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“I enjoyed my meal”

Lombardino's Restaurant
Ranked #48 of 1,037 Restaurants in Madison
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $12
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special occasions, Romantic
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.
Reviewed November 3, 2013

Please be aware that this restaurant serves authentic Italian cuisine. Check the menu online if you are unsure that this restaurant is for you. I dined with two other people. We enjoyed the bruschetta appetizer. I had the eggplant Napoletana dish and it was truly delicious. My husband ordered the chicken Milanese. He did not enjoy it. He liked the chicken, but would have enjoyed it more had it come with pasta and sauce. Neither did my husband enjoy the polenta, which was a mushy mass. This was not the fault of the restaurant as the dish came as described in the menu. My daughter ordered SPAGHETTI alla BOLOGNESE. She did not enjoy this dish. It was too rich and garlicky for her. It did have a weird flavor. This was not the fault of the restaurant as the dish came as described in the menu. The service was very good.

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Thank QMB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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127 - 131 of 236 reviews

Reviewed November 3, 2013

Let me start by saying that we've eaten at Lombardino's about two dozen times, over the past five years. We've always thought that it was the best Italian in Madison, if not in the entire state of Wisconsin. In fact, I wrote a review on this site a couple of years ago, raving about Lombardino's and giving it five stars!

Last week we had sophisticated, out-of-town guests who enjoy Italian cuisine. We took them there. Unfortunately, the food and service were average to terrible. From the unprofessional, very young man who was the Maitre D,' who barely welcomed us, we were passed to our server (a man with a pony-tail) who was obviously new to Lombardino's and maybe to the restaurant trade. He did not write our orders down and consequently came back to the table twice to "clarify" what we had ordered and whether we wanted our lamb "medium rare" or "medium." An order of Calamari Fritti for the table was, as in the past, superb. Then, our salads came out and they were equally good. The problem was with our entrees and pastas. Our Rack of Lamb, which we had ordered "medium rare," came to the table, absolutely and totally "rare." I kept my portion, as I know that when meat goes back to the kitchen, it's never the same. Sure enough, the Rack of Lamb came back…. "well-done."

The Oriechette pasta which my partner had was so salty as to be almost inedible. (I tasted it; terrible.) In fact, even the sides we ordered and the polenta that went with the lamb were over-salted. This is the second time in the past two months that we've been to Lombardino's where dishes were over-salted. It seems something is going on in the kitchen of this venerable establishment that is not good. The fact that they had a Maitre D' and waiter who was such a novice and unprofessional is also a sign of some possible turmoil there.

We will stay away until we hear from others that the restaurant is back on track!

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Thank David49b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2013

The restaurant was right across our hotel and with hotel staff recommended this place, we wanted to give it a try. The food we had was delicious. You can really experience real Italian taste here, not American-Italian. The pasta with seafood was great. I ate it slowly because I didnt want it to be finished. The service was friendly. A bit pricey, but personally if I really like the food in a restaurant I dont care about the price so much.

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Thank BartuEr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2013

Not my first trip to Lombardino's and I've returned for the reliably good pasta and the best Caeser in Madison. But on this visit -- my birthday out with my partner of 23 years, and ironically on the day domestic partnership was being debated in the state supreme court -- we were seated facing a slogan painted on the wall reading, "A dinner without wine is like a man without a wife." Really? You've got to be kidding.

How about "like a woman without a husband," don't you think you'd hear about that? "A couple without children"? How about "like Sicily with no Mafia"?

Call me over-sensitive or making too much of something you may think is benign, but I have a choice where to spend my dining dollars, and I will be sure to make my friends aware. There is better Italian to be found in Madison -- and without the insult.

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1  Thank PrairiePaddler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2013

Italian restaurant with its up and downs
positives are nice wine list,great pizza for only around$11,great calamari and entrees in low $20's and food is mostly above average so great value
negatives are finding parking in area(no valet),possibly the ugliest restaurant ive been in(dark carpenting,ugly black ceiling tiles,chandeliar with light bent at a angle,ugly christmas lights on right side when walk in and on and on.surprised that menu didnt have more options for instance no lamb or veal on the night we were there.had to ask for butter to go along with bread.wife had octopus and sausage and sausage was great ,octopus overcooked ,and rubbery in spots.i had a good pork loin surronded by lukewarm vegetables.4 stars is probably to good a rating i would give between a 3-3.5.

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Thank majormoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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