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“Not as good as we had hoped”

Lombardino's Restaurant
Ranked #64 of 990 Restaurants in Madison
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $12
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Highland Ave
Description: Lombardino"s Restaurant, a staple in Madison, WI since 1952, features a chef driven menu that changes with the seasons. With the 1950's Italian American kitschy decor, one will find excellent, simply made Italian food of the utmost quality in a comfortable neighborhood restaurant setting.
Madison, WI
Level 6 Contributor
107 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Not as good as we had hoped”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

We finally decided to try this restaurant. We have been to Italy several times and we come from an Italian background. The food was fair. The beet and ceaser salads were good. However the pizza lambordino, the eggplant and carmalized onion and the spaghetti all lacked something. Couldn't say exactly what, perhaps seasoning but all of us agreed that we wouldn't rush back to eat there again. Service was good but rather slow. The best part of the whole dinner was the Tiramisu. It was excellent. Also, we did hear the people at the table next to us rave about the Calamari.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Travelinmar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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220 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    104
    71
    34
    3
    8
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Ottawa, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Solid food and very good service”
Reviewed March 28, 2013

We loved our grilled octopus and enjoyed all of our mains--spaghetti bolognese, eggplant with caramelized onions and jumbo shrimp. Nice selection of wine by the glass and tasty tiramisu. The bread was warm and the service warmer. Overall, a very nice meal in a friendly place.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank myfoody
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
1 review
“Would it kill you to add a piece of parsley?”
Reviewed December 30, 2012

I've enjoyed this restaurant since the nineteen-fifties, and wanted to take an old friend out. The service was fine, the bread was cold but the olive oil savory, the fried calamari hot and crisp and the sauce homestyle. Then came the main courses, duck ragu and spaghetti bolognese. This comes with salad? I'd asked, and the cheery server chirped no, everything's a la carte. What I and friend got was a HUGE, HEAVY white plate-- something out of an institution for indigent giants-- in the middle of which sat, unadorned, a smallish pile of something the texture and consistency of dog vomit. Mine gray, my friend's orange. Nothing else. Tasty? for shredded meat on flabby flaps of pasta, in a savory sauce, yes it was. Attractive? Heck no! A few little spinach leaves, sundried tomato, three oilcured black olives, some chopped red onion, a slice of lemon and a few capers-- total cost maybe 30 cents-- would have made this dish, on a smaller plate, delightful. Even just separating the oiled pasta and the ragu would have helped a lot. As it was, I was taken aback and painfully disappointed. -- Let me add that the lighting was so high and harsh that I had to shade my eyes even to see my friend, and felt just as unattractive as the food. There's a reason for the classic candle-in-chianti-bottle decor, with a little red shade... it's homey and glamorous and it makes guests and food look good. Be advised, Lombardino's! Rethink your presentations!

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Brouser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level 5 Contributor
93 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Italian-Irish-Wisconsonian”
Reviewed December 22, 2012

Yes, Patrick O'Halloran's place is Italian and even plays (too much) Dean Martin but for over a decade it has been one of the most creative integration of Italian inspired meals with lots of hard work and ingredients that are fresh and remarkably good, but he is always adding new twists on things - we eat specials almost exclusively there since it is new and they appreciate feedback and use it - and more and more is finding ways to connect with variations that have a local food as the key - and things like the chianti braised beef are simply wonderful but the whole essence of a good place for food is not replication but experimentation and Patrick does it remarkably well. Finally, and surprisingly, every fish on the menu has been really terrific - best prepared fish in the city. Great staff, great bartenders, and a neighborhood place to die for.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank John F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Level 6 Contributor
129 reviews
94 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“My favorite Madison restaurant”
Reviewed December 12, 2012

I eat at Lombardinos at least once a month. I believe it has the best kitchen in Madison. The menu has seasonal favorites such as fresh tomato salads. You can smell the wood burning oven as you approach. If you like pizzas, they have them. A favorite appetizer is calamari. For a larger meal the pasta or meat entrees are delicious. There is always a type of tenderloin being served as well as a fish entree. Their caesar salad is a favorite, served with anchovies and a garnish of tapenade. Another regular entree is the eggplant Parmesan which manages to be both light and filling and has the additional twist of being prepared with currants. The kitchen is very accommodating with respect to food allergies or aversions. A reservation is suggested because this popular neighborhood restaurant is always full, even on week nights. Seating and meals are available at the bar as well, which is fun.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Beth C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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