About Francesca's al Lago
Francesca's al Lago is the 21st addition to The Francesca's Restaurant Group. The Capital Square location offers guests “simple rustic cooking, friendly service and fair prices,” which has been the winning recipe at all Francesca’s locations since 1992. Our menu features the zesty, earthy cuisine of Rome and the surrounding areas of Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio. An expansive wine list, local beers and handcrafted martinis are the perfect accompaniment to an outstanding dining experience.
About The Francesca’s Restaurant Group: Founded in 1992 by Restaurateur Scott Harris, Francesca’s Restaurant Group has grown from a small, welcoming Italian restaurant on Chicago’s North Clark Street to a restaurant group of three concepts across 33 locations and four states. Based in Chicago, Francesca’s Restaurant Group currently owns and operates 23 Francesca’s Restaurants, five Davanti Enoteca, and five Glazed and Infused locations.
Italian, Mediterranean, Wine Bar
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 4:00pm
Sunday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 9:00pm
Friday & Saturday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Francesca"s al Lago has a wide range of catering services available to suite your needs. From full-service to pick-up, Francesca's catering is an easy & reliable way to entertain guests in your home or workplace.
We have validated parking at the Block 89 parking ramp located on Doty St. between Martin Luther King BLVD & Pinckney St.
Metered street parking available as well.
From Milwaukee & EAST
I-94 West WI-30 West Left onto US-151 S/E (Washington Ave)
Right onto Wilson Right onto MLK Jr Blvd
From Chicago & SOUTH
I-90 West/1-94 West US 12-18 toward Madison John Nolen Dr Exit
Left onto Broom Right onto Wilson Left onto Hamilton
Right onto Doty Left onto MLK Jr Blvd
Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
Whether celebrating a special occasion with family and friends or hosting a corporate outing, Francesca's al Lago can accommodate all your special event needs.
Francesca's al Lago Ratings and Reviews
The staff is very attentive, and there i ...
The staff is very attentive, and there is a gluten-free menu that encompasses all facets of the meal, including appetizers and desserts! :-) Most important, of course, is that the food is terrific and plated nicely.
We had a reservation for 6 people and we ...
We had a reservation for 6 people and we were accommodated very well when a 7th person joined our group. Great service, food and drinks were superb.
My only small complaint is you have flyers on the table advertising 1/2 price drinks and appetizers before 6:30. We arrived at 5:45. We were told it did not apply to us because we were at a table not in the bar. The flyers should not be on the dining room tables.
The meals for the four of us were very g ...
The meals for the four of us were very good, the wait staff ok. One of the waiters poured water into an unfinished gin and tonic. There was a large loud party in a private room, but the door was open most of the time - wish we had been seated elsewhere .
We went for Father's Day to take advanta ...
We went for Father's Day to take advantage of the free entree for dads. The service was excellent, and we enjoyed our time together. The food was good, but not great. There are better restaurants in Madison, particularly for the price.
nice place for lunch. We are familiar wi ...
nice place for lunch. We are familiar with Francesca's as they have few restaurants around our town in IL. Always good experience. Familiar Italian dishes, I like the fact that the menu is not too confusing. Enough good choices.
We had never been here but chose the res ...
We had never been here but chose the restaurant for location, type of food and based on online reviews. The food was excellent, they were able to cater to my gluten free needs. We came for our rehearsal/night before wedding dinner!
Best Happy Hour deal in town
We have been to this restaurant many times. It provides the best deals for happy hour! Longer hours (until 6:30pm) and available on fridays. You get half price appetizers (and these are not fried from frozen type food). Half price glasses or wine and beer. You can't beat this deal. The appetizer menu has several selections and always risotto of the day (big portion enough to be a meal). My favorite was the spicy mussels.
Great Pre-Show Dining
My family had tickets for the Lion King and was looking for a kid friendly place to get a good meal before the show. Francesca's fit the bill perfectly! The kids pizza was not your average kids pizza, and since they didn't have pepperoni, they added prosciutto instead. Delish! And the halibut was out of this world! Our servers got us out with ample time to walk to the show.
We went here for my son's graduation and the food was great quality - and beverages, too! The 4 of us each ordered something different and all of it was excellent. (Yes, I tried everyone's dish!) I have rarely found good gnocchi in the US and Francesca's was excellent. Service was good, too. I would highly recommend this restaurant.
Disappointed in brunch...
I know that I should have known, but on Mother's Day, my son and I went to Francesca's and they weren't serving any pasta or Italian. They were serving omelets and fratata's. Yes, it was still delicious, but we were just disappointing there was not a choice for their usual great Italian food.
I was with a group of young adults with disabilities for dinner on a busy Saturday night. Our waitress, Renee, was incredibly patient with us and extremely knowledgeable. She made great recommendations of food and drinks. She went out of her way to check on items not listed on the menu for one member of our party, and had the kitchen make her a dish that wasn't listed. I will definitely recommend Francesca's to others, and plan to return in the future.
Warm atmosphere, excellent service
This was our first experience here. We came for their "Teacher Appreciation" special as we are both educators. Our server Davide, made the experience even better. From his warm smile to his recommendations to his attentiveness, we were very pleased. The calamari and the tiramisu were the best we have tried in town. Our salmon and scallop dishes were perfectly cooked and flavorful. The wine selection was also good. We will definitely return!
Good for gluten-free.
They handled gluten-free very well for those of us with Celiac disease. I do wish some of their other menu items were on the gluten-free menu. I don't really care if they have to use the GF penne for all the entrees as long as it's GF. I guess I will ask the waitress next time if they could make something on the regular menu GF. My husband said his rosemary chicken dish (not GF) was the best he had ever had.
Great scenic view of capital
Our waitress was very attentive and had many suggestions to offer regarding menu. The mussels were delicious and she even gave us extra sauce to take back with us because we enjoyed it so much. I would highly recommend. One of the best Italian restaurants in Madison
The pasta portion was small and some of ...
The pasta portion was small and some of the noodles were burnt but after mentioning it to the waitress, the management took it off the bill immediately. The roasted half chicken meal was drowning in a watery "sauce" along with the potatoes which became soggy. The dessert was great though! And the server was very attentive and friendly!
Get the calamari and don't overlook the pizza
They have the best prepared calamari you'll find anywhere. It melts in your mouth... no chewiness. I have never had it better anywhere else.
I had the pizza for the first time... and that's an incredible deal for the quality and quantity of pizza you get. I normally stray from pizza on a menu like Francesca's has, since they have so many more unique flavors to offer. But their pizza is an incredible deal! Such fresh ingredients and the dough is delicious and even any leftover pizza reheats so well, unlike most day-old pizza.
Way above expectations!
Our first visit ti Francesca al Lago, and with the steep competition in Italian food, we kept expections reasonable. Our waitress was timely, not intrusive and patient with our questions.
Food was all excellent- we will certainly go back and take friends!
consistently good food and atmosphere
Went to Francesca's al Lago during restaurant week for group lunch of co-workers. As always, a great meal, friendly and knowledgeable waitress and wonderful atmosphere. This place has never let me let down as it is the best atmosphere and most reasonably priced place to go on the Square, with nice selection on its menu, during my busy work week. The chef does magic with soup and salad selections and one of the best burgers in town (go figure, when it doesn't even advertisement it).
Ah, the calamari
We first had the calamari on a visit to Madison eight years ago. We didn't seek out Francesca's; it was a beautiful early fall evening and we saw an outside table with a view of the state Capitol. Now that we live here, we went back to see if the calamari that night was luck or a consistently good product. Again, the best calamari we've had away from a coast.
(On value: we were there for restaurant week; a value everywhere (although less of a 'cents off' than at other venues for restaurant week.)
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