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 - Friday: 11:00am - 4:00pm

Brunch:
Saturday: 10am-4pm

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/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

Restaurant Photos

Promotions

Father's Day Special Menus & Reservations

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Promotions

Father's Day Special Menus & Reservations

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Details
Come dine with us on Father's Day, we will offering our regular dinner menu as well as daily specials!

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

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.3

ambience

4.3

noise

Moderate

93% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Italian
Wisconsin
Best Overall
Madison
Best Value
Madison
1 More
Most Booked
Madison
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special occasion (52)
good for groups (51)
fit for foodies (46)
See All
romantic (35)
great for lunch (21)
neighborhood gem (15)
kid-friendly (14)
notable wine list (13)
hot spot (12)
scenic view (12)
late-night find (6)
great for outdoor dining (6)
great for brunch (3)
vibrant bar scene (3)
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606 reviews
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Great Pre-Show Dining

Dined on May 19, 2016

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.

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We have eaten at Francesca's in the past ...

Dined on May 14, 2016

We have eaten at Francesca's in the past so we knew that we would be pleased with the food and atmosphere. Once again, Francesca's did not disappoint. The food and service were both wonderful.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Delizioso!

Dined on May 14, 2016

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.

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience4
service3
value3

Have been here several times and the foo ...

Dined on May 12, 2016

Have been here several times and the food is always very good. Service seems to be a little slow, at least that has been our experience. Will go back whenever we are in Madison.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch
food5
ambience4
service3
value3

Disappointed in brunch...

Dined on May 8, 2016

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.

Tags: good for groups, great for lunch
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Hidden gem

Dined on May 8, 2016

Great staff and great service. Wonderful food without being overpriced. Nice view of the Capitol and downtown scene.

Tags: kid-friendly, good for groups, romantic, great for lunch, scenic view
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Exceptional service

Dined on May 7, 2016

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.

Tags: good for groups, romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

worth trying

vip
Dined on May 7, 2016

An excellent restaurant just off the Capitol Square with validated parking at an adjacent ramp. We sat on the patio and had an idyllic evening with excellent entree's.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, hot spot
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Warm atmosphere, excellent service

Dined on May 3, 2016

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!

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service3

Always good! Never disappoints!

vip
Dined on May 2, 2016

Always good! Never disappoints!

food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Good for gluten-free.

Dined on April 16, 2016

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.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent waitstaff

Dined on April 15, 2016

Our waiter was from Italy doing an exchange program. It was great to have someone so knowledgeable. His recommendation of the Tiramisu which I usually don't like was fantastic.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

We brought out-of-town friends here and ...

Dined on April 12, 2016

We brought out-of-town friends here and had a really lovely evening, great food, and good service.

Tags: special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Dinner with a friend

Dined on March 13, 2016

Beautiful interior, Amazing service - our waitress was very attentive and worked with me to accommodate my GF allergy to create a delicious meal.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Solid Italian near the Capital

Dined on February 27, 2016

Exploring Madison for the first time for a college tour with our daughter and in the mood for Italian. This fit the bill perfectly. Very cool ambiance and a tremendous menu.

Tags: good for groups
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

Great scenic view of capital

Dined on February 21, 2016

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

Tags: good for groups, scenic view
food5
ambience4
service5

Good meal. Reasonable prices. Great ser ...

Dined on February 19, 2016

Good meal. Reasonable prices. Great service. Nice location.

food2
ambience2
service4

The pasta portion was small and some of ...

Dined on February 15, 2016

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!

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great atmosphere

Dined on February 13, 2016

trendy up beat restaurant. Great for date night or just hanging out.

Tags: good for groups, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Get the calamari and don't overlook the pizza

Dined on February 13, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Very friendly service

Dined on January 31, 2016

There was 10 of us and we came early. But they set us up and got us seated quickly. The waitress was very attentive and there was something for everyone on the menu. The waitress even gave us all individual checks when someone asked.

Tags: good for groups
food5
ambience5
service2

For the lack of people in the restaurant ...

Dined on January 27, 2016

For the lack of people in the restaurant the service was very very slow.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great Time

Dined on January 23, 2016

Really enjoyed the restaurant week menu! A little loud, but lovely otherwise. Outstanding food and very friendly service. Great affordable wines.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, late-night find, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Way above expectations!

Dined on January 23, 2016

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!

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

consistently good food and atmosphere

Dined on January 21, 2016

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).

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Buono Mangiati

Dined on January 21, 2016

The food and service, as usual, were absolutely outstanding. The restaurant was very busy, but we were seated promptly. The delicious bread came out right away, which is a real pleasure when everyone at the table is hungry.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Delicious

Dined on January 20, 2016

The calamari was the best I've ever had--light and tender. The chicken dish included delicious vegetables in a flavorful sauce. The service was excellent without being intrusive.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch
food5
ambience3
service4
value5

Ah, the calamari

Dined on January 20, 2016

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.)

Tags: good for groups, great for outdoor dining
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Would go again!

Dined on January 19, 2016

Great food, good service, nice environment. The salmon was excellent, as was the fruit sorbetto. Had a small misunderstanding on happy hour - menu said draft beers $3 but when given the bill, not all beers were priced for happy hour. Explanation was that you need to buy three beers to get happy hour price? Wine that was also listed as happy hour was initially charged full price. Management offered to give us happy hour prices as it was not explained properly by our waiter. Restaurant was a bit chilly! Saw numerous other patrons wearing winter coats inside.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service4

One of my favorite places in Madison for ...

vip
Dined on January 17, 2016

One of my favorite places in Madison for Italian!

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Outstanding

vip
Dined on January 16, 2016

My dinner experience at Sardine for 4 people was outstanding in every facet. The service was outstanding. Oysters and scallop appetizer with a white wine were a great start. Each person ordered a different seafood entrée, and all were exceptional. We will definitely return to this wonderful restaurant.

Tags: fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

Great Italian and friendly atmosphere!

Dined on January 16, 2016

Excellent food and good wine selection. Staff was very friendly. It was my first time there and I asked about parking validation and they not only handed me a voucher, but someone walked me back to the elevator and ensured I got on and knew where to go. Will definitely be back! Went for a girls night but would make a great date night spot as well!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Lunch date

Dined on January 15, 2016

Comfortable and relaxed dining. Service was good and the food was well prepared. The ingredients seemed fresh and came hot on the plate. The pasta was a good mixture of the spicing and richness of the pesto sauce. I have always had a good meal at Francesca's.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great for group dinner of 10! Great salmon!

Dined on January 9, 2016

Held surprise birthday dinner for 18 year old with a group of 10. Very attentive staff to making sure the surprise was a surprise! Food and service were very good. I had the salmon and it was excellent!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Fantastic

vip
Dined on January 4, 2016

Enjoyed the National Spaghetti Day special menu, and a few all time favorites as well. Francesca's never disappoints

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, scenic view, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Awesome as always

vip
Dined on January 3, 2016

Awesome as always - delicious and plentiful food, great welcoming staff, easy downtown parking. Particularly high on my list of faves are the Francesca salad, the Bruschette alla Romana (and, even more so, the Tri-Colore Bruschette when they offer it), the various Ravioli preparations, and to top off everything, the Torte di Lava (yum!).

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
food4
ambience4
service5
value5

Family holiday visit

Dined on December 24, 2015

This was a great choice to visit with my niece and her husband. The gluten free menu choices were plentiful and delicious.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great Food

Dined on December 18, 2015

One of our favorites. Great food and excellent service.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
food4
ambience4
service3

Lunch review

Dined on December 14, 2015

We waited a long while for tea and drinks before lunch when it was a slow Monday. My plate was luke warm but the food was tasty. Others at our table liked their food

Tags: good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5

great food

vip
Dined on December 10, 2015

we were looking for a special place for dinner---and found it. everyone enjoyed their meal and we had a great suggestion for wine from the server. and love the pictures of italy

Tags: good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem

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