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“Special-occasion dinner at its best” 5 of 5 stars
Review of L'Etoile Restaurant

L'Etoile Restaurant
1 South Pinckney Street, Madison, WI 53703
+1 608-251-0500
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Ranked #7 of 824 Restaurants in Madison
Price range: $25 - $100
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: East Washington
Madison, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Special-occasion dinner at its best”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

L'Etoile is very expensive, but worth the hype. Save up, reserve in advance, get dressed up, and go here to celebrate. They even print custom menus for your special occasion. Chef Tory and his team are culinary masters. Bon appetit!

Visited April 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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190 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    128
    31
    24
    5
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Near Chicago
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
“They made kale taste good....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

We visited L'Etoile a couple times since the move to the new location, and were sad that things seemed to have slipped a bit. The food was still good, but it just didn't live up to the 5 star experiences of the past. We decided to give it one more shot on a recent trip to Madison to celebrate our anniversary and this time, both the food and the service surpassed our previous visits. One of us has a severe allergy to soy and peanuts, and we had warned the restaurant in advance when the reservation was made. We were greeted with a complimentary glass of wine to toast the occasion (a nice surprise!) and the assurance that great care would be taken to avoid an allergic reaction. Our meal started with the charcuterie plate, which included rabbit rillette, something we’ve never tried. Our waiter took the time to explain how the dish was prepared, and checked back to make sure we liked it (we did). For main courses, one of us had the ribeye, and the other ordered the jack-be-little pumpkin filled with spatzle and autumn root vegetables. Both dishes came with kale, something neither of us like…however, it was so delicious that we didn’t believe it was kale. We even asked the waiter if another green had been substituted for the dreaded kale and were told that yes, it really was kale. A chef who can make kale taste that good has to be talented. As for dessert, well, desserts are difficult with a soy & peanut allergy and it's rare that we're able to indulge. We had asked when making the reservation if they would try to find a dessert we could share, and were assured they would do their best. We were more than pleased when the waiter brought out a beautiful chocolate and raspberry cake that tasted even better than it looked! The meal, the location and the service was definitely worth the price. Take our advice and go!

  • Visited October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Great for a foodie”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

Yes, L'Etoile is everything it claims to be. Fresh, local ingredients prepared in clever and delicious ways. The staff is knowledgeable about the ingredients and how the dish is prepared, and if not, they will find out for you. Staff is extremely friendly and polite. L'Etoile is very popular and of course if you are a local or visiting, you should try it.

All that said, my only personal negatives about the restaurant are no fault of the restaurant. However, I feel compelled to share the information so that you are fullly prepared for your visit. I am not a foodie. I can appreciate culinary masterpieces and the hard work that goes into creating dishes every night that take advantage of the local ingredients on hand. But, I am also more than happy to dig into a good, basic meal without all the airs. L'Etoile is a full experience and a meal will take several hours. I am not a foodie and so I find myself antsy to eat, enjoy and then move on. So, make sure you are prepared for the whole experience and making a night of it. You will not be disappointed. But don't plan on this being an in and out, let's head to the theater after. If you want that, walk across the entryway to their faster, and lower-cost option, Graze.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Modern and fabulous”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

We had dinner here last week & it was one of the highlights of our holiday. The food was modern and very good indeed. The service was relaxed but very good & the view of the Capitol building is perfect!

  • Visited September 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.
Oregon, WI
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A culinary treat”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

My husband and I had dinner here to celebrate my birthday. What a wonderful way to spend three hours. The salads were a great balance of flavor and texture. We took their advice and split a middle course - a great decision to help pace the eating. We loved the sausage risotto - sometimes the best dishes are the ones that remind your cozy kitchen. And, we definitely recommend selecting the wine flight option as they wine pairings bring out exciting flavors in each dish.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 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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