Fresco

4.4
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2404 Reviews
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$30 and under
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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 2404 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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E
Milwaukee
4 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

Beautiful space at rooftop of museum- great view from all tables. Food was good, not AMAZING, and our server was nice, but I have to say that as opposed to the standard " can I get you something to drink?" I actually had to ask to order a drink! and then when he took our food order, we ordered appetizers- he didn't ask what we wanted for the main course either! We were so confused- he quickly left to put in the order for the apps but then never returned to take the rest of out order! Once we got the apps, it was clear he want coming back for the rest of our order so I had to flag him down to tell him we actually wanted to order dinner! Sheesh! I mean in the scope of things, not a big deal, but when at a nice restaurant, I'd expect the server to at least know the basics of taking orders? It was so weird- never had anything happen like this before. Hence the 3 stars.

OT
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food paired with a beautiful outdoor patio above state street what more could one ask for dining in Madison?

J
Milwaukee
7 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What’s not to love? Great room, attentive but not intrusive service, a lovely dinner.

JT
Orlando
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 3

Overall the food was so so to even bland. There are so many other great places to eat in Madison that there is no reason to go back here.

J
1 review
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The view out on the patio was stunning, and the food was delicious. This is an idea special occasion place.

JD
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was so good that we went two nights in a row! The fried goat cheese is one of my favorite things I’ve ever eaten!

JD
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

There was an issue with the kitchen, so entrees where not available, but they more than made up for it. The food was amazing! The service was excellent! We left more than satisfied. We are going back again before leaving town!

AS
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food and wonderful service made Fresco an unforgettable dining experience.

L
New York Area
67 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

First time trying fresco. The food was great including the tostada, the salad and the pasta.
We ended with delicious beignets

G
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

This is a stylish restaurant/bar that befits its location in a contemporary art museum, but as a place to dine, it is not great. Despite the outdoor area, the main restaurant feels cramped and the kitchen fills it with the heat and smells of frying. The food was expensive and just so-so. Drink here, eat elsewhere.

KC
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Great food, lovely outdoor space. Highly recommend.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

Food not to par with location.
New chef?

AS
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Service was good. My halibut was dry, and not hot when served, and cooked quickly due to sitting outside. The rooftop seating is a treat. We skipped the starters, as they did not sound appealing.

FA
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 1

Not much menu variety .. food was too salty and cold... some order didnt arrive... took too long to get the food... it was tasteless .. i will never go back and will not recommend it to anyone

KR
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Lovely place to sit and talk while enjoying a delicious dinner!

c
Nashville
5 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
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 on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

JR
Milwaukee
23 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2019
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
19 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
3 reviews
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!

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