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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 31 times today

Fresco

4.6
2038 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 2038 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
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Our dinner at Fresco was excellent, as usual. The new chef, Giovanni, was superb. However the waitress was not very attentive and forgot to bring a salad. She also whisked away our almost completed dishes way too soon.
We will continue to eat at Fresco. It's our favorite Madison restaurant!

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2.0Dined on May 17, 2018

We decided to celebrate a birthday here after having a wonderful experience a few months ago. What a disappointment. Although the restaurant was not busy, it took about 20 minutes for our drinks to arrive. A couple of us excused ourselves from the table for a few minutes, only to discover the server had spilled one of our drinks. He apologized to the people that were at the table at the time it happened, but never said a word to the person who's drink he spilled, and certainly didn't offer to have her purse cleaned as a result of the spill. My husband ordered his steak medium, as he new it was a thicker cut. It was rare! The server's response we brought it to his attention, was to say the cook "had a tendency to do that". We asked him to please share the remainder of the steak with the cook & show him it was indeed rare. When he returned, they agreed & offered a complimentary desert. Don't most restaurants provide a complimentary birthday desert? There was no offer to comp the meal, and no manager ever came over to discuss the issue. While the roof top location is beautiful, the restaurant itself did nothing to the area to dress it up to feel inviting. Quite honestly it felt like we were dining in a parking lot. I guess we expected much better, as we did in our first experience. For the price, I would not recommend again.

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4.0Dined on May 16, 2018

Service and location were really great, also the food we had outstanding. However, as a vegetarian, there aren't a lot of options at all.

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5.0Dined on May 16, 2018

Great ambiance , great food, and great service. Loved it - again

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3.0Dined on May 16, 2018

Got to the restaurant and we waited for about 7-10 minutes to get greeted/seated even if there were tables available. We ordered appetizers and entrees but it was all served at the same time. I noted that one of my friends was celebrating her birthday but no one did anything to make our dining experience more memorable.

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4.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Amazing view and fun place for mothers day ! great service !!

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5.0Dined on May 12, 2018

Our meals were delicious. We were celebrating a birthday and were surprised when the host brought us a complimentary dessert tray with five different desserts.

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4.0Dined on May 8, 2018

We dined at Fresco on a beautiful evening so we sat outside on the patio. All three of us had fish or seafood ; Salmon, Halibut and scallops. They were all done to perfection !
I would recommend to all !

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4.0Dined on May 8, 2018

Mother’s Day and show at overture

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5.0Dined on May 6, 2018

We were genuinely impressed with the entire dining experience. Beautiful night on the rooftop with live music on street below. The fresh bread was to die for - and the main meals were of high quality and full of flavor. I was able to make my meal vegetarian and my date's salmon was perfection. For what we recieved, we were surprised the prices weren't higher! We will be back!

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4.0Dined on May 4, 2018

The place was in pre-theater jammed state, and our courses came out in a disordered fashion. The food was good, as always. I had the Trofie, with 'wild boar' but the pulled meat could have been from any red meat animal; tasted fine, but not like wild boar we've shot.

Wine by the glass is served decanted, which is kind of silly. Much better to serve from the bottle at the table.

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5.0Dined on May 4, 2018

Much better than the last time we were here! Simple Menu, knowledgeable wait staff, and all four of us enjoyed our meal

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5.0Dined on May 4, 2018

The crispy skinned salmon over couscous was excellent as was the pasta/mushroom/sausage dish.

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4.0Dined on May 3, 2018

The experience was very nice. The menu was limited because of the change of season but the food was great.

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5.0Dined on April 29, 2018

We had scallops and filet mignon. Both were superb. Wonderful deep mushroom flavors with the beef. Scallops cooked perfectly - not over, not under done.

A treasure on State Street!

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4.0Dined on April 28, 2018

First time here. Enjoyed the view. All of our enters were very good. Will need to come back when it's warm enough to sit outside.

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2.0Dined on April 27, 2018

Salmon atop swarming pile of green neither visually attractive or tasty. Scallops extremely salty. Service slow. Not a very positive experience

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4.0Dined on April 27, 2018

As usual, the food was good. Unfortunately we had a couple of service mishaps this time around. First, a passing waitress spilled food all over my friend’s jacket and pants, leaving grease stains; she did offer to pay for the dry cleaning. Second, we waited for our main courses for quite some time and asked a passing waitress to check on it. Instead our own waitress came with our check—even though we hadn’t even received our meals! She had apparently misunderstood the query about where are meals were. This is not typical behavior there—but clearly there needs to be some more training of staff. Having said this, I’m likely to return: the food is good and it’s convenient when attending an event at the Overture.

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4.0Dined on April 25, 2018

Made reservations for my wife’s birthday on a recommendation of a friend. Our service was excellent and the food was very good. We will definitely be back in warmer weather to enjoy the outdoors.

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4.0Dined on April 21, 2018

Daughter was registering for college at UW

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5.0Dined on April 21, 2018

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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