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.
Italian, Wine Bar, Pizzeria
Hours of Operation:
BRUNCH: Saturday & Sunday, 10 am - 2 pm
Sunday, 5 pm - 9 pm
Monday-Saturday, 5 pm - 10 pm
[Bar opens daily at 4 pm]
Thursday-Saturday, 10 pm - 12 am
$31 to $50
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
For catering inquiries, please contact Emily Perina at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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
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
Came from SF to visit family
Lovely restaurant, service was excellent. We had brunch and my only regret was I couldn't stay for dinner.
My friend and I dined at Cento before he ...
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!
My daughter and I dined here recently be ...
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.
Food didn't meet expectations
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.
Very good food with a menu full of tempt ...
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.
Cento in Milwaukee- delicious
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.
Great Italian Food. Went with European ...
Great Italian Food. Went with European guest from Austia who was quite impressed and great view of Overture Center. Excellent wine list.
Atmosphere and food were great. I felt l ...
Atmosphere and food were great. I felt like I was in Italy.
We received complimentary champagne for ...
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!
Despite having allowed 90 minutes to din ...
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.
All work meals should be this good.
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.
Food was great. The noise was a little h ...
Food was great. The noise was a little high for my old ears.
Tasty and unique!
Quality ingredients and healthy flavorful options!
The food is such high quality!!! We had ...
The food is such high quality!!! We had the smoked pork eggs Benedict-excellent!!!
Wonderful Authentic Italian
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.
I come to Cento every opportunity that I get. The tiramisu and carpano antica are MUSTS
Brunch is a Best Buy
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.
Awesome staff and wonderful menu options
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.
Just looking for good food?
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.
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.
This being the second time that I have d ...
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 :-)
Our server was Chelsea and she was very ...
Our server was Chelsea and she was very personable & knowledgeable. I would highly recommend sitting in her section!
Delicious food mediocre environment
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.
Tasty but pricey
Excellent food and very good service, but the prices are high.
I think the people who are giving three ...
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.
Has Cento lost its way?
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.
It was okay but I don't think I will be back
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.
Wonderful food and service
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.
Excellent food. One of the best in Madison.
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!
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/
We have gone for dinner and it was delig ...
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.
Great Birthday Dinner
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.
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.
Good is not good enough
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!"
service inconsistent food great
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.
Great Atmosphere. Lively crowd and grea ...
Great Atmosphere. Lively crowd and great food. This is one place not to be missed.
Great dinner but....
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.
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.
Creative, flavorful dishes, fantastic se ...
Creative, flavorful dishes, fantastic service, and a wonderful atmosphere.
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