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Nostrano is owned by former Chicago Chefs Tim and Elizabeth Dahl, who have honed their skills in some of Chicago’s finest restaurants, such as Blackbird, Boka, Naha, Charlie Trotters and NoMi. Nostrano offers seasonal, Italian-influenced small plates, entrees and desserts created in-house from local ingredients. Nostrano’s wine list features selections from small producers throughout the Mediterranean region, and its unique cocktail list highlights classic cocktails from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Madison, WI 53703
Italian, Mediterranean, Contemporary Italian
Hours of Operation:
DINNER /// MON-WED | 5-9pm | THU-SAT | 5-10pm
W Main St | S Carroll St
$31 to $50
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Limited parking is available in front of the restaurant and around the square. There are public parking ramps located at adjacent corners of the Capitol square.
Madison Metro | Routes 1-8
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
You can follow Nostrano on Facebook and Twitter for news, menu changes and special events.
Nostrano - Permanently Closed Ratings and Reviews
My favorite restaurant in a town that has many great places to eat--I will miss it so! I've never had a dish here that I didn't think was amazing. The service and setting are also lovely, making this first on my list of places to take someone I want to impress.
Lovely little place serving the kinds of gourmet items you'd find in Chicago, San Francisco and New York. Definitely for foodies. Some things I couldn't pronounce, like the whipped cream app made from goat cheese! We had a wonderful, quiet, enchanting dinner.
The food was absolutely fabulous...layered distinctive flavors along with a great wine list.! The only thing I take issue with is the degree of snobbery we felt from the waitress and how tight the tables are. We unfortunately had to hear the next couples' conversation and I'm sure they heard ours despite the whispering, which I think made us all feel a bit uncomfortable. If we're gonna spend $150 for dinner, we would like to have felt more welcome & more than 12 inches away from another patron's elbow.
This was our first visit to Nostrano and our server, Eileen was fabulous. The menu was simple yet elegant, the appetizer was terrific (get the Bruschetta, a nice twist on a classic) and our entrees were just the right amount of food without leaving us feeling stuffed. We will definitely come back!
The was exceptional along with the drinks. Rigatoncini with beef short rib was fantastic. My date had the orecchiette with hint of mint that really amplifies other flavors and makes the dish very interesting. I had Oaxacan negroni which outstanding! Only downside in my mind is the price in comparison to other similar quality restaurants around the square.
Nostrano has been our favorite restaurant in Madison. Since my wife and I are from New York, we feel like we have high standards. Consistently original and tasty food. The vegetarian and seafood options are always good in addition to excellent meat/poultry dishes. Cocktails are spot on too.
for the price - you should do better.....
first dish / appetizer was very good
the two main dishes we order - pasta and risotto was....."not good enough"
pasta / risotto should be fresh and cock on the spot. in this case - they was waiting for too long (i.e.: they were pre cocked and reheat for us) and it was easy to tell
dessert was ok....but only "ok"
I thought the food and drinks were delicious but the ambiance/energy in the space was unwelcoming. Also, when there are only three entrees, it's somewhat disappointing when one of them is out on a Saturday night... I would go back to give it another try because the food was delicious and perhaps its was just an off night...but, had higher hopes.
We've been coming to Nostrano for a while now, and this is the first disappointment. It gave the impression they've sort of mailed it in as they look to sell the restaurant. Service was very slow and the food was mediocre. The menu lacked much choice for appetizers, and the cucumber gazpacho we both ended up with reminded us of dill pickles too heavy on the vinegar. I had short rib rigatoni - it was short on the short rib and the only bit of meat I found had a bone in it. The dish had a strange anise flavor, maybe basil picked past its prime. The worst was the pasta though. I didn't get more than half way through before giving up. The Basque Cake for dessert saved this from being a 1-star affair. The grilled pineapple was quite good and the cake had a nice crisp on the edges.
Better service might have got them five stars from us. Grilled Sturgeon made with fava bean scafata, artichokes, escarole, fregola sarda, and green tahini - also delicious, almost like sweetbreads, while somewhat chicken-like, we both loved it, and for me, it was what was calling me to try out this restaurant, it's been on their menu for some weeks. The waitress couldn't tell me what type of sturgeon it was, but said that the "chef-owner" would come out and talk to me about it. He never made it, apparently being too busy, which I understand. I left my name and contact info, we'll see if he gets back to me. Last, we had roasted quail, prepared with green garlic sausage, farro, spiced chickpeas, zhoug, purple dragon carrots, and yogurt. We think we also saw a lot of pomegranate kernels on the platter, too, but they're not mentioned on the menu. The quail was also lovely, though perhaps not quite to the height of the sturgeon, still, excellent. We opted not to choose any dessert, but instead took a trip to a bakery in an older neighborhood of Madison for something else that Mitchell was in the mood for. Perhaps after a subsequent trip to that place, a review will follow. So, the food here is likely to call back, but the service may or may not stop us coming again. A similar dinner at another restaurant right off of the square might be a better choice, as we quite loved dinner at Cento. Frankly, our waitress was so lousy we did something we RARELY do, deliberately tip a precise amount less than 15%. I was promised that the chef-owner would get back to me about what kind of sturgeon we had eaten, but now four days later, I'm no longer waiting for his call. That's disappointing.
We've lived in Madison for 2 years and can't believe it took us this long to try Nostrano. The food was incredible - fresh, flavorful and balanced. Service was great, even though there was only one server, he was relaxed, and we felt well taken care of. We started with the olives and bread, then had the green gazpacho. We each had a different pasta, and shared the affagato for dessert. It was all incredibly well done. This is a place for foodies. We will be back.
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