About Francesca's al Lago

111 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
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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.

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Italian, Mediterranean, Wine Bar

Hours of Operation:
Lunch:
Monday - Saturday: 11:00am - 4:00pm

Dinner:
Sunday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 9:00pm
Friday & Saturday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm

Cross Street:
Main Street

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(608) 255-6000

Website:
http://www.miafrancesca.com/locations/profile/wisconsin

Catering:
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.

Parking Details:
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.

Public Transit:
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

Executive Chef:
Sergio Lopez

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Restaurant Photos

Calamari Fritti - Francesca's al Lago, Madison, WI
Ravioli - Francesca's al Lago, Madison, WI
Pizza - Francesca's al Lago, Madison, WI
Ravioli Con Salsiccia E Broccolini - Francesca's al Lago, Madison, WI
Lasagna Bolognese - Francesca's al Lago, Madison, WI
Tiramisu - Francesca's al Lago, Madison, WI
Gamberi Alla Diavola - Francesca's al Lago, Madison, WI
Cannoli - Francesca's al Lago, Madison, WI
Bruschetta With Prosciutto - Francesca's al Lago, Madison, WI
Chicken And Potatoes - Francesca's al Lago, Madison, WI
Lemon Drop - Francesca's al Lago, Madison, WI
Sautéed Spinach - Francesca's al Lago, Madison, WI

Private Dining

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

5
4
3
2
1

4.3

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.2

ambience

4.0

value

4.0

noise

Moderate

91% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Italian
Wisconsin
Most Booked
Madison
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Special Occasion (19)
Good for Groups (17)
Good for a Date (14)
See All
Romantic (13)
Pre/post Theatre (10)
Good for Birthdays (9)
Neighborhood Gem (9)
Casual (9)
Good for Anniversaries (8)
Fit for Foodies (8)
Creative Cuisine (7)
Comfort Food (7)
Scenic View (6)
Bar Seating (6)
Business Meals (6)
Notable Wine List (6)
Authentic (6)
Worth the Drive (5)
Private Room (5)
Great for Lunch (5)
Cozy (5)
Fun (4)
People Watching (4)
Outstanding Value (4)
Happy Hour (4)
Modern Decor (4)
Gluten Free Options (4)
Great for Outdoor Dining (3)
Great for Brunch (3)
Quiet Conversation (3)
Handcrafted Cocktails (3)
Hot Spot (3)
Tasting Menu (3)
Kid-friendly (3)
Seasonal (2)
Healthy (2)
Quick Bite (2)
Family Style (2)
Local Ingredients (2)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Organic (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Afternoon Tea (1)
Wood Oven (1)
Historic (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
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650 reviews
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Good food, expensive

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined 2 days ago

Good food, expensive

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food4
ambience4
service5

Food was delicious. Offered a gluten fre ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on November 20, 2016

Food was delicious. Offered a gluten free menu, which is why I chose this restaurant in the first place. Some dishes are a little pricey but overall good value. We ordered 2 entrees 2 alcoholics drinks and 1 dessert for about 50 bucks.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Casual, Scenic View, Gluten Free Options, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Comfort Food, Good for Groups, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Very good food that seemed overpriced.

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 14, 2016

Very good food that seemed overpriced.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Wonderful as always. The entire staff is ...

vip
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on November 13, 2016

Wonderful as always. The entire staff is remarkable, with Renée being the most knowledgeable of the wait staff (it's pretty amazing what the kitchen can do upon request). The whole thing is overseen by the ever-energetic Heather who will make you feel welcome. Monthly-changing menu, which is great for trying new dishes but sad when next month arrives and your new favorite is gone (I'm thinking of you, Massimo salad and Roasted Corn salad). Well-crafted pastas served in generous portions. As a vegetarian, I can't comment on fish and meat dishes. But the desserts! Particularly the Chocolate Lava Cake and the Tiramisu. Always save room for dessert.

Tags: Romantic, Authentic, Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies, Fun, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Healthy, Good for Birthdays, Good Vegetarian Options, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Private Room
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

We had a large group with various needs ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 13, 2016

We had a large group with various needs from gluten free to vegetarian and kid-friendly. All were delighted with menu options and delicious food. Excellent service too!

Tags: Business Meals, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Kid-friendly, Authentic, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This was a good dining experience. The c ...

 
 (Des Moines)·Dined on October 28, 2016

This was a good dining experience. The coffee is terrible but it is either the brand or the strength of the brew. Everything else was very good.

Tags: Quick Bite
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

Consistently great food, always enjoyabl ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on October 28, 2016

Consistently great food, always enjoyable. Friendly staff, good atmosphere. Noise level low and tables placed so I do not feel I am dining with the table next to me. This restaurant presents an enjoyable evening of dining. Lunch is fantastic because you can enjoy your freshly cooked meal within an hour and can visit with your lunch companion without having to shout or hear other diners.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Great for Brunch, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Business Meals, Outstanding Value, Comfort Food, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Great for Lunch, Pre/post Theatre, Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We enjoyed the food but the service was ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on October 22, 2016

We enjoyed the food but the service was bad. Server looked unhappy and wasn't very accommodating. Long lapses between drinks, salads, and entrees.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Tasting Menu
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food5
ambience3
service2
value3

Mia Francesca is one of my all time favo ...

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 21, 2016

Mia Francesca is one of my all time favorites in Chicago - had to try Francesca al Lago as we were in Madison for my birthday - it was great!! Service was lovely, food was tasty.

Tags: Good for Groups, Bar Seating, Neighborhood Gem, Cozy, Good for a Date, Scenic View, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

Always amazing. If you haven't been then ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on October 9, 2016

Always amazing. If you haven't been then you should.

Tags: Good for Groups, Fun, Tasting Menu, Good for Birthdays, Family Style, Quick Bite, People Watching, Business Meals, Notable Wine List, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Modern Decor, Seasonal, Organic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Private Room, Bar Seating, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine, Great for Brunch, Pre/post Theatre, Kid-friendly, Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Hot Spot, Healthy, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Happy Hour, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The bartender was missing most of the ti ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on October 8, 2016

The bartender was missing most of the time we were at the bar. When the hostesss took us to our table, the bartender was still not at the bar. My husband ended up asking the hostess to find the bartender so we could pay our bar bill. Once we were seated at our table we waited about ten minutes for a waitress and during that time other people were seated and waited on. The husband of my friend finally went up to the hostess desk and asked if we could have a waitress. Once we were waited on the food and service were very good.

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service3
value4

We visited Francesca's prior to a show a ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on October 7, 2016

We visited Francesca's prior to a show at the Overture. The 5:45 time was perfect for a nice meal and coffee and dessert after. All six of us enjoyed our selections. The service was great. I am sorry, I forgot the name of the woman who attended us.

Tags: Authentic, Seasonal
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

Very good service and good meal. We ate ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on October 6, 2016

Very good service and good meal. We ate dinner before a show at the Theatre. Nice location to easily walk to our event. Would definitely recommend to family and friends.

Tags: Comfort Food, People Watching, Notable Wine List
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Food was adequate at best (e.g., nothing ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on October 2, 2016

Food was adequate at best (e.g., nothing unique or creative), service was slow, perhaps owing to several very large groups at adjoining tables, and the overall noise level seriously detracted from our dining experience (e.g., having to shout to be heard by our dinner companions).

Tags: Good for Anniversaries
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food2
ambience1
service1
value2

We have dined at Francesca's a number of ...

vip
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on October 2, 2016

We have dined at Francesca's a number of times and always enjoyed it. We had friends from out of town staying with us and we decided to take them there. Once again we had a very nice meal. The food was great, our service was very good, and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Our friends were pleased with their meals which made us happy. We will definitely return.

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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

My wife and I had dined here before and ...

vip
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on September 18, 2016

My wife and I had dined here before and decided to go back......we weren't disappointed. The food was very good, the service was good, and we had an enjoyable experience. I would recommend this restaurant to all my family and friends.

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food4
ambience5
service3
value4

Service was so slow ,we were seated and ...

 
 (Miami)·Dined on September 17, 2016

Service was so slow ,we were seated and no

one came back for 25 min.

No bread , no water , or menu was given

And good came out cold

Tags: Happy Hour
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food2
ambience2
service1
value2

Service is excellent. Our waitress was t ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on September 16, 2016

Service is excellent. Our waitress was the best we've ever had. Food was outstanding .

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Cozy, Comfort Food, Authentic, Scenic View, Good for Groups, Modern Decor, Fun, People Watching, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Hot Spot, Pre/post Theatre, Romantic, Good for Birthdays, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Business Meals
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

A great place to eat and relax with a go ...

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 11, 2016

A great place to eat and relax with a good wine list and excellent service.

Tags: Family Style, Comfort Food, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Good for Groups, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

We have come to this restaurant a number ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on September 9, 2016

We have come to this restaurant a number of times and have never been disappointed. The staff are freindly and service impecable. The menue has many choices to entice and the sea bass was a special delight as was the lightly breaded and fried calimari. The wine list has varried price offerings with many by the glass choices. We finished off our dinner with deserts which were just the right size and delicious.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List, Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Happy Hour
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Unfortunately the great memories I have ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on September 3, 2016

Unfortunately the great memories I have for dining here were spoiled by this outing. Although the food was great, it was disappointing that the menu seems to have been scaled back since I was there last. The biggest problem was a table of about 20 people that made the place extremely noisy and I couldn't talk to the person across the table from me. Added to that was that our poor waitress looked like she was supposed to handle that 20 people table by herself. Needless to say she was too busy when we needed something. I guess my advice would be to check and see that they have enough help and don't go there on the weekend, maybe you will avoid a crowd like that.

Tags: Molecular Gastronomy
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food4
ambience1
service3
value2

We had a great experience at Francesca's ...

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on August 30, 2016

We had a great experience at Francesca's. The food was exceptional. Great quality and flavors and large portions. My wife ordered the spinach ravioli, and my daughter the roast chicken, and asked the waitress to split them for each. Four plates came out, each one enough for one person! The chicken parm was outstanding. Our guests were also from New York, and were shocked that their food was as good as any in NYC. I would highly recommend Francesca's to anyone.

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food5
ambience4
service4

The ambience was very relaxing and we en ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on August 27, 2016

The ambience was very relaxing and we enjoyed our food.

However, the kitchen lost our food ticket and we waited 45 minutes before our waiter informed us of the mistake. Once we finally received the food, my husband got the wrong meal and was not asked if he wanted it taken back and his original order made. It was disappointing because we both went for pasta and then ended up giving him some chicken with lettuce on top.

They did comp us a dessert.

Tags: Good for a Date
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food4
ambience4
service1
value3

We enjoy Francesca's al Lago. Overall, ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on August 22, 2016

We enjoy Francesca's al Lago. Overall, the food is good. Their marinara sauces are a bit salty but still tasty My husband loves their salmon. We especially like the location just off the square between the Capital and Monona Terrace. We can take a stroll after dinner and walk off a good dinner!

Tags: Gluten Free Options, Casual
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food4
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service4
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Excellent selection of gluten free items ...

vip
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on August 20, 2016

Excellent selection of gluten free items to chose from. Good service, special requests not a problem. Definitely a place to visit again.

Tags: Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Pizza was excellent. Noise level was hi ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on August 13, 2016

Pizza was excellent. Noise level was high; made it hard to have a quiet conversation.

Tags: Good for Groups
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food4
ambience2
service3
value3

Reservations were at 6:15, we arrive at ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on August 12, 2016

Reservations were at 6:15, we arrive at 6:16, the table was ready and we were seated immediately. The wait was long for the waitress to arrive, after that the service was good.

The place was nice, food was very good. Time wait for dinner was good, the wine list for are occasion was good.

Tags: Special Occasion, Great for Brunch, Good for Groups, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience3
service4
value4

Understaffed and average food. Over 2 ...

vip
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on August 12, 2016

Understaffed and average food. Over 2 hours for cocktails, entree, and dessert. We waited. A lot.

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food2
ambience3
service1
value2

Weird music

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on August 6, 2016

Weird music

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food5
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Great Italian food. Fine service. A grea ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on August 5, 2016

Great Italian food. Fine service. A great place to take the entire family. Very casual.

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food4
ambience4
service4

Hostess/manager was wonderful. Seated us ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on July 30, 2016

Hostess/manager was wonderful. Seated us at the quietest table. All of the service staff was great. Food was fresh, flavorful, and just the right spice. Great calamari app. Depending on seating, space can be a little loud. Love th bar area, very comfortable.

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Great food and service. Looks more expen ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on July 29, 2016

Great food and service. Looks more expensive than it is. They have periodic promotions that really enhance the value. Get on their mailing list! Definitely a cut above yet reasonable.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups
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food5
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service5
value5

The staff is very attentive, and there i ...

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on July 15, 2016

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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

We had a reservation for 6 people and we ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on July 15, 2016

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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Scenic View, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I have had great food there 2 times befo ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on July 15, 2016

I have had great food there 2 times before, but this evening the chicken was not very tasteful

Tags: Good for Groups
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food2
ambience3
service5
value2

The meals for the four of us were very g ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on July 3, 2016

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 .

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

One person in our party cannot eat glute ...

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on July 2, 2016

One person in our party cannot eat gluten and it was appreciated that there was a gluten-free menu available. Our waiter, David, was very pleasant and accommodating. Would definitely come back.

Tags: Good for Groups
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food4
ambience3
service5
value4

We had a wonderful dinner before the Con ...

vip
 (Hawaii)·Dined on June 29, 2016

We had a wonderful dinner before the Concert on the Square. Great combination

Tags: Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

I waited almost 45 minutes to get my mai ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on June 27, 2016

I waited almost 45 minutes to get my main course. When I ask for my meal I was told they had two big groups and the kitchen forgot my food. In the mean time other tables were getting their food

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food4
ambience3
service1
value2

We went for Father's Day to take advanta ...

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on June 19, 2016

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.

Tags: Kid-friendly, Notable Wine List
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food3
ambience5
service4
value3

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