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“Fun, Different but Maybe A Little Pretentious” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Nostrano Restaurant

Nostrano Restaurant
111 S Hamilton St, Ste 13, Madison, WI 53703-3240
608-395-3295
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Ranked #81 of 826 Restaurants in Madison
Price range: $29 - $31
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: W Main St | S Carroll St
Transit: Madison Metro | Routes 1-8
New Richmond, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
173 reviews 173 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 83 cities Reviews in 83 cities
170 helpful votes 170 helpful votes
“Fun, Different but Maybe A Little Pretentious”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2012

W stopped here after a night filled with fun, food and drinking. It had been a while since our early dinner so our buddy suggested we try the scallops and the meat tray. Both were good but very expensive for what you get, especially for the scallops.

The fun part of this place is the drink possibilities. Their 'mixologist' is more like a chemist. We sat at the bar and it was fun watching him work his ways on the concoctions he had in his arsenal. I was full of beer and so he asked me what I like. I said, "Wheat beer and Captain Morgan". He made me a whiskey sour complete with egg white and lemon juice for the sour. It was good but not my favorite drink ever. He tried to hook me up and went on a limb so I appreciated the effort.

I think the eclectic selection of booze, spritzers for drink additions and overall difference behind the bar made both the fun and the feeling that it was pretentious. I got the impression that the 'mixologist' was the wizard and his helpers were his peasants, almost a lower class. It was a weird vibe.

I doubt I would go back here. I think this is 'the place' for many people out there. Just not me.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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54 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    29
    18
    5
    1
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Great spot - intriguing menu, excellent meal”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our dining experience at Nostrano's. Cozy spot in a great location right off the Capital square. A small but really intriguing menu that features local ingredients. The good news is that our meals delivered well beyond our expectations. Helpful and knowledgable wait staff made a great wine recommendation to accompany our selection of Rabbit Boudin and Lamb with homemade pasta. Meal was outstanding and we enjoyed sharing a fine dessert as well.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oregon, wisconsin
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Very nice”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2012

I've been to Nostranos several times. I was never disappointed. Their foccacia bread is to die for, along with their olive oil. I've had their seafood soup which is excellent and a full meal. Wine selections are adequate and the bar is very lively and accommodating. But make reservations or call ahead as it is not a large place

Visited April 2012
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Boston, MA
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
114 helpful votes 114 helpful votes
“Elegant, Eclectic and Exquisite Fare”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

Dined here in Madison with my husband while visitng our son at UW. Restaurant is small, menu is very small, but what they do, they do superbly. First, menu is short on description, and basically just lists the ingredients. Same with cocktail menu, very hard to tell what you are going to get based on the paperwork. So we asked a lot of questions and our waitress was very knowledgeable and right on the mark. We shared the scallops and the sausage/pate platter to start. Both excellent. The scallops were perfectly cooked, very moist and plump They were accompanied by a light drizzle, spinach, cauliflower, red pepper and hazelnuts. Perfect for each of us to taste. The pates and sausages were tasty and fun and the serving was generous. Several different tastes, served with some homemade toast slices and grainy mustard with dried cherries.

Our entrees were outstanding. My husband had the whole wheat pappardelle with lamb ragu which was lighter than it sounds and perfectly spiced. I had the pancetta with toasted polenta, which came with a fruit glaze on the pancetta and very crispy polenta stocks along with Rapino and dried cherries and toasted hazelnuts. This was different, well cooked and worked perfectly together. Very rich, but not too big. My son had the rabbit boudin which was melt in your mouth delicious. The mushrooms and light olive mixture is the perfect accompaniement. When everyone claims they ordered the best dish, you know something went right. Dessert was also great. We had the agradolce, which came with three small warm homemade sugar donuts. I wanted to drink the espresso chocolate Carmel ice cream mixture it was so good. The Torta was also excellent -- a goat cheesecake along with fruit sorbet and shortbread cookies. Needless to say we did not leave a drop on the plate for either. The small menu concerned me at first, but they.do what they do incredibly well here and we will happily return here on future visits. Service was friendly and efficient, decor is attractive, it is cozy and romantic and the acoustics allow for.easy conversation. Along with fab food, what more could you ever ask?

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Madison, WI
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Attention to detail, big flavors worth the expense”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

My husband and I went to Nostrano for our anniversary last night. The place only has around 15 tables, and a small bar area, so reservations are a good idea. Also, be prepared to be there for a couple hours if you want the full dining experience. We shared the salumi plate, which was perfect for 2 people. The pate and terrine were especially flavorful. For the main course, we ordered the rabbit 2 ways, and the lamb ragu pasta. Both entrees were FANTASTIC. The portion sizes were enough for the meal, but won't provide leftovers if this is important to you. I cannot emphasize enough how flavorful the food was. For dessert we ordered the goat cheese cheesecake with sour cherries/raspberry sorbet and the espresso/carmel gelato with seasalt and fresh mini donuts. The cheesecake was bright and punchy, very refreshing. The coffee/donuts was warm and comforting. We bought a bottle of primitivo to share, which went great with our meal. This is a special restaurant for a special occaision. Our 3-course meal, with one beer, one seasonal cocktail, and one bottle of wine came to $150. Money well spent for amazing flavors, careful presentations, and loving company.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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