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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
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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: (608) 284-9378

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

4.5

service

4.4

ambience

4.4

value

4.2

noise

Moderate

92% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (73)
Special Occasion (71)
Fit for Foodies (50)
See All
Good for Anniversaries (50)
Pre/post Theatre (49)
Romantic (41)
Creative Cuisine (38)
Good for Birthdays (33)
Business Meals (33)
Notable Wine List (33)
Handcrafted Cocktails (32)
Authentic (31)
Good for Groups (20)
Worth the Drive (20)
Hot Spot (19)
Casual (18)
Local Ingredients (17)
Bar Seating (16)
Fun (16)
Comfort Food (15)
Neighborhood Gem (13)
People Watching (13)
Cozy (12)
Happy Hour (12)
Great for Brunch (10)
Vibrant Bar Scene (10)
Sunday Lunch (10)
Good Vegetarian Options (9)
Late-night Find (8)
Quiet Conversation (8)
Tasting Menu (8)
Healthy (7)
Great for Lunch (6)
Scenic View (5)
Seasonal (5)
Gluten Free Options (4)
Great Beer (4)
Kid-friendly (3)
Tapas (3)
Disabled Access (2)
Great for Outdoor Dining (2)
Quick Bite (2)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Live Music (1)
Spicy (1)
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928 reviews
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vip
 (Milwaukee)·Dined 3 days ago

The food, service and atmosphere never disappoint. I love the Bolognese pasta!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined 3 days ago

Everything was great. Very satisfied with our server Austin. Great job!

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

 
·Dined 4 days ago

Everything is appealing except (for a couple of seniors) the noise level. Don't think that can be easily "fixed"--and management probably likes it like it is!

Tags: People Watching, Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Hot Spot, Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined 5 days ago

Been here twice, very good food, great service and nice locals. An impressing winelist.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Good for Groups, Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined 7 days ago

We enjoyed the arctic char and the pork chop, expecting the fish to steal the show. I've never tasted a better pork chop!!! Amazing. Also, the fried artichoke appetizer, with rosemary aioli, was the best I've ever tasted.

Tags: Comfort Food, Business Meals, Seasonal, People Watching, Worth the Drive, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on September 16, 2017

Cento has a great location for access to the Overture Center. The food is average to good. But the excessive noise level makes conversation a struggle.

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food3
ambience1
service4
value4

 
·Dined on September 16, 2017

The warm olives were a unique & wonderful starter, and the blackberry cobbler special (using locally sourced berries ) was superb. Both our entrees were flavorful, and above expectations. Our server, Emily, was exceptional. She made sure we were satisfied at every step, including having others check on us when it got busy, but never hovered or interrupted . We were impressed with the overall experience and will not hesitate to return, or recommend to others.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Pre/post Theatre, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 16, 2017

Overall, we were very happy to be able to celebrate our 10years anniversary at Cento. We usually go out for a dinner for our anniversary but decided to go for a nice brunch this time since we didn't have a baby sitter for our 2 years old son. They provided us a booth seat as I requested in advance and even offered us a couple of free prosecco for our anniversary. Our hostess, Mary was very friendly and said "happy anniversary" as soon as she started our table. She knows well regarding menu and was thoughtful to bring a cup of milk with a handle so my son could drink easier. She knew when to check on us so we had a nice time to talk and relax without feeling being interrupted. We also thought writing "happy anniversary" on receipt was very sweet of her and have more nice things to say regarding our check, too. Of course the food was excellent and we would like to come back for a dinner next time. The restaurant is neat and all staff that I interacted with were friendly and polite. We felt that our experience at Cento was great and Mary made our anniversary brunch very special. We will definitely go back and also recommend to our friends :-)

Tags: Business Meals, Sunday Lunch, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Lunch, Great for Brunch, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Phoenix)·Dined on September 15, 2017

Thank you CENTO for making my wife's 70th Birthday special. You acknowledged her birthday as soon as we were seated and told us of the complimentary dessert - thoughtful & a great start. The antipasti was creative, salads were fresh and pasta - perfect al dente. The wait staff was on the ball throughout the meal.

Tags: Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Happy Hour, Good for a Date, Local Ingredients, Good for Birthdays, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on September 15, 2017

Lovely way to dine on our wedding anniversary!
While it wasn't quiet, the place has good energy and ambiance.
The food was delish...loved the chestnut soup, especially.
And we were treated to a yummy blackberry dessert.
Kudos to our server were passed on to the manager.

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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on September 13, 2017

This restaurant is overly loud. There is absolutely no way to have a conversation over a meal. While we like the food, the ambiance is poor, especially considering the price. Overall value, therefore, is poor.

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food4
ambience1
service3
value3

 
·Dined on September 11, 2017

Amazing flavors, wonderful service, quality wines. Took our niece for dinner and she was over the top impressed. One of my favorite restaurants in Madison.

Tags: Authentic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on September 10, 2017

Meat plate amazing cheese is good to but never change up. Brussels sprouts were way too raw. $158.00 bottle of wine server broke cork 2x trying to serve bottle full of it. No manager ever stopped by. Service was very inattentive and slow.

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food4
ambience4
service3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on September 9, 2017

Ironman. Great place!

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

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 9, 2017

We so enjoyed ourselves we came back two days later with another set of friends. Keep up the wonderful experience.

Tags: Bar Seating, Late-night Find, Cozy
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 7, 2017

On a yearly Madison visit, we decided to try a new Italian offering. My friend has very specific dietary restrictions, and the staff was able to handle any/all questions. We even had a coupon for a free appetizer (Bacon wrapped dates), but because of my friends nitrate issues - the staff was able to switch to the Meatball appetizer. Our waiter Justin had a keen knowledge of their wines and used easy to understand terminology. My friend mentioned that Justin may have been the BEST waiter she had ever experienced. (i.e. always asked if he could remove a plate/reach to attend something/check to see if we had what we needed). All in all a memorable foodie evening!

Tags: Casual, Notable Wine List, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Late-night Find, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good Vegetarian Options, Scenic View
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 3, 2017

We had a scrumptious brunch! Great space, excellent service, food was wonderful.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Great for Brunch, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on September 3, 2017

Food was delicious just like the two other times I was here. Lighting and atmosphere is good. It is quite loud, though. I can hardly hear the person across the table from me. They would benefit from a sound engineer to design some sound absorbers.

The only real downfall of the night was the waitress who pushed to get us out of there. She asked on several occasions if I was done eating; on the last occasion I was actively putting a fork of food into my mouth as she reached for my plate. I looked around and there were other empty tables, so we must have been her last table of the night and she must have been anxious to get out of there.

Tags: Tasting Menu, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience4
service2
value5

 
·Dined on September 1, 2017

The speck from the butcher block appetizer tasted just like the meat we had in Italy!

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Notable Wine List, Authentic, Special Occasion, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on September 1, 2017

We highly recommend Cento. It's our favorite restaurant in Madison!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Casual, Bar Seating, Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine, Happy Hour
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 29, 2017

We had 8 o'clock reservation and showed up a couple of minutes early of which we were told it would take a couple of minutes, which is fine. Subsequently another three was seated and at 8:20 told that a table right in front of us would be ready in a minute. I asked for a different table that was open because the one offered was right in front of the bar area. The hostess was snarly and said that the other table was reserved. I asked for it anyway. The hostess sat us at the other table with such disdain that was uncalled for. I don't know whether she was having a bad day or that she preferred locals.

The rest of the staff couldn't me more friendly or professional. The food was average except for the salad we had which was excellent.

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food2
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Indiana)·Dined on August 28, 2017

Simply a fantastic Italian restaurant. Great wine and cocktails, great after dinner drinks. Food phenomenal. Have been here twice with 5 star results both times. Only drawback is the noise level, which lots of restaurants in Madison seem to have issues with.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on August 28, 2017

We had a great time and will go back. Great for taking friends and special occasions!

Tags: Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Fun, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on August 27, 2017

Food was excellent as always. I'm not sure if it was the first night for a lot of the wait staff, but things seemed off. I'd describe the staff as aloof. Highlights included standing next to our table with our entrees in hand staring at our appetizer plates waiting for them to be moved so that there was enough room to put our plates down, being served a dessert without any utensils, bringing forks for our dessert after requesting spoons (gelato is easier to eat with a spoon), and being served a coffee and espresso without a spoon for creme/sugar.

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food4
ambience4
service2
value4

vip
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on August 26, 2017

We had a wonderful meal here before a show at the Overture. Our server was excellent! Everything we ordered, from the appetizer of bacon-wrapped dates, to the spinach salads and the orecchiette was fantastic! I wish we had room for dessert!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Healthy, Hot Spot, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on August 26, 2017

Yum! Was going to order something more healthy but when you see unique offerings you have to try them. Our son and a friend LOVED the salami hash. The pancetta buttermilk gravy on the biscuits and gravy -- what?! Amazing. Breakfast potatoes were perfect. Lightly crispy on the outside and perfectly done on the inside. Quiche was great also! Drinks were excellent.

Tags: Comfort Food, Handcrafted Cocktails, Great for Brunch, Creative Cuisine, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 26, 2017

Slow service, and the apps came at the same time as entrees, and my pasta was luke warm. They were apologetic but even though the food was good, it left a bad taste (no pun intended) in my mouth. I would go back to try again, hoping it was just a bump I the road. VERY loud restaurant.

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food3
ambience2
service3
value2

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on August 25, 2017

The meals were good. The restaurant is a nice mix of old and new. Very relaxed yet upscale. Open and quiet.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Sunday Lunch, Good for a Date, Business Meals, Special Occasion, People Watching
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on August 25, 2017

Thank you for a wonderful dinner. We celebrated a birthday, and my friends and I loved the food and wine. Our servers helped me out with a birthday project, too. I love how the staff is on the phone. EVERY time I call, they convey helpfulness and enthusiasm to make my visit terrific. I just love calling your restaurant!

Tags: Good for a Date, Fun, Creative Cuisine, Business Meals, Comfort Food, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on August 24, 2017

We celebrated our 43rd wedding anniversary at Cento. We had a great dinner including a complimentary celebratory glass of prosecco. Our waitress was excellent. She helped us with our entire selections and definitely got it right. Service was timely. Overall a great night.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Naples)·Dined on August 24, 2017

Cento was good but not as good as I expected. I would probably go back knowing the food is good but nothing unusually good. It was a bit noisy for us but the waitress was excellent which made up for some of Cento's shortcomings.

Tags: Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre, Happy Hour
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service5
value3

 
·Dined on August 24, 2017

The food was perfectly reasonable, but I was expecting it to be outstanding. For Italian I would go to Osteria Papavero for better.

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food3
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on August 24, 2017

Great food. Waiter was over-taxed and forgot an item, but brought it late and didn't charge. Problem is the noise level--can hardly hear fellow diners and makes talking to wait staff very challenging.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on August 23, 2017

Fantastic as always

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 23, 2017

Good flavor, good service, interesting menu, great location next to Overture Center!

Tags: Casual, Good for Birthdays, Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
·Dined on August 22, 2017

delicious food and beautiful restaurant. We will be back!

Tags: Authentic, Romantic, Fun, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on August 20, 2017

Great experience, had too wait twenty minutes for our reservation, but they have is a free dessert so all is forgiven! Waitress was named Emily and was incredibly helpful and attentive. Very wxpansive wine list. all the pasta is fresh a and delicious. Highly reccomend!

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on August 19, 2017

Our second swing by Cento...first was for brunch last year. Very cool place. Creative and delicious cocktails. Chicken parmesan was delicious, along with other dishes. Staff was efficient and friendly. Very cool ambiance... We'll be back.

Tags: Special Occasion, Handcrafted Cocktails, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on August 18, 2017

Delicious and fun from start to finish. I'm not sure which was better--the food or the service.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on August 17, 2017

We were very disappointed in this restaurant. Mediocre food, very loud, poor service.

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food2
ambience1
service1
value1

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