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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 22 times today

Fresco

4.6
2019 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Top Tags:
  • Scenic View
  • Special Occasion
  • Pre/post Theatre
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.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Contemporary American
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Hours of operation
Monday: Closed
Tuesday-Thursday: Dinner served 5 pm - 9 pm
Friday-Saturday: Dinner served 5 pm - 10 pm
Sunday: Dinner served 4 pm - 8 pm
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Phone number
(608) 663-7374
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Giovanni Novella
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Catering
For offsite catering inquiries, or catering within the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, please contact Amanda Schnoll.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
State Street / Henry Street / W. Johnson Street
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Parking details
Parking available at the Overture Center ramp on the corner of Henry & Dayton.
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Public transit
Henry & Dayton
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 2019 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
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
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4.0Dined 5 days ago

Daughter was registering for college at UW

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

Great evening with terrific wine and food. Wild boar was outstanding! Scenic view atop the museum always a wonderful experience!

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4.0Dined on April 15, 2018

Very relaxing. Good food. Pleasant servers. Could use more help.

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5.0Dined on April 15, 2018

The food and wine were terrific well as the service. We had a good time.

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5.0Dined on April 9, 2018

Thanks for letting us stay past the hour!

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3.0Dined on April 7, 2018

Our server was very nice but very busy; handling many tables at a busy time of night.

Brussel sprouts and salads were excellent. Not impressed by the mussels or tomato pepper soup. Will come again when we have more time to try an entree.

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5.0Dined on April 7, 2018

Had a nice dinner before a Forward Theater play at Overture. We had a great table at the end of the dining room next to the outdoor terrace—nice view. We shared a crispy brussel sprouts snack; two people had the beef tenderloin entree and the other two had the seared mahi mahi and the crispy skin salmon. We all enjoyed our entrees and a bottle of Pinot Noir. An order of the beignets topped off our dinner. Our wait person was helpful and efficient and made sure we had our bill in plenty of time to make our show. This was our guests first time at Fresco and they enjoyed it.

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5.0Dined on April 7, 2018

Thoroughly enjoyed our meal, food and service were great.

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5.0Dined on April 6, 2018

Fresco is always busy on weekends and before events aT Overture but the service is always excellent and food well prepared and served promptly and by pleasant and knowledgeable staff.

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5.0Dined on April 6, 2018

Dinner before Overture - Les Miserables

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5.0Dined on April 6, 2018

We love Fresco and always have great food and service. On our last visit, at the last minute we increased our reservation from four to five people. Our table was a little tight but not a problem. Not long after we were seated, they moved us to a table with more space which was unnecessary but much appreciated. The server was excellent, personable and efficient. We were surprised at the end of the meal with an assortment of desert bits sent by the manager - I guess because of the table situation. Yum! The service and food were above and beyond what we always found great to start with. Fresco is my favorite place to eat out in Madison.

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5.0Dined on April 6, 2018

Fabulous Brussels sprout appetizer and tasty boar pasta

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3.0Dined on April 5, 2018

We have dined here a number of times. But this time. The tables were very close together this night each time someone need to go behind me, both waitstaff and customers I need to pull me chair in and lean forward. I think they overbooked. Next time I’ll consider another place

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5.0Dined on April 5, 2018

Lovely dining experience prior to a show at Overture. The scallops were wonderful. We need to come back more often! Beautiful view of the state Capitol.

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4.0Dined on April 4, 2018

The food is always outstanding and the view of the city is great.

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Great food and views!

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1.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Very expensive for an ordinary Eastern Brunch. Dirty plates, lazy service and a very bad organized brunch buffet.

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4.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Easter brunch. Nice location and refined space. Food good (buffet). Pleasant attentive service.

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3.0Dined on March 31, 2018

We frequently come to Fresco before a show just as we did this night. I don’t know if it was just an off night for the kitchen or what. The chicken which we have ordered many times was very small and not as nice of a cut as usual. The flavor was nothing spectacular. The salmon was not moist but then not overly dry either. It was served on a bed of pesto couscous. While salmon can usually stand on its own, the pesto took over the plate. It was too strong of a flavor and did not compliment the fish. The prices appear to have gone up too since we were there in February when our meal was spectacular! While we told everyone about our wonderful meal in February it is not worth a positive review this time. I hope they return to what they were doing before so we can give it great reviews again! We have been coming here for many years and love the ambiance. It is so nice to eat here then go down to the Overture for a show. No dessert was ordered. $240 bill was enough for a mediocre meal.

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5.0Dined on March 24, 2018

This was our dinner before Earth Wind and Fir e, and as we left we said if the evening ended with dinner we had a great time! The beef ( tenderloin for 2 guests and burger for 1) was great, the desserts, all three, were yummy. The ambiance with all the glass and light was perfect. We will definitely do this again

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4.0Dined on March 22, 2018

Very nice dining experience. Each dish cooked to perfection. Menu selection is slightly limited. Cocktails are excellent. Service is absolutely superb! Upgrade furnishings with a coat rack separate from the dining area. The view is amazing. Noise levels are just right for a table of two. Overall, outstanding experience and great value!

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4.0Dined on March 20, 2018

Excellent cocktail options. Also very good grilled Brussel sprouts.

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5.0Dined on March 18, 2018

I was in town to celebrate a friend’s 40th birthday... the food, drinks & service at Fresco were all wonderful. Edgar took care of us at the bar & Amanda took care of us at the table - both were amazing at what they do! Thank you so much!

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5.0Dined on March 15, 2018

We have eaten here several times and always enjoy the uniqueness of the seasonal dishes the chef presents on the ever changing menu. The service is superb and unobtrusive, which is just right for the ambiance the restaurant presents. Even though the outside views run from spectacular (of the capital) to the strange (the odd rooftop views), this is a truly fine place to dine.

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4.0Dined on March 14, 2018

Pricier, but delicious. Great for an intimate special occasion.

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5.0Dined on March 11, 2018

We were given a gift card for Fresco. We didn't even realize it was above the art museum.
Our server, Richard, who was alone in the restaurant for awhile, did a superior job in serving our dishes. The food was awesome. The Mahi was the best my husband ever ate, he said it melted in his mouth. My City Cider cocktail with a floating dried blood orange was SO good.
The atmosphere was quiet, the restaurant modern in decor. But, best of all, the prices were great-We didn't even use our entire gift card despite the fact that we had an appetizer, two vegetable plates, two entres, two desserts, a beer and a cocktail!
We would definitely return.

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5.0Dined on March 11, 2018

We completely loved our experience at Fresco. The food was outstanding, we loved every bite of it. The snacks and starters are unique and nice to share. You will not be disappointed. Try the octopus capriccio as well as the mussels. So tasty. The pasta options were wonderful and the desserts amazing. We will go back soon and look forward to warmer weather so we can enjoy the outdoor seating.

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5.0Dined on March 10, 2018

Fresh fish from Ecuador 12 hours ago? Yes please! Delicious! The chef menu varies and is always amazing and custom.

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5.0Dined on March 9, 2018

Everything was served timely and generously.
The Brussels sprouts appetizer was enough for 4 people.
Always love the little bread bowl. Hot and delicious.

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3.0Dined on March 8, 2018

I thought the view was amazing and the location was great... as we were seeing a performance at The Orpheum across the street. I thought the atmosphere seemed a little stuffy for my taste and the service was just ok. I wanted to love it but we had had a drink and appetizer at En Vino Wine Bar & Bistro and liked the vibe there a bit more.

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5.0Dined on March 4, 2018

This restaurant does everything right. Food was tasty and well prepared. An entree wasn't warm enough, server offered to bag it for us to take home, and brought another entree done correctly. And she brought the table a complimentary dessert, which was awesome; buttermilk Begnets with chocolate fudge sauce and side of hard sauce. Silverware was replaced, napkins refolded, someone always was keeping an eye on our table, unobtrusively. I am looking forward to returning.

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4.0Dined on March 4, 2018

The restaurant was wonderful and sent over Champagne and dessert for our Anniversary. That was such a nice touch. We had 2 vegetarians with us and they were very accommodating, however, the menu on Open Table is not the same menu we had on our visit. We had a few things come out not as expected and they fixed it right away.

The customer service was OUTSTANDING!

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5.0Dined on March 4, 2018

All and fabulous for any occasion.
Our 1st time. Going back, no question.! 😉

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4.0Dined on March 3, 2018

Loved the place and vibe. Food was good but veggie selections were exceptionally salty and too much oil used.
Would absolutely visit again.

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4.0Dined on March 1, 2018

Pre-play dinner was our reason for joining you. Enjoyed the atmosphere but it was quite noisy. That comes from having a full restaurant, so it is not surprising! The view of the moon over the Capitol building was so beautiful many of the diners were up snapping photos! I enjoyed being in a "prime" seat to see it all! The food was excellent. We would definately join you again! Thank you!

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5.0Dined on March 1, 2018

Great experience! We went for a birthday and they surprised us with a special birthday treat. Also the kitchen and waitress handled questions about food sensitivities really professionally.

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5.0Dined on February 28, 2018

Great food, warm quiet atmosphere

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5.0Dined on February 28, 2018

Overall a very comfortable space and had a lovely meal. The wedge salad is enough for 3 to share. The salmon was very good and the right portion. The servers were friendly and efficient. Making a reservation was easy. Such a convenient place for attending the Overture Center afterwards! Will do it again!

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5.0Dined on February 28, 2018

A wonderful evening with a great staff! Very accommodating to change our reservation time. Excellent food. Stunning view. We will be back!

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3.0Dined on February 25, 2018

We wanted to give another shot to Fresco and this time, it has been better than the last time but still not worth the money. The food is well presented but overall nothing really special. Tempura battered potatoes for examples are just chips. Tables are way too close and people pass close to your food all the time. Overall great location and view of the capital but unfortunately not worth the bill.

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