fabulous. Could use more fresh salad options to truly improve the dining options. Overall a consistently wonderful experience.

TP
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was superb, beef was absolutely pull-apart plus tasty

MA
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Surprisingly worth the outrageous price. Highly recommend the brussel sprouts!

OT
Des Moines
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 5

As far as nicer dining in Madison, on the lower end. Beautiful views and good drinks make up for very alright food and service.

HG
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The staff was wonderful! It was our anniversary, and every staff we interacted with wished us a happy anniversary. Our waiter brought us complimentary champagne. Our table was wonderful, and the food was amazing!

CD
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our food was delicious, and the setting was beautiful. We were able to sit outside on the rooftop, and enjoy a lovely summer evening. It was a wonderful experience, and I'm sure we will return again soon.

BG
Milwaukee
5 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 3

We attended during restaurant week, and I was excited to bring my out of town friends to a rooftop dinner. We made a reservation and were seated soon after. I’m not sure if the kitchen or servers (or both) were understaffed, but it took over 2 hours for us to dine and finally get our check. Each course came out over a half hour after the other, and the server did her best to check in but it was not very often. When the food finally did come out, it was very good, but it couldn’t save the extremely slow service.

ML
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

I ordered the cauliflower steak and was a bit disappointed. What I received was a big chunk of cauliflower, not sliced, grilled piece(s) like I have had at other places. The flavor was a bit bland as well. We ate outside and that was very nice. I might try it again, not sure at this point.

BD
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was very tasty. Wait staff very friendly and accomodating and prompt.

PO
Naples
3 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our group of 4 sat outside on a beautiful evening. Great service and food!

E
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Our experience at Fresco was very mixed - I loved my food, my husband's entre was overcooked (which was off because he specifically asked for his food to come on the rare-side of things); we loved being outside on a gorgeous Madison summer evening but didn't love how tired and unkempt the roof looks; we went during restaurant week, enjoyed our server but were surprised at how limited the service was (example: our server never offered to refill our water glasses and mind remained empty until I flagged someone down to refill it).

s
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The staff were super friendly, the ambiance was perfect, and this was a great opportunity to try out their menu!

K
Milwaukee
6 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had outstanding and attentive wait service from Connor. We enjoyed recommended cocktails and a nice bottle of wine along with a three course restaurant week dinner; all food was prepared well, temperatures excellent, and appearance outstanding. We will all return to this quiet unassuming venue atop the museum with excellent service, well prepared food and beautiful sunset and capital views.

SK
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The rooftop dining experience on an evening such as we went is a sheer delight.

Ian was a phenomenal waiter, very attentive and going out of his way to serve.

The food was delicious.

I
Milwaukee
12 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and drinks here are always top-notch and never disappointing!

CD
Milwaukee
4 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful, flavorful food with a good wine pairing recommendation on the menu. We sat outside on the patio and had a beautiful view of the Capitol. Thanks for the nice evening!

D
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food. Fantastic service. And the rooftop seating was awesome. We would definitely go back and recommend it to others.

H
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Jack our waiter was terrific
He was courteous and attentive and was a pleasure to have as our waiter

1
2
3
60