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Dining in Madison, Wisconsin - Part 2

Updated on September 18, 2017
Jaynie2000 profile image

Jaynie is from Madison, WI but has traveled extensively. Her family speaks 4 languages, making the world very accessible.

Fine Dining in Madison, Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin is more than able to hold its own among any larger city anywhere in the world. The following are a few of the best choices available to locals and those fortunate enough to visit our wonderful city. Also check out my hub entitled, Dining in Madison, Wisconsin for more amazing choices.


Fresco is a cozy restaurant, serving contemporary American cuisine, which is nestled above the Overture Center at 227 State Street. What makes Fresco such a delightful choice is the seasonal menu featuring fresh ingredients from local farmer’s markets paired with a variety of meats and lovely assortment of cocktails and desserts. The atmosphere is that of a chic and trendy lounge. Fresco also offers late night dining until 11pm Thursdays and from 10 pm until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and most items are only $5.00 each. For more information, check out their website at www.

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse

While this restaurant is a chain, its amazing menu, pleasing ambience and world class cuisine are anything but. The meat literally sizzles on your plate as the luscious butter topping that runs drips onto it. The local Ruth’s Chris is owned by former Badger Football Coach, Barry Alvarez, so it is not uncommon to see him, current coach, Brett Bielema and other big names in Badger Football at the club. In addition to steaks that literally melt-in-your-mouth, Ruth’s Chris also features live Maine lobsters, chicken breasts stuffed with garlic herb cheese and served with lemon butter, and barbequed shrimp. Salads and sides are served ala carte, so the meal can get pricey, but the food is excellent and the wait staff is always pleasant and accommodating. On a recent visit, the wait staff even invited our daughter to the kitchen to see the live lobster tank, even though we had all just ordered steaks. They were very friendly. They have a wonderful wine and cocktail menu as well and the dessert menu features classics such as Chocolate Sin Cake and Cheesecake with fresh berries in addition to more unique choices such as Caramelized Banana Cream Pie and Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce. They are located at 2137 Deming Way in Middleton, Wisconsin. To view their menu, visit www.

Fleming's Steakhouse

Fleming's is also a chain restaurant, but like Ruth's Chris, the food is far too good to ever believe that it could be part of a chain! They are located just outside Hilldale Mall at 750 N. Midvale Blvd. This locale has been developed into a very trendy area with restaurants and shopping and a host of new condos. We have dined at Fleming's several times and each time we have received impeccable service and amazing food. We have enjoyed appetizers such as the wonderful sweet chili calamari, jumbo lump crab cakes and seared ahi tuna. The petite filet mignon is so delicious, tender and juicy, that we've never tried any other entree! They do feature a variety of steaks, lamb chops, chicken breasts, veal and seafoods. The wine list is extensive with ample opportunity for classic pairings, and a lovely cocktail menu. There is separate bar seating area that hosts happy hours during the week that features 5 appetizers, 5 cocktails and 5 wines by the glass, each for $6.00 until 7:00 pm. The dining room is large enough to hold a crowd, but the seating is arranged in a variety of comfy booths and tables that with enough space between to allow your party to feel at ease. Visit Fleming's on the web at

Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse

Just a hop, skip and a jump from Ruth’s Chris, at 8390 Market Street in Middleton, is a less expensive, but very pleasant and enjoyable steakhouse called Johnny’s Italian. Johnny’s is reminiscent of a 1940’s steakhouse, but has put several elegant spins on the traditional beef dishes. Highlights include Johnny’s Steak DeBurgo, a tenderloin sautéed with roasted garlic, fresh thyme, basil and oregano and laced with cream sauce. All specialties can be reviewed at Non-steak choices include stuffed pork chops, veal parmigiano, and veal Sinatra. Johnny’s features a wonderful assortment of pastas and chicken dishes. Decadent desserts include Crème Brulee, Tiramisu, Turtle Cheesecake and Chocolate Mousse. Steaks range from $20 - $ 29 per person; pastas; specialty beef and chicken dishes range from $13 - $23.


In a casual yet trendy atmosphere, Bluephies serves up a variety of flatbreads, burgers, pasta, southwest fare, salads and sandwichces. Other choices with the unique Bluephies flare include seared tuna with chile infused sweet potatoes; artichoke and olive crusted salmon; pan fried trout and creole crab cakes. The extensive dessert menu includes such Bluephies creations as butterfinger wontons, dessert sushi and oreo ravioli! Prices are modest, most in the $9 - $15 range. Bluephies is located in a trendy area at 2701 Monroe Street. This menu is worth a look. Check them out at

Capitol Chophouse

Located just a block from the stunning Monona Terrace, at 9 East Wilson Street, is the classic Capitol Chophouse. This restaurant is located in the Hilton Madison but is much more enjoyable than a traditional hotel eatery. The atmosphere is classic and relaxed. The wait staff provides impeccable service and the meats I have had have always been cooked to perfection. The do not serve on Sundays, but serve until 10 pm Monday – Saturday. They also serve lunch Monday – Friday. Prices can run up since salads and soups are served ala carte, but the lobster bisque and French onion soup are wonderful. In addition to steaks you can choose from a variety of chicken, lamb chops, short ribs, lobster, king crab legs and other seafood. Sides are also served ala carte. The garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed mushrooms are particularly tasty. For something deliciously different, try the lobster mac ‘n’ cheese. Entrée prices, without sides and beverages, range from $24 - $49. To view the entire menu, visit them on the web at

Bon Appetit!

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    • Jaynie2000 profile image

      Jaynie2000 7 years ago

      Just found out that Magnus is closing in January 2011 and being turned into a trendy spot for cyclists or something like that. I'll keep you posted.

    • profile image

      Tim Grogan 7 years ago

      Magnus rocks!