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
Ravioli
Pizza
Ravioli Con Salsiccia E Broccolini
Lasagna Bolognese
Tiramisu
Gamberi Alla Diavola
Cannoli
Bruschetta With Prosciutto
Chicken And Potatoes
Lemon Drop
Sautéed Spinach

Specials

HAPPY HOUR

Mondays - Fridays from 3:30 PM - 6:30 PM

SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS for $9.99

Mondays from 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM

ITALIAN FISH FRY for $14.99

Fridays from 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM

BRUNCH with us!!!

Saturdays from 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

25% Off Entire Meal

Sundays from 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Specials

HAPPY HOUR

Mondays - Fridays from 3:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Details

HAPPY HOUR!!! Monday-Friday from 3:30pm-6:30pm includes: 1/2 off all appetizers 1/2 off all wines by the glass $3 draft beers. Excludes Tax and Tip. You don't want to miss this great deal Monday-Friday from 3:30pm-6:30pm!. Special valid Jun 6, 2016 - Oct 6, 2016 on Mondays - Fridays from 3:30 PM - 6:30 PM.

SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS for $9.99

Mondays from 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Details

Spaghetti and Meatballs at Francesca's al Lago!!! Adults- $9.99 Kids- $4.99 (under 12 years old). Excludes Tax and Tip. Chef's Spaghetti and Meatballs are DELICIOUS!!!. Special valid Jun 6, 2016 - Oct 3, 2016 on Mondays from 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM.

ITALIAN FISH FRY for $14.99

Fridays from 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Details

Excludes Tax and Tip. Special valid Jun 10, 2016 - Oct 7, 2016 on Fridays from 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM.

BRUNCH with us!!!

Saturdays from 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Details

Brunch with us and enjoy $4 Mimosa's & $4 Bloody Marie's from 10am-3pm EVERY SATURDAY!!!. Excludes Tax and Tip. Patio has a great view of the Capitol Building!. Special valid Jun 4, 2016 - Oct 1, 2016 on Saturdays from 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM.

25% Off Entire Meal

Sundays from 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Details

25% Off Entire Meal. Excludes Tax and Tip. Please come in and enjoy the Taste of Italy!!! INDUSTRY SUNDAYS!!!. Special valid Jun 5, 2016 - Oct 2, 2016 on Sundays from 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM.

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

4.2

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.3

ambience

4.1

value

4.1

noise

Moderate

92% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Most Booked
Madison
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Good for Groups (36)
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Romantic (16)
Neighborhood Gem (14)
Scenic View (9)
Great for Brunch (9)
Great for Lunch (9)
Notable Wine List (9)
Great for Outdoor Dining (6)
Kid-friendly (5)
Hot Spot (5)
Vibrant Bar Scene (4)
Cozy (3)
Good for a Date (3)
Happy Hour (2)
Casual (2)
Fun (2)
Late-night Find (2)
Comfort Food (2)
Pre/post Theatre (2)
Authentic (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Creative Cuisine (1)
Handcrafted Cocktails (1)
Wood Oven (1)
Family Style (1)
Outstanding Value (1)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
Modern Decor (1)
People Watching (1)
Good for Birthdays (1)
Worth the Drive (1)
Good for Anniversaries (1)
Quiet Conversation (1)
Business Meals (1)
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634 reviews
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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
ambience5
service4
value4

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

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
ambience5
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
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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
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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
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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
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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

nice place for lunch. We are familiar wi ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on June 18, 2016

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.

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
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service4
value4

We had never been here but chose the res ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on June 17, 2016

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!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Scenic View, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food4
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service4
value4

Great food. Great service Noise level ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on June 12, 2016

Great food.

Great service

Noise level can go up.

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food4
ambience3
service4

Best Happy Hour deal in town

vip
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on May 27, 2016

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.

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Kid-friendly
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food4
ambience4
service4
value5

Great Pre-Show Dining

 
 (Milwaukee)
·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: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Kid-friendly
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food4
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We have eaten at Francesca's in the past ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·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: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Delizioso!

 
 (Minneapolis)
·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: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Kid-friendly, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Scenic View, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Have been here several times and the foo ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·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, Great for Lunch, Special Occasion
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food5
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service3
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Disappointed in brunch...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·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
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food5
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service3
value3

Hidden gem

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on May 8, 2016

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

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Kid-friendly, Romantic, Scenic View
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Exceptional service

 
 (Milwaukee)
·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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

worth trying

vip
 (Central Coast)
·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, Hot Spot, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Warm atmosphere, excellent service

 
 (Milwaukee)
·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, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Always good! Never disappoints!

vip
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on May 2, 2016

Always good! Never disappoints!

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food4
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service3

Good for gluten-free.

 
 (Milwaukee)
·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.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Excellent waitstaff

 
 (Milwaukee)
·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
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food5
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