About Cento

Chef Giovanni Novella focuses on local ingredients and authentic Italian preparation methods with a modern twist. Translating to “100″ in Italian, the significance behind Cento’s name (pronounced Chento), lies in our location.

122 W. Mifflin St.
Madison, WI 53703
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Italian, Wine Bar, Pizzeria

Hours of Operation:
BRUNCH: Saturday & Sunday, 10 am - 2 pm

DINNER
Sunday, 5 pm - 9 pm
Monday-Saturday, 5 pm - 10 pm
[Bar opens daily at 4 pm]

LATE NIGHT
Thursday-Saturday, 10 pm - 12 am

Cross Street:
Fairchild

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(608) 284-9378

Website:
http://www.centomadison.com/

Catering:
For catering inquiries, please contact Jordan Bright at jbright@foodfightinc.com.

Parking Details:
Cento’s central location on the corner of Mifflin & Fairchild Streets ensures easy access to convenient downtown parking. Two public parking structures adjacent to Overture Center offer more than 1,400 parking spaces. Additional parking ramps can be found on State Street and the Capitol Square, and on-street metered parking is also available for short-term parking in the downtown area. www.cityofmadison.com/transportation/parking.cfm

Executive Chef:
Giovanni Novella

Private Party Facilities:
At Cento, we pride ourselves on hosting spectacular private events. Whether you would like to entertain a select small group, or host a large reception throughout the entire restaurant, Cento offers a number of options suitable for any occasion. We tailor each event to suit your needs, and a dedicated staff will ensure that every detail of your event is attended to.

Experience Cento from within the intimate atmosphere of our second dining room, which can accommodate up to 35 guests. Our second dining room is equipped with a private bar and is perfect for any occasion, whether it"s a business function or a celebration with family and friends, and is situated a few steps up from our main dining room. For larger groups, exclusive use of the restaurant can be arranged for both luncheon and dinner events, with the front lounge and bar as the perfect setting for a reception in advance of a seated event.

Private Party Contact:
Jordan Bright: 6082849378x

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Cento Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.3

service

4.4

ambience

4.4

value

4.1

noise

Moderate

92% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (80)
Good for a Date (68)
Pre/post Theatre (58)
See All
Good for Anniversaries (53)
Modern Decor (51)
Fit for Foodies (48)
Romantic (39)
Good for Birthdays (35)
Creative Cuisine (35)
Notable Wine List (34)
Good for Groups (29)
Business Meals (27)
Handcrafted Cocktails (25)
Open Kitchen (24)
Bar Seating (24)
Authentic (23)
Worth the Drive (23)
Local Ingredients (22)
Wood Oven (22)
Casual (20)
Fun (19)
Neighborhood Gem (19)
People Watching (18)
Hot Spot (17)
Comfort Food (16)
Happy Hour (15)
Cozy (14)
Great for Brunch (14)
Quiet Conversation (12)
Late-night Find (11)
Outstanding Value (10)
Scenic View (9)
Vibrant Bar Scene (9)
Seasonal (8)
Healthy (8)
Tasting Menu (8)
Good Vegetarian Options (7)
Tapas (6)
Sunday Lunch (6)
Historic (6)
Family Style (6)
Private Room (5)
Disabled Access (5)
Great for Lunch (5)
Great Beer (3)
Paleo Friendly (3)
Afternoon Coffee (3)
Kid-friendly (2)
Great for Outdoor Dining (2)
Organic (2)
Quick Bite (2)
Molecular Gastronomy (2)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Vegan (1)
Spicy (1)
Dining Occasion:
S
Sort By:
S
675 reviews
Loading Reviews ...

Great food and amazing service! We had a ...

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 2 days ago

Great food and amazing service! We had a fantastic time with our friends and enjoyed everything. The little plates are small servings- so it may not be a meal that you want to have if you need a hearty amount (although, they do offer larger plates). it was a little difficult to hear - we were in the middle of the first room and it may have been different in a booth or in the other room. Overall, great experience and we will go back!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive, Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value3

My partner and I went to Cento for our 1 ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined 2 days ago

My partner and I went to Cento for our 1st Anniversary. I had requested a semi private table for our anniversary through the Special Request field on the Open Table App. We were seated at a horseshoe shaped booth in the middle of the restaurant with a back....it was perfect. The wait staff greeted us nicely, and informed us that we could have free champagne or a dessert for our anniversary!!! The spaghetti and meatballs were delicious, although a bit over sauced...my partners dish was a bit too buttery. The bacon wrapped dates were delicious! We had a great time with exceptional service, we would go back.

Tags: Open Kitchen, People Watching, Hot Spot, Modern Decor, Good for Birthdays, Romantic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion, Comfort Food, Good for Anniversaries, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

We have eaten here several times and the ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined 2 days ago

We have eaten here several times and the past visit was not our best experience. Our salad order was forgotten, so the entrees came out before the salad. Our entrees had to go back to the kitchen while they brought us salad. Then the salad we asked to share wasnt divided nearly evenly. They ended up comping the salad, but overall the experience was disappointing. We may try another option before our next concert at Overture Center.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service3
value4

First visit was mediocre, but gave it a ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined 4 days ago

First visit was mediocre, but gave it a second chance. There will not be a third. Service was excellent. Sad to say, food was not!

Tags: Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience2
service5
value2

Always great food, drinks, and service a ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 10, 2017

Always great food, drinks, and service at Cento. The Potato Nocchi and Orechetti are great (also the Bucchatini and Tagliatelle). Don't be a cheapskate, spring for the $3 bread, it's well worth it. House drinks are great, as well as their Prosecco wine. For dessert, you can't go wrong with carrot cake or budino. This is a great restaurant! Yes, it can be a little noisy at times, but who cares? Relax and enjoy great food with superb service.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great atmosphere & fun drinks! The food ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 8, 2017

Great atmosphere & fun drinks! The food was really good too. Try the eggs benedict! We'll be back for sure!!!

Tags: Great for Brunch, Worth the Drive, Bar Seating, Fun, Happy Hour, Good for a Date, Sunday Lunch, Cozy, Pre/post Theatre, Great for Lunch, Scenic View, Romantic, People Watching, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Modern Decor, Handcrafted Cocktails, Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Our reservations were for 7:45 - didn't ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 8, 2017

Our reservations were for 7:45 - didn't get seated for half an hour .We had a lovely table by the window, nice service , food good ; it has fabulous ambience and all around good energy.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service4
value4

as always, good food, good service, but ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 8, 2017

as always, good food, good service, but a bit loud

Tags: Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value3

7:00pm reservation, got seated at 7:50pm ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 8, 2017

7:00pm reservation, got seated at 7:50pm. Had an entire beer spilled on my wife's coat.

Tags: Casual, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4
value3

Cento was great as always. Had the baco ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 7, 2017

Cento was great as always. Had the bacon-wrapped dates; great. Also ordered the meatballs. They were very good; you get 3 large meatballs. Had the lasagna and the papparadelle. Both were wonderful. Service was well timed, even as it got busier. Will definitely go again.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Cozy, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Had a wonderful time, excellent food and ...

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 7, 2017

Had a wonderful time, excellent food and ambiance!

Tags: Modern Decor, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good Vegetarian Options, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Open Kitchen, Bar Seating, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups, Wood Oven, Local Ingredients, Happy Hour, Romantic, Authentic, Pre/post Theatre, Business Meals, Great for Brunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Cento is our favorite restaurant in Madi ...

vip
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 7, 2017

Cento is our favorite restaurant in Madison, hands down! Great for a casual or formal dinner, drinks at the bar, or weekend brunch. Thank you for a great time, as always!

Tags: Late-night Find, Creative Cuisine, Seasonal, Wood Oven, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Brunch, Bar Seating, Great Beer, Happy Hour, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Cento has an amazing location and the ve ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 7, 2017

Cento has an amazing location and the venue itself is beautiful. The experience as a whole was a bit disappointing. We felt the cocktails were overpriced given the extremely measured pours demonstrated by the bar staff. The bar staff was also not particularly well versed on the wine selection. The food was average. My wife's dish was bland and mine tasted a bit like sauce from a jar. We were both looking for a more flavorful fresh tasting meal and unfortunately it did not meet that. Cento could be outstanding with just a few tweaks. Fresh grated parmesan is NOT Kraft shaker parm put in a dish for the customer to spoon over their meal. Fresh herbs (yes I know it's winter in Wisconsin and those are hard to source) but they make such a difference as an ingredient and a garnish. I wanted to be wowed but this visit fell a bit short in our opinion.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service2
value2

I took a date to Cento, and it was our f ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 7, 2017

I took a date to Cento, and it was our first time visiting the restaurant. We both really enjoyed the nice atmosphere inside and the seating was comfortable. We both ordered pasta entrees and our meals were delicious. Our server was very attentive and friendly; honestly some of the best service I've seen in Madison. I will definitely be returning to Cento in the future.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Hot Spot, Modern Decor, Fun, Cozy, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

The service was not good. We made a rese ...

 
 (Houston)·Dined on January 7, 2017

The service was not good. We made a reservation and we were there for 1.5 hours! There were only 2 of us and we didn't order anything extravagant. Our drinks took forever to arrive initially and I ordered a wine with dinner but I was finished with my dinner and sat there for another 5 minutes before the wine arrived. The food wasn't so great either. I wanted to like this place so much more because it's super cute and chic.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Cozy, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service1
value4

We eat at Cento fairly often, especially ...

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 6, 2017

We eat at Cento fairly often, especially before Overture shows. Usually love all the food. This time our server steered us away from the seafood risotto ("too fish heavy for me") but we ordered it anyway and it was great. However, our second entree, the Penne Norma with eggplant, was so tomato paste heavy it gave us heartburn. Not a subtle dish. The butter lettuce salad was excellent.

Tags: Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value5

Dinner on Thursday

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 6, 2017

Dinner on Thursday

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service3
value4

Visited before Oveture with a friend. Go ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 5, 2017

Visited before Oveture with a friend. Good pasta (had the ragu and the pork) with a nice glass of wine. Very good as always and also able to be in and out in little over an hour Really enjoy going here before Oveture events

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Bar Seating, Paleo Friendly, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

terrific food and great service - being ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 5, 2017

terrific food and great service - being able to see the kitchen and prep area was interesting.

Tags: Seasonal, Healthy, Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Only one disappointment. We were going ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 4, 2017

Only one disappointment. We were going across to see Jersey Boys - and had leftovers - and it was bitterly cold, so didn't want to walk back to parking garage and leave them, and of course we couldn't take them inside the Overture. We asked our wait staff, who checked with the manager, and they graciously allowed us to leave them in the fridge to pick up after the show. It got out a ittle later than we anticipated, about 10:10, and I understand you were closed. There was quite a few people still there, staff mainly, some diners, and the door was locked, again totally understand. We tried to get someones attention, and we were seen, but, all just turned their back and walked away, no one would come to even say, sorry, we are closed, all we wanted were our delicious leftovers, still pretty sad about that.

Tags: Tapas, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation, Happy Hour
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Meal was great.... and I would definitel ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 4, 2017

Meal was great....

and I would definitely return. There were a few snafus, though.

I arrived early for my reservation, which was noted. I was directed to wait in the bar (which I expected and was happy to do; it was still Happy Hour and there was a great deal on my favorite wine by the glass), but then when my friend arrived she was taken directly to our reserved table and seated, while no one thought to look for me. When I asked about this I was told by a different person that she didn't know where I was. So, not even an effort to let me know when the table was ready? Really? Not a great start.

There was a show at the Overture and everyone else was in a hurry to get there, except us. Our waitress was attentive about asking for our order but then there was a very long delay--maybe half an hour or possibly more--before even our appetizer was brought, then another long delay before the meal. During these delays we were visited by various managers and offered free appetizer, round of drinks, dessert. We weren't in a hurry and all of this attention and apologizing went a long way. I appreciated that our patience was acknowledged. I would definitely return myself and recommend to friends.

Tags: Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service2
value5

We had dinner on January 3, 2017. We had ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 3, 2017

We had dinner on January 3, 2017. We had eaten at Cento before. Everything from the time it took our waitress to greet us, to the length of time it took for her to return for our drink order, to the length of time it took get get our drinks was very long. Unacceptably so. By the time our second round of drinks arrived we were basically finished eating. The food was very good as it was the first time we were there.

Tags: Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Wood Oven, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service3
value3

There were four of us for a recent brunc ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 1, 2017

There were four of us for a recent brunch at Cento. Between us, we ordered the Salami Hash, the Avocado Toast, the Smoked Pork Eggs Benedict, and the Hazelnut French Toast. We ended up with four very clean plates, practically licking them clean. Everything was excellent, but the Hazelnut French Toast was exceptionally noteworthy. We'll be back!

Tags: Comfort Food, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

Just an amazing place. Great romantic v ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 1, 2017

Just an amazing place. Great romantic vibe. Wonderful service. I can't say enough about the food. Extremely fresh and creative. One of my favorite places in Madison.

Tags: Business Meals, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

great food and great service. It was ve ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on December 31, 2016

great food and great service. It was very noisy was very hard to converse with my date

Tags: Comfort Food, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience2
service5
value4

Food was amazing! Highly recommend baco ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on December 30, 2016

Food was amazing! Highly recommend bacon wrapped dates. Service was attentive and knowledgeable. Everything arrived at the table quickly and portions were ample.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

Great place for dinner. We were celebra ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on December 30, 2016

Great place for dinner. We were celebrating a birthday and the staff made it special.

Tags: , Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

We had a great meal at Cento. Everyone r ...

vip
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on December 30, 2016

We had a great meal at Cento. Everyone raved about their meals. (There were 6 of us.) We are still talking about several of the dishes. We started with the warm marinated olives and the burrata antipasto. We followed the starters with salads - all were great, fresh and tasty. Although all dishes were excellent, the standout dishes were the papardelle, the lamb ossobuco, the arctic char and the swordfish puttanesca. Desserts were bread pudding and carrot cake, shared by all. It was a fun evening. Sitting together in a booth was a great way to be able to catch up over the holidays. The only drawback was that we sat in the booth facing the front door and bar so it was VERY noisy and hard to hear one another. It was a busy night as well so drinks took a bit long.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

I took my wife there for her birthday, c ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on December 28, 2016

I took my wife there for her birthday, choosing a restaurant to which we hadn't been before. Very pleasing decor and attentive wait staff as well as a good location for my evening plans. Food was delicious, though if I had one criticism my lasagna was only lukewarm and the sauce almost cool. All told, it was a very nice experience for a special occasion.

Tags: Good for Groups, Modern Decor, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

The food is very good, it gets crowded s ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 27, 2016

The food is very good, it gets crowded so be sure to make a reservation

Tags: Local Ingredients, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Very disappointing. Risotto was flavorle ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on December 24, 2016

Very disappointing. Risotto was flavorless, the mushrooms tasted of low quality oil or low quality truffle flavored oil, and the roasted potatoes had so much rosemary , hence bitter, that we could not eat them (and i am from the land of rosemary!!).

The service was the best one could expect. We did not ask for the dishes to be taken back to the kitchen but the wait staff insisted. So thank you to the staff

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service5
value2

Wonderful time at Cento after the Nutcra ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on December 23, 2016

Wonderful time at Cento after the Nutcracker with my Family! A special thank you to chef Giavonni for the appletizer ....so great !!

Tags: , Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Late-night Find, Pre/post Theatre, Business Meals, Private Room, Good for Anniversaries, Happy Hour, Wood Oven, Worth the Drive, Bar Seating, Good for Birthdays, People Watching, Special Occasion, Fun, Seasonal, Modern Decor, Creative Cuisine, Open Kitchen, Tapas, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This is a great Italian restaurant. The ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 21, 2016

This is a great Italian restaurant. The food calls back memories of my Italian grandmother. The staff is generally friendly (although, the young woman who greeted us took a scolding tone when we arrived ten minutes early for our reservation). This is not the place for a quiet conversation. It is generally quite loud, but not unpleasantly so. In sum, a great spot for a night out.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value3

Food continues to be outstanding - and w ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on December 21, 2016

Food continues to be outstanding - and was truly enjoyed by out of state business guests.

Well designed room - and location.

Bar is a bit noisy - but good for the overall vibe.

Tags: Bar Seating, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Wood Oven
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

Although we had a reservation and arrive ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 18, 2016

Although we had a reservation and arrived prior to the time of the reservation we still had to wait for our table.

The waitress seemed stressed, therefore was not attentive. So service was slow. The food was great, we did have to send back one dish because it was cold. The poached eggs were overcoooked on our dishes.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service3

Amazing food I got the seafood risotto ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on December 18, 2016

Amazing food I got the seafood risotto which is my favorite dish there. I also received a free dessert for having it be my graduation dinner! I got the chocolate salami and it was soooo good!! Dark chocolate circles with cookie chunks inside of it along with caramel and vanilla ice cream to eat it with. Best dessert ever.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4

My husband and I have been to Cento seve ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on December 16, 2016

My husband and I have been to Cento several times in the past and have love this restaurant. I have to comment on my shrimp dish. The first time it came out, the shrimp was raw inside, raw upon turning them over. Sent them back and they prepared a new shrimp dish for me. The shrimp were butterflied and when served, they curl up. On this second dish, the ends were cooked but upon further inspection, the centers were still undercooked. I just couldn't eat this. The waiter, Adam, offered to have a different dish prepareed for me but we had tickets to a concert and needed to leave.

Aside from my dish, the appetizers were excellent, the wine delicious and they serve the brand of scotch my husband enjoys.

I will never order a fish dish here again but the pasta dishes are excellent.

I really was very surprised by this experience and am willing to try Cento again because this was so unexpected.

Cento did not charge us for my dish, which we definitely appreciated.

Tags: Private Room, Hot Spot, Business Meals, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Comfort Food, Modern Decor, Worth the Drive, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service5
value4

The food at Cento was excellent. I order ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on December 16, 2016

The food at Cento was excellent. I ordered lasagna. It was the best I've ever eaten. However the noise level was extremely loud. They need to install ceiling tiles that absorb the sound. I could barely hear the person speaking who was seated across from me. The service was good but the waitress was quite flirty with the men at our table.

Tags: Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service4
value4

The food was fantastic, and the portions ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on December 16, 2016

The food was fantastic, and the portions generous. Our server, Paige, was a real gem and helped make the meal memorable.

Tags: Casual, Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries, Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent and huge list of Italian-based ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on December 16, 2016

Excellent and huge list of Italian-based food and drink options in an elegant, big-city atmosphere; can get pretty loud when busy.

Tags: Wood Oven, Good Vegetarian Options, Notable Wine List, Open Kitchen, Good for a Date, Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

Report this review as inappropriate?

If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.