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Party Size
For 2
7:00 PM
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Booked 25 times today


1969 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Top Tags:
  • Special Occasion (47)
  • Scenic View (44)
  • Pre/post Theatre (41)
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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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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For offsite catering inquiries, or catering within the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, please contact Amanda Schnoll.
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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
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 1969 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7  based on recent ratings
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
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Emerson (New Orleans)
4.0  Dined 4 days ago

This was our second dinner at Fresco. They had a reasonably priced prix fixe menu for Valentine's Day. The menu had a number of interesting choices and the dishes generally were well executed. My wife raved about the bruschetta appetizer, as the prosciutto and balsamic glaze enhanced what can be a bland dish in less capable hands. I had the burrata appetizer, which was superb when capers were on the fork to provide a salty element, but there were not enough capers on the plate. My wife had the pan-roasted chicken entree, which she enjoyed; however, the kitchen staff was a little heavy-handed with the paprika on the potatoes, which caught her off guard. The trophie pasta was the highlight of my meal, as the boar was tender and the dish was seasoned perfectly. For dessert, my wife had the buttermilk beignets with chocolate sauce. She could have eaten a plateful of them. My tiramisu, which was recommended by the waitperson, was good, but mushy, as it lacked sufficient textural contrast despite some crushed hazelnuts sprinkled on top. A glass of sparkling wine was included and it was a good way to start the meal. We each also had a glass of wine, a German Riesling for my wife and I had a Cabernet from Argentina, which were very good. The service was impeccable - attentive without hovering - and dishes were served in a timely manner. Despite being at a table in the middle of the room, we enjoyed quiet conversation without distraction. We've been fortunate to dine at many restaurants in Madison and find Fresco to be one of the best. It is a fine dining experience, in the sense that the chef and staff understand flavor combinations and display very good technique, but it is neither pretentious nor inaccessible to those merely seeking a very good meal in a cozy atmosphere.

5.0  Dined 4 days ago

We thought the Valentine's Day menu was amazing. All three of each of our courses were delicious. I could tell the ingredients were fresh and local. Compliments to the chef.

jrarjrar (Milwaukee)
5.0  Dined 7 days ago

stopped in for a super early dinner before a show at the overture center. the food and service were perfect. the scallops were probably the best i've had. don't skip the brussels sprouts.

BizTravel (Milwaukee)
4.0  Dined on February 11, 2018

The rotating menu of food and cocktails is always a delight to visit. Consistently delicious offerings and service.

Crazycarol (Milwaukee)
5.0  Dined on February 11, 2018

We celebrated an early Valentine's Day at Fresco. The food, service and ambiance were excellent! We always love dining at Fresco!

vipOpenTable Diner (Milwaukee)
5.0  Dined on February 10, 2018

All of the above is excellent. When you add in top notch service the place is hard to beat for a great meal at a great value in Madison.

4.0  Dined on February 9, 2018

There was a lot of bacon in my brussels sprouts dish and in my scallops dish.

rosemarin (New York Area)
5.0  Dined on February 7, 2018

We made a great choice going to Fresco before a show on a weekday evening. Every time we go there, we are pleasantly re-surprised at how GREAT the food is. Among the 4 of us, we had 1 appetizer, 4 different entrees, and 4 different desserts. Each was excellent. Flavor, accompaniments, and preparation of the meals were spot-on. I really think that eating at Fresco feels a bit like eating at the home of friends who happen to be really good cooks. Sophisticated comfort food. Also, it's not easy to find a really delicious restaurant downtown that is not LOUD. Fresco manages to have that cool vibe without the clattering noise and competing voices. We sat near the kitchen and enjoyed watching the chef and kitchen staff work together to send out the beautiful and delicious food. They appeared to be so focused on food preparation -- almost like an air traffic control room. We left happy and satisfied.

5.0  Dined on February 6, 2018

Excellent service- our server was great! Had the Trofie wild boar ragout and scallops; both were delicious. Each had a glass of wine (a bit pricey but it was a special occasion) and flourless chocolate cake & off-menu Tiramisu, both excellent as well. It got a bit warm in the dining room just as we were finishing the main courses, then we were getting a lot of smoke from the kitchen. Overall we enjoyed ourselves though.

OpenTable Diner (Chicago)
5.0  Dined on February 4, 2018

Creative dishes, beautifully presented, and most importantly - DELICIOUS! Thank you for a memorable birthday celebration!