Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
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.
Madison, WI 53703
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday-Thursday: Dinner served 5 pm - 9 pm
Friday-Saturday: Dinner served 5 pm - 10 pm
Sunday: Dinner served 4 pm - 8 pm
State Street / Henry Street / W. Johnson Street
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
For offsite catering inquiries, or catering within the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, please contact Amanda Schnoll.
Parking available at the Overture Center ramp on the corner of Henry & Dayton.
Henry & Dayton
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
Fresco Ratings and Reviews
We visitied Fresco before heading to a concert. The restaurant itself is beautiful and I can only imagine how nice it is to sit outside when the weather is warmer. The service was wonderful. The wait staff let us know about different dishes and drinks. Both of our dishes were wonderful, as were our drinks. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone visiting Madison and I would visit again when I am back in town.
Loved the food and service, but we were there at 630pm for dinner and the restaurant was so dark we truly could not see our food. When my fish was delivered, I thought there were large olives on my plate, only to discover they were tiny potatoes. We really disliked the ambience. We could listen to every conversation in the 4 surrounding tables because the tables are so close together, which also made it very difficult to move between the tables comfortably when exiting. As I said in my opening statement, the service was excellent, as was the food. I ordered crispy skin salmon that was superb, as was the small plate of crispy Brussels sprouts. My husband and I shared an appetizer of chickpeas and hummus, also very good, and my husband greatly enjoyed his burger of local grass fed beef and the amazing french fries. However, if we return, it would only be for lunch so we can see our food.
Was disappointed with the service but decided not to say anything because a friend from overseas was treating us. We were given 2 bread rolls for 3 people & when we asked for one more we were basically told that we could ask for more if we wanted but that was usually enough. (We thought we HAD asked!) We never got an extra roll. Because lighting was so dim we couldn't read our menus, the waitress gave us the candle from an nearby table but never replaced that candle for that table so an angry man at that table later very rudely came to claim his candle saying we shouldn't have 2 candles when he had none. It made for an extremely uncomfortable "beginning" to a meal we'd planned as a very special meal.
delicious food, with very attentive service! the inside part of the restaurant is not very interesting aesthetically; better to eat here during warmer weather to be seated outside. it was also hard to find the entrance to the restaurant from the street, and then again once inside the museum.
Service and view was outstanding, the food was the best I've had in a long time. My date loved it and the portion sizes were actually pretty big for what I'd consider pretty fine dining. I left full and very satisfied. Try the rack of lamb for a treat, I'll definitely be back!
This place was fantastic! We chose it because they had so many vegetable options on the menu and we are vegetarians and this did not disappoint. Get gnocchi and the broccolini, they were both out of this world! Everything is delicious and sharable, the wine list is great, my boyfriend got a cocktail that was delicious also. The food though really almost comes second to how amazing our service was, our server made great recommendations, she was attentive and super nice! And of course, the atmosphere and view ... OMG! beautiful, definitely recommend this place.
Brought my best friend for dinner before a show at the Overture and we both loved it. She was new to the place, but I had been there a few times. She just called me on her way home from work to tell me was thinking about Fresco all day. Guess she liked it!! We had great food, great waitress, Megan, and a spectacular view! Love it even more in the summer when I can sit outside with the sculptures!! And how can you beat that location?
My son and his girlfriend got engaged earlier in the evening. Everyone at Fresco's was amazing (personable, professional and attentive) and the food was outstanding. And of course the view was fabulous. Fresco is a definite go to restaurant for special occasions or just a nice night out.
As always, the food was very good. But the piece de resistance was les beignets (think donut holes), injected with chocolate. The first time we ate at Fresco they had beignets (sans the chocolate, and they just called them donut holes at the time), which were good, but these were fantastic.
Very classy and great ambiance for a romantic setting. Once you ascend the great glass stairwell you walk into a quiet, dim lit, dinning area. Perfect for a more intimate setting.
We ordered a few of the appetizers, although higher end than we anticipated, still was well prepared with amazing presentation.
Dessert was mouth watering and the Vodka Gimlet was spectacular.
The atmosphere, location and view were good and our server Meghan was very nice and energetic. The food overall was awful and not worth the price. My son, a UW freshman, said that the dorm food was better. The spring rolls had absolutely no flavor. The halibut was extremely dry and difficult to swallow. The burgers were not tasty and the fries were thick and undercooked. We had a fun evening but would not recommend eating at Fresco.
Opted to sit outside on the terrace as was a nice summer evening. Soda tasted weird (like had alcohol in it). When our food was brought out (different person than our server), we asked for refills on our drinks. I was almost done with my meal by the time the refills arrived. Was this a result of being outside? Also, food was not prepared as requested. Desert was very good though.
We visit Madison frequently and always dine at Fresco at least one evening when we are there. The food and service are both excellent. During our last visit, there was a kitchen mix-up that resulted in a slight delay in serving our food. We were so busy chatting that we did not even notice the delay until the manager came over to our table to apologize for it, and to tell us that he was not going to charge for our dinner because of it. I want to emphasize that we had not complained. This commitment to excellent service simply reaffirmed our already high opinion of the restaurant. As always, the food was creative, appealing, and tasty and the wait-staff courteous and attentive.
We had to change our reservation time and Fresco was able to work that out very easily. I have been to Fresco before and went with 2 friends who had not eaten here before and they just raved about their meal, the ambiance in the restaurant and the lovely view of the Capital.
I moved from Madison four years ago and come back for a visit twice a year to drag my friends to my three favorite restaurants and catch either an MSO concert or Opera in the Park. Fresco never disappoints. The ambience, the view, the style, and the presentation are all superb. The people are expert and professional yet connect with that Midwest warmth that is unmistakable to anyone who has ever left and then returned. But the food! The food is a treat for any palate. Each dish is carefully conceptualized so that taste and presentation create a work of art. Modern art. I particularly appreciate how flavors both blend and separate and the textures are also considered. I have eaten at restaurants purporting to be fine only to be served messy piles -- too many ingredients in some sort of more is better theory. Not at Fresco. Oh, I already ache to be there again. Whatever meal or small plate combination you choose (I had the rack of lamb) be sure to end with the beignets served with vanilla creme anglaise. Oh gosh. Rats. It's going to be another 6 months.
We'd been wanting to go to Fresco for dinner for months and when we finally had the chance, we were not disappointed! Patio atmosphere was great and as quiet as you can hope for on State Street. Service was professional and fast, and we were never left without something in front of us. We had some appetizers, small plates, and two entrees and everything was phenomenal. Cocktails and wine were impeccable as well, and when we lingered with dessert and port, we were not rushed out the door. Highly recommended for a date or a dinner splurge.
Normally, we enjoy Fresco, but there some table issues when we visited last Friday. We were seated outside at first, and the setting sun was clearly going to be an issue, so were were reseated at another table that rocked so badly that it was clear our drinks if not our meal would likely end up in our laps. We were checking out another outside table when we were scolded by one of the waitresses for not checking with the hostess (we had done that twice previously so we were getting tired of it.) We finally ended up inside where the food was good and the service (finally) efficient. However, the bad outdoor experience is what's sticking with us.
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