About Cento

122 W. Mifflin St.
Madison, WI 53703
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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.

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

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.3

ambience

4.4

value

4.0

noise

Moderate

88% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Most Booked
Wisconsin
Best Overall
Madison
Best Ambiance
Madison
1 More
Most Booked
Madison
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Special Occasion (84)
Fit for Foodies (50)
Good for Anniversaries (50)
See All
Romantic (47)
Good for a Date (46)
Pre/post Theatre (42)
Modern Decor (38)
Notable Wine List (36)
Good for Groups (30)
Creative Cuisine (27)
Hot Spot (25)
Good for Birthdays (24)
Open Kitchen (20)
Handcrafted Cocktails (20)
Authentic (20)
Business Meals (19)
Neighborhood Gem (18)
Casual (14)
Fun (14)
Worth the Drive (13)
Local Ingredients (13)
Vibrant Bar Scene (12)
Wood Oven (12)
Bar Seating (11)
Late-night Find (10)
Outstanding Value (10)
Great for Brunch (10)
Cozy (9)
Scenic View (9)
Comfort Food (9)
Quiet Conversation (8)
Healthy (8)
People Watching (8)
Family Style (7)
Disabled Access (6)
Sunday Lunch (6)
Good Vegetarian Options (6)
Happy Hour (6)
Historic (5)
Great for Lunch (5)
Great for Outdoor Dining (4)
Seasonal (4)
Tasting Menu (4)
Kid-friendly (2)
Great Beer (2)
Tapas (2)
Quick Bite (2)
Organic (2)
Paleo Friendly (2)
Molecular Gastronomy (2)
Spicy (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Private Room (1)
Vegan (0)
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623 reviews
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Too expensive for the quality. Nice open ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined 7 days ago

Too expensive for the quality. Nice open kitchen and excellent specialty cocktails. Bacon-wrapped dates are worth the hype. The Mussels appetizer was a let down with gritty shellfish, a tasty broth that was difficult to eat without a soup spoon and a small hunk of burned bread. Speaking of bread...every dish cried out for bread but cost $3 for a minimal amount. If I am paying over $150 for dinner, give me some bread! The entrees were great but $35 for a small piece of fish with no sides (those are extra, of course) it was hardly worth it. The tiramisu was tiny and overwhelmed by a giant scoop of frozen dairy for $9, also not worth the money.

The best part of the dinner was the Vermouth on tap. Worth every penny.

Great service, btw!

Tags: Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Open Kitchen
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food3
ambience4
service5
value2

Tasty food, friendly service, enjoyable ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on November 23, 2016

Tasty food, friendly service, enjoyable start to the evening.

Tags: Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

This was our first time at Cento, and we ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on November 22, 2016

This was our first time at Cento, and we will definitely return. We each had pasta dishes (gnocchi & Orrichette) that were mouth watering and incredibly delicious. Their dates stuffed with sausage and wrapped in bacon in a tomato sauce were a very nice appetizer. We ordered their olives, and they, too, were flavored just right, but there were too many for 2 people--probably need to offer a small order or a larger order. We ordered some asparagus & it was a little tough--when I mentioned it, our waitress took it back to the chef, and the chef apologized, and the charge was removed from our bill. We were impressed by that. We went to Cento prior to a performance at the Overture Center--we live an hour away from Madison-- but would drive in just to eat at Cento. Our waitress was terrific, and the restaurant was filled with happy diners. Just a wonderful experience & so fun to discover a new restaurant in Madison & one so close to the Overture Center.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Fun, Healthy, Good Vegetarian Options, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Good for Birthdays, Quiet Conversation, Comfort Food, Pre/post Theatre, Handcrafted Cocktails, Organic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Loved everything about it! The food was ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on November 20, 2016

Loved everything about it! The food was great. The ambiance was very pleasant. The service was spot-on. And the location across the street from the Overture Center was perfect.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Service was great. Good was okay. Gluten ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on November 19, 2016

Service was great. Good was okay. Gluten free pasta was overwhelmed by the sauce and a bit over cooked. Lovely birthday dessert. Thank you!

Tags: Special Occasion
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food3
ambience4
service5
value3

The happy hour pricing and drinks were g ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on November 19, 2016

The happy hour pricing and drinks were great. Our food was wonderful. But best of all, was our server. She went above and beyond in listening and taking care of us. I wish I remembered her name- she was fabulous!

Tags: Late-night Find, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Modern Decor, Comfort Food, Happy Hour, Great for Brunch, Bar Seating, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, People Watching, Vibrant Bar Scene, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Staff was very attentive....GM was very ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on November 18, 2016

Staff was very attentive....GM was very attentive to all customers including opening the door for a lady with a stroller struggling to get in...food was fantastic and we will definitely be back...great job CENTO!!!

Tags: Tasting Menu, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Good for Groups, Fun, Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

good service , friendly Very noisy, 2 e ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 17, 2016

good service , friendly

Very noisy, 2 entrees good 2 not good,

Short pours on expensive wine

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food2
ambience4
service5
value2

Excellent Food! Portions were plentiful ...

 
 (Denver)·Dined on November 12, 2016

Excellent Food! Portions were plentiful and everything tasted wonderful! It was good fuel for our half marathon the next day.

Tags: Outstanding Value, Cozy, Family Style
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great food loved the Saturday brunch spe ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on November 12, 2016

Great food loved the Saturday brunch special. Pleasant service and atmosphere.

Tags: Late-night Find, Organic, Special Occasion, Bar Seating, Business Meals, Casual, Family Style, Neighborhood Gem, Disabled Access, Afternoon Coffee
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I've been trying to get here since it op ...

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 12, 2016

I've been trying to get here since it opened. Seems it's location adjacent to Overture Center made event night impossible. Set this reservation 2 weeks in advance. We arrived late to our reservation due to the show we saw running late. Hostess was ok yet with 3 dozen empty tables it seemed a HUGE imposition for us to find a table. That set the service tone for the evening.

Our waitperson was very sweet and pleasant yet incredibly non-existent through the course of our evening. Seemed very unfamiliar with the menu.

We were a table of 4. Ordered starters, salad and an entree each. Not a small dinner experience to say the least. Cocktails seemed to take an eternity to get as was the wine we ordered with the entree.

The food was very good. VERY good. Just wish they could get the service figured out. As the ambience and menu pricing command a much better dining experience. I'll go back at least on more time to see if we simply hit an off night yet can't give Cento any more marks at this point.

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food5
ambience4
service3
value3

Pre-symphony. Best food in the three or ...

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 11, 2016

Pre-symphony. Best food in the three or four times we've been there. Excellent service. Nice atmosphere.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Comfort Food, Historic, Vibrant Bar Scene, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Service was phenomenal. Food was above a ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 8, 2016

Service was phenomenal. Food was above and beyond. Definitely a spot for foodies. Not the best place for quiet conversation, but the food is so great there is no need to talk. Highly recommend if you are in the Madison area.

Tags: Modern Decor, Good for a Date, Family Style, Historic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Open Kitchen, Romantic, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Authentic, Molecular Gastronomy, Comfort Food, Pre/post Theatre, Business Meals, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Service was not friendly or helpful. Ver ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 6, 2016

Service was not friendly or helpful. Very stale environment. Food was not cooked as requested. Food was generally not very good - was like a steak dinner a college student would cook.

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food2
ambience2
service2
value1

We loved everything about our Cento expe ...

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on November 6, 2016

We loved everything about our Cento experience! The service, atmosphere, food, drinks was on point!

Tags: Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Delicious!!!!! Chicken parm is the best! ...

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 6, 2016

Delicious!!!!! Chicken parm is the best!!! Pasta bolognese is perfection!!

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food5
ambience5
service5

The food is great. The service is good. ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on November 6, 2016

The food is great. The service is good. The restaurant is attractive. This may sound petty, but the lighting is too dark for my taste. I am sure I will be back!

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food4
ambience3
service3

Enjoyed dishes we hadn't had in a long t ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on November 5, 2016

Enjoyed dishes we hadn't had in a long time. But was a bit disappointed in the Tiramasu. Not much taste.

Tags: Authentic, Vibrant Bar Scene, Outstanding Value
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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

When upper room hips fully seated, noise ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on November 4, 2016

When upper room hips fully seated, noise level is very high. Prefer street level booths.

Tags: Worth the Drive
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

We had the asparagus as an appetizer and ...

vip
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on November 4, 2016

We had the asparagus as an appetizer and it was delicious. Both of our pastas were way too salty. The atmosphere is great. The wine selection is too expensive for what you're getting.

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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

Several of my exec's said the food seeme ...

 
 (St. Louis)·Dined on November 2, 2016

Several of my exec's said the food seemed "rubbery". Our guests also said that and sent their meals back. We were given a discount on the meal - that was appreciated.

Thank you

Patti McLean

Executive Assistant

SHINE Medical Technologies

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food1
ambience3
service3
value2

Overpriced. Samba and Fresco better qual ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on November 2, 2016

Overpriced. Samba and Fresco better quality and value. Someone took my coat at beginning, then didn't know how to retrieve it for me at the end. My seafood stew was very stingy on seafood and mostly broth. Your bacon and date appetizer was outstanding. Would probably not come again and would not recommend to others.

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food3
ambience4
service3
value1

The only reason that I did not give a 5 ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on October 31, 2016

The only reason that I did not give a 5 star to this restaurant is that the sound levels were higher than I consider appropriate for a fine restaurant. The food, atmosphere and service were excellent.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Modern Decor, Business Meals, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

Waiter seemed to ignore us, and then whe ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on October 30, 2016

Waiter seemed to ignore us, and then when we were acknowledged he seemed irritated by the fact that we were there. We still had a great time in spite of it. The food was amazing and drinks were well crafted.

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food5
ambience4
service2
value4

The service was amazing, and the food wa ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on October 30, 2016

The service was amazing, and the food was equally impressive.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Food was excellent and our server Alyssa ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on October 29, 2016

Food was excellent and our server Alyssa was outstanding. Can't wait to go back.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Dinner was fabulous! Creative, innovativ ...

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 29, 2016

Dinner was fabulous! Creative, innovative dishes melding unusual flavors.

Tags: Modern Decor, Healthy, Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List, Hot Spot, Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Historic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

When we called to say we would be 10 min ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 28, 2016

When we called to say we would be 10 minutes late due to traffic , we were told that was ok as long as we vacated our table by 6:30 (5pm reservation). My wife's pasta dish was average and my fish was badly overcooked and dry. They did replace the it when the manager asked how dinner was and I gave him a honest answer.

It's ok but wouldn't suggest it for a memorable dining experience. At least a positive memory.

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food2
ambience4
service3
value2

The service is outstanding and the food ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on October 28, 2016

The service is outstanding and the food is very flavor full and tasty. We had enough for a take home meal which was just about as good warmed up.

Tags: Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Amazing food and wonderful service!

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 27, 2016

Amazing food and wonderful service!

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food5
ambience5
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value4

Top to bottom we had a great experience! ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 24, 2016

Top to bottom we had a great experience! My favorite dish were the mussels - delish!

Tags: Modern Decor, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great restaurant. And our party of give ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 23, 2016

Great restaurant. And our party of give people came in an hour early (my fault) and the hostess couldn't have been nicer even though they were busy. Creative, good food. We were there at brunch time and they had delicious omelette, breakfast pizza and a great charcuterie plate. A winner!

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Casual, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Comfort Food, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

Brunched with my partner and my son rece ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 23, 2016

Brunched with my partner and my son recently. The Boozy Brunch special is fantastic; cocktails were delicious, the bottomless Collectivo coffee was just what we needed, and our entrees were delicious. My partner and I can't wait to go back for a date night!

Tags: Special Occasion, Business Meals, Modern Decor, Wood Oven, Good for Birthdays, Romantic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Worth the Drive, Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date, Great for Brunch, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Very much enjoyed my dinner at Cento. Lo ...

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 22, 2016

Very much enjoyed my dinner at Cento. Love the decor, food was excellent and a good value for the level of quality. Imaginative and well trained service and staff

Tags: Fun, Business Meals, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Pre/post Theatre, Good Vegetarian Options, Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Creative Cuisine
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food5
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service5
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First time at Cento after hearing raves. ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on October 21, 2016

First time at Cento after hearing raves. It was good, but not sure it was rave-worthy. Good energy in the place and the service was helpful, friendly and timely. Food was . . . fine? Appetizers of olives (many, many olives) and bacon-wrapped dates - the former was way too much for two people, the latter was more appropriately portioned. Butternut squash soup for my date was enjoyed. We both ordered different pasta dishes - again, solid in a "yeah - fine" way. Dessert was a tiramisu that we shared. They were out of the port I had hoped to have with it (it was listed on the dessert menu); settled for a lesser version that was indeed lesser.

Good place to arrange a pre-downtown outing dinner (we went to a concert at the Majestic afterward). Not sold that it's a destination all on its own.

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food3
ambience4
service5
value3

Great experience! Went here for my boyfr ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on October 21, 2016

Great experience! Went here for my boyfriend's birthday dinner after just moving to Madison from the northeast. We were so happy to find authentic Italian food in the heart of downtown Madison.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Authentic, Notable Wine List, Wood Oven, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Good service, great location in downtown ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on October 21, 2016

Good service, great location in downtown Madison, the risotto was good, the lasagna was too tangy, bread, salad, dessert and coffee were excellent. Very noisy.

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food3
ambience3
service5
value3

The dining room was beautiful. I was in ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 20, 2016

The dining room was beautiful. I was in a group of 9 friends and we were going to an event at the Overture. We allowed 1.5 hours for dinner, but not enough time. We waited at the table for 20 minutes before they took our drink order. My main disappointment though was the quality of the food. I had a beet salad and that turned out to be quite acidic. I thought that was just a bad choice on my part, but I did really like the sound of the blend of the ingredients so I thought I'd give it a try. The lasagna was terrible. The tomato sauce tasted like it was poured directly from a can. Everyone that had an entre with tomato sauce complained that it was too acidic and did not have a good flavor. Even a woman we did not know in the bathroom was commenting that her sauce on the spaghetti and meatballs was the same. I did tell the manager about it because I thought it just might be an off night. He took a $5 credit off my bill. The other thing that would have been nice was a basket of bread on the table. That is ale cart if you want bread. The portions were so huge that you could have fed a family of 4. I'd recommend cutting the portions and providing bread as included in the dining experience.

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food1
ambience4
service2
value3

Wow. Fun place. Had a pizza and salad. ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on October 20, 2016

Wow. Fun place. Had a pizza and salad. Be prepared to bring $$$. Pricey.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Happy Hour, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for a Date, Hot Spot, Bar Seating, Handcrafted Cocktails, Modern Decor, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Historic, People Watching, Good for Groups, Fun, Creative Cuisine, Wood Oven
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food4
ambience5
service5
value3

Noisy places with loud music are not com ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on October 19, 2016

Noisy places with loud music are not comfortable for me. The prices were high, and paying $3 for a stale basket of bread was a first!

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food3
ambience2
service4
value1

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