About Cento

122 W. Mifflin St.
Madison, WI 53703
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Recently named one of the Best Chefs in America, Chef Michael Pruett 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.

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 Emily Perina at eperina@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:
Michael Pruett

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:
Emily Perina: 6082849378x

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

Cento Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.6

ambience

4.5

noise

Moderate

93% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Italian
Wisconsin
Most Booked
Wisconsin
Best Service
Madison
4 More
Best Ambiance
Madison
Fit for Foodies
Madison
Special Occasion
Madison
Most Booked
Madison
Best Restaurants in Madison ›

fit for foodies (163)
special occasion (157)
romantic (112)
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notable wine list (85)
good for groups (75)
hot spot (65)
vibrant bar scene (40)
great for brunch (30)
neighborhood gem (30)
late-night find (26)
scenic view (22)
great for lunch (15)
kid-friendly (2)
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Newest
457 reviews
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Came from SF to visit family

vip
Dined 4 days ago

Lovely restaurant, service was excellent. We had brunch and my only regret was I couldn't stay for dinner.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

My friend and I dined at Cento before he ...

Dined 5 days ago

My friend and I dined at Cento before heading to an Overture Center performance. The restaurant's 3-course special was a fantastic selection and the food came out quickly so we didn't feel like we would be running late for the performance. We had an excellent time!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

My daughter and I dined here recently be ...

Dined 5 days ago

My daughter and I dined here recently before attending The Lion King across the street at the Overture at the recommendation of our hotel manager. We were delighted with our experience. They have a prix fixe pre-theatre dinner menu. I had the stuffed dates, beet salad and taglietelle. My daughter enjoyed the sourdough bread, mixed salad and chicken parm. All were prepared to perfection and delicious. Our service was outstanding - timed perfectly to get us to the show on time without feeling rushed. Thanks Cento for an exceptional dining experience. Will definitely return next time we're in the area.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
food2
ambience4
service4
value3

Food didn't meet expectations

Dined on May 19, 2016

Unfortunately my visit was so-so. This was my second time to the restaurant and I was really looking forward to going back. The food didn't live up to the first visit. The cheese plate was mostly meat - 3 large piles of shaved meats with 2 small chunks of cheese. The gnocchi dish was really watery, not sure if it was supposed to be like that. The service was great, the food just wasn't up to par this time, probably won't be back.

Tags: good for groups, vibrant bar scene
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Very good food with a menu full of tempt ...

Dined on May 18, 2016

Very good food with a menu full of tempting choices. Excellent location and superb staff and service. Only potential downside is the noise level, which is fine if you're part of a group. Less good if you're a twosome. We come back for the memorable overall experience.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Cento in Milwaukee- delicious

vip
Dined on May 18, 2016

The food and service at Cento are very good. The pizza is very good , especially the procuitto and pear, the halibut is simply but delicious. Everything was cooked to perfection and order. The service was great the three times we have been there.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Great Italian Food. Went with European ...

Dined on May 16, 2016

Great Italian Food. Went with European guest from Austia who was quite impressed and great view of Overture Center. Excellent wine list.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Atmosphere and food were great. I felt l ...

Dined on May 15, 2016

Atmosphere and food were great. I felt like I was in Italy.

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5

We received complimentary champagne for ...

Dined on May 15, 2016

We received complimentary champagne for our 2nd anniversary which was a great addition to an all around great evening of wine, food and companionship. Our server, Jake, and the wine steward did a fantastic job throughout and we will definitely return. Highly recommended!

food4
ambience5
service3

The ambience

Dined on May 12, 2016

The ambience

food4
ambience5
service3
value5

Despite having allowed 90 minutes to din ...

Dined on May 10, 2016

Despite having allowed 90 minutes to dine before a show, we were not able to finish with enough time for dessert (seemed to be a kitchen issue). The manager was kind enough to give us a rain check. Further, inexplicably, the kitchen staff decided to use chili oil on the beet salad. Not too bad until the heat set in. Saved again by the manager who comped them.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

All work meals should be this good.

Dined on May 10, 2016

Myself and a co-worker made a reservation at Cento based on a recommendation from a foodie friend of mine. We started with an heirloom caprese salad with walnut pesto that was lovely. For main courses, I chose the heritage pork chop with green beans as a side, while she chose snapper with wild mushrooms as a side. Neither of us was disappointed in the least. The wine list is extensive with a focus on some lesser seen Italian varieties. Put Cento on your short list if you find yourself around the capitol building in Madison.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, notable wine list
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

Food was great. The noise was a little h ...

Dined on May 9, 2016

Food was great. The noise was a little high for my old ears.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Tasty and unique!

Dined on May 9, 2016

Quality ingredients and healthy flavorful options!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5

The food is such high quality!!! We had ...

Dined on May 7, 2016

The food is such high quality!!! We had the smoked pork eggs Benedict-excellent!!!

food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Wonderful Authentic Italian

Dined on May 7, 2016

Cento was a very elegant space to be in and everything was delicious. You come to expect a certain variety of, generally mediocre, Italian food here in the midwest, so finding a place that wouldn't look out of place on the southern Italian coast is incredible. I had the seafood stew which was crisp, fresh, and devious. Everything down to the warm marinated olives and the crusty sourdough bread did not disappoint. Service was friendly, knowledgeable, and polite. I will definitely be back next time I'm in Madison.

Tags: fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Love!

Dined on May 1, 2016

I come to Cento every opportunity that I get. The tiramisu and carpano antica are MUSTS

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Brunch is a Best Buy

Dined on May 1, 2016

Lemon curd, blueberries, and ricotta pancakes turned into a great Sunday selection. Reasonable prices and a wide variety of brunch selections make CENTO a good value on Saturday or Sunday. My husband enjoyed their spin on French Toast, and ate it all. My THREE LARGE pancakes were too much, so I had them box two up for a treat when I got home. (Good the second time around.) I had heard about this Madison restaurant and finally got a chance to book a table. Hostess and waitstaff were very welcoming and accommodating any request. Looking around the other tables and their entrees at brunch, I think you'd get a good value at dinner, too. A modern decor, and the noise level increased to very energetic at noon. Excellent coffee, but no room for dessert that day. Another time I want to try their tiramisu.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for lunch
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Awesome staff and wonderful menu options

Dined on May 1, 2016

Very friendly staff overall. The server for my table was attentive and willing to answer questions, and she kindly offered suggestions and insights on menu options. The food was tasty, too. I want to go back for the thin-crust pizza, as well as the halibut. There also are featured menu events that I want to learn more about. Also, the restaurant is across the street from the Overture Center, convenient location for theatergoers and other folks interested in dining before or after events.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food2
ambience4
service5
value2

Just looking for good food?

Dined on May 1, 2016

If ambiance and large wine list = ( 5 restaurant) than this is your place. price was a little over the top for value in drink and definitely in food. Your basic upper class place with sub-par food. I would agree with other reviews as far as the service goes, was very good.

Tags: notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Improved experience

Dined on April 30, 2016

This visit was much improved over our last visit. Service was prompt and the server was generally knowledgeable but had never heard of a kir royale. Food was much better than the previous meal where there was no seafood in our seafood pasta. The Bracioli was excellent as was the halibut. Wine-poached beets were also good but the seared romaine salad not as flavorful as at Harvest. Still room for improvement, but we are glad we decided to give it another chance.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience3
service5
value3

This being the second time that I have d ...

Dined on April 30, 2016

This being the second time that I have dined at Cento (the first being an absolute disaster--tight schedule to get to a show, and we had to wait about an hour after our reservation time to get our table! Wolfing down a 3-course dinner special in 45 minutes was not pleasant), I wasn't expecting to have the same thing happen again, and it didn't. I was singing in a concert across the street and it also happened to be my birthday. Sadly, my husband couldn't join me, so I was dining alone. I needed to dine early so that I wouldn't be uncomfortable from the meal during the concert, hence at 5:00pm, there weren't a lot of diners. Service was attentive and smooth. My every need/request was taken care of efficiently. I ordered the braised lamb ragu with peas over a tender, house made pasta shaped like a cinnamon stick with a slight twist to it-- absolutely wonderful! The lamb was shredded and melt in your mouth tender. The sauce had just the right amount of seasoning to it that didn't overpower any of the other flavors, and the portion was just right for a main course for one (as a pre-entree course, it would be too much, though). Not wanting to feel bloated during the concert, I declined any dessert, however, I treated myself to a glass of limoncello (sunshine in a bottle!) and a latte to finish off my relaxing meal. I was pleasantly surprised that I had been comped the limoncello as a birthday treat--how lovely :-) I used the gift certificate that we had been given in compensation for the disaster experience (my husband was so turned off by that experience that he was happy to let me use it), so I was able to dine without breaking the piggy bank. I will now consider going back again, especially for the pasta course and hopefully some dessert :-)

Tags: fit for foodies
food3
ambience3
service4
value3

Our server was Chelsea and she was very ...

Dined on April 29, 2016

Our server was Chelsea and she was very personable & knowledgeable. I would highly recommend sitting in her section!

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience3
service4
value3

Delicious food mediocre environment

Dined on April 29, 2016

We went to Cento for a pre-symphony dinner. The first thing I noticed was that the ambiance was rather informal with nothing to praise from my point of view. There was nothing offensive or negative about it and nothing to write home about. The wait staff was satisfactorily attentive. One fellow who helped us with wine selection had outstanding expertise and was VERY helpful. The food was absolutely delicious and hot. Unfortunately, the sound level was quite high for us. It felt like we had to practically shout to hear each other. There was not carpeting, carpets nor ceiling treatments to absorb any sound. Overall, we enjoyed the experience but will likely try a different establishment next time.

Tags: fit for foodies
food5
ambience3
service4
value2

Tasty but pricey

Dined on April 29, 2016

Excellent food and very good service, but the prices are high.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5

I think the people who are giving three ...

vip
Dined on April 24, 2016

I think the people who are giving three star and not four and five star reviews don't understand that Cento is not going to be "Americanized" Italian. This restaurant is a true gem in Madison. They serve amazing dishes that let the ingredients shine, and it's a favorite restaurant for me and a lot of my friends. I love the fact that you don't have to only eat pasta and pizza when you're there-- there are plenty of seafood dishes if you're craving something healthier.

food1
ambience2
service5
value1

Has Cento lost its way?

vip
Dined on April 24, 2016

First time dining at this venue. We're from out of town on a business trip meeting Madison friends. Compelling food pics on line and reviews which speak to a higher end Italian food experience. Not to be so. First off, highlights: good wine by glass election, palatable deserts, excellent service. Downside is regretfully food. Very poor execution with borderline ingredients. Tiny overdone grilled octopus on a mountain of chick peas. Overdone pork chop (I asked medium rare and get well done) overdrizzled with an overwhelming balsamic reduction. My wife had sea food stew. A bit of shell fish drowning in ketchupy tomato sauce. This was fancy italian made by dominoes pizza... Though we were sitting in a high back booth and facing each other, pretty much had to yell at each other to hold a conversation (Saturday dinner at 8PM) due to the dreadful acoustics. My sense this place had its glory in early days when inaugural chef had hands-on quality control on ingredients and execution. To avoid unless there's a shakeup in kitchen.

food3
ambience3
service3
value3

It was okay but I don't think I will be back

Dined on April 23, 2016

We were promptly seated and had a nice table by the window. It was very loud and the service, though pleasant, was quite slow. We were there for 90 minutes and had one appetizer, with a pizza and two salads coming at the same time ( which is what we had requested ). The food was fine though not delicious. If there weren't so many other great restaurants in Madison I might consider coming back. As it is, I think I'll dine else where.

food5
ambience3
service5
value4

Wonderful food and service

Dined on April 23, 2016

Excellent fresh and well-prepared food, amazing hot bread, delicious pastas, great vegetable selections. We always look forward to dining at Cento when in Madison to visit our UW student. Rather noisy.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Excellent food. One of the best in Madison.

vip
Dined on April 22, 2016

We were celebrating a birthday with a bunch of friends and this was the restaurant we wanted to do it in. The food is always excellent and the restaurant has a great vibe. Three of us ordered the halibut and it was perfectly prepared. Two had the Porcini Encrusted Tenderloin and it was the best they had every eaten. Wine list is extensive. It is on the expensive side, but worth it!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

great place

vip
Dined on April 22, 2016

We found Cento to be a warm friendly place with fabulous food. Or server was excellent. She recommended the special pizza of the day and it was great. Will definitely go back/

Tags: fit for foodies
food5
ambience5
service5

We have gone for dinner and it was delig ...

Dined on April 10, 2016

We have gone for dinner and it was delightful, but we found out they have brunch and it was incredible! The lemon ricotta pancakes were my fave. The chorizo quiche was the best quiche ever and the avocado toast with poached egg was delish. The manager was so cool in the way he dressed and his personality! You can tell they really care there. The wait staff is always wonderful! We loved it so much we went back the next day.

food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Great Birthday Dinner

Dined on April 8, 2016

Went to Cento 4/8 to celebrate my birthday, before catching a show at Overture. Arrived during Happy Hour, so we enjoyed some drinks (Italian style) before dining. Later we savored the Kale Bruschette which "melted" in our mouths--great combination of ingredients. Next we enjoyed the Roasted Brussel Sprout salad. For entrees we ordered the Butternut Squash Pizza and Chitarra dishes--delicious! At the end of the meal I was treated to a fabulous Blueberry Bread Pudding complete with a birthday candle--complementary of Cento. The wait staff and managers were very attentive. Highly recommend.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Cento

vip
Dined on April 6, 2016

Cento in Madison is a wonderful Italian restaurant. The ambiance is very nice but the food is excellent. We had the pear and proscuitto pizza and the lovely halibut. We would highly recommend this restaurant and look forward to our next visit when we are back in Madision.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food3
ambience4
service5
value2

Good is not good enough

Dined on April 5, 2016

Sometimes good is not good enough. Such is the case when the prices are steep. Don't misunderstand, there was nothing wrong with our meal at Cento. We were seated promptly. The service was excellent at both the bar and restaurant. All the food was good, but there was no Wow. For the prices charged, I expect Wow for nearly every course, something that sets the restaurant apart from the others. At Cento, neither of us ever said, "Wow!"

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service2
value4

service inconsistent food great

Dined on April 3, 2016

We sat for quite a while before we were finally greeted. Our server was sincere and pleasant when she finally greeted us and we got started off well. Things went well but then once we got our food she never returned and we were missing a side and we also wanted coffee refills. Frustrated from craning our necks looking for her, I got up and found a manager and asked for our server. She appeared then and took care of us but our food was getting cold and it ruined the oherwise pleasant experience. The restaurant wasn't wven busy at all so we were like "seriously where did she disappear to?" We will try it again tho as the food and ambience was stellar.

Tags: romantic
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Great Atmosphere. Lively crowd and grea ...

vip
Dined on April 2, 2016

Great Atmosphere. Lively crowd and great food. This is one place not to be missed.

Tags: fit for foodies
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great dinner but....

Dined on March 27, 2016

Everything was great but my wife had an allergic reaction... we think to the wine... and the next morning her whole lower face was extremely swollen. Cross that wine off our list.

Tags: special occasion, notable wine list
food3
ambience2
service4
value2

Contemporary spot

Dined on March 27, 2016

My family and I went for a Sunday morning brunch and were disappointed . We did not like the ambience or the food. I had a frittata that what was completely overcooked and chewy.

Tags: vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience5
service5

Creative, flavorful dishes, fantastic se ...

Dined on March 26, 2016

Creative, flavorful dishes, fantastic service, and a wonderful atmosphere.

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