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“Valentine's Day Disappointment” 3 of 5 stars
Review of L'Etoile Restaurant

L'Etoile Restaurant
1 South Pinckney Street, Madison, WI 53703
608-251-0500
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Ranked #8 of 823 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
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Valentine's Day Disappointment”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013 via mobile

We live in Madison and were very excited to try this restaurant and decided to go on valentine's day 2012. I knew going in that the chef was said to be great and the place was a little pricey as most fine dining places are. They had a special multi-course dinner because it was valentine's day. We were both disappointed in the very, very little amount of food u get for the price (which was double the usual price because of the day). I am ok with small portions but u expect to be wowed with the food and neither one of us felt that at all. Presentation on the plate is mainly what was good as well as the atmosphere, but the food was just ok and our server was not good if u could even find her...plus we didn't even go until 10pm (they were taking late night reservations for people who wanted to maybe avoid the crowded dinner time) and we were there for over 2.5 hours when they weren't even busy (long wait between courses). I am not stingy with my money, but for $250 anyone should expect to be amazed, not here. We won't be back. I have ate dinner at high end restaurants in cities like Chicago, Minneapolis area, etc and is no comparison!...even spent less and walked away with that good "wow" feeling at those places. Just disappointing.

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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179 reviews from our community

84% Recommend
    120
    31
    21
    5
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Madison, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“French.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

This is a French restaurant that is really great and worth the high prices you will pay for dinner here.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Fresh, delicious creative food. Mmmmmm.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

We booked a day ahead, but how many other restaurants use the information gathered to personalize the menu. This first thoughtful touch was the beginning of one of the most delicious meals I have tasted. THe food was fresh and the promotion of locally sourced ingredients was lovely. We enjoyed looking at the list of farms and suppliers on the back of the menu as well as the map that we spotted when we left showing the location of the restaurant's suppliers located throughout Wisconsin.
The delicate yet interesting mix of flavours was spectacular and each course was a treat.
The service was attentive. This

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Lexington, Kentucky
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Best meal since Paris”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

Since my brother and his wife are celebrating their 40th anniversary just after Christmas he decided that we should all help them celebrate at this restaurant. Because he and I visited the Domaine Rouge-Bleu vineyard in Provence last summer this had special significance for us. Rouge-Bleu wines are the product of the winemaking skills of Jean Marc Espinasse whose wife Kristin has the blog French-Word-A-Day. All excellent. We like the Mistral and the Dentelle. There is also a rose which is very good in the summer.

The food here was absolutely top notch and memorable. Service was very attentive and included some special touches to mark the anniversary we were celebrating - a surprise gift of a glass of champagne for everyone at the table started the festivities with a toast before we ordered. The menus were prepared with a notation at the top congratulating the couple on their anniversary--a very nice touch. The steak was very memorable and even the vegetarian item on the menu was incredible.

This restaurant is right downtown in Madison directly across the street from the Wisconsin State Capitol. All lighted on a cold, snowy December night it was a beatiful view. I did not have an opportunity to visit the previous location which was much more cozy and traditional, but surprisingly, this traditionalist was very comfortable in the new soaring glass and steel space. Despite the openess of the space conversation was intimate and we did not experience the uncomfortable echo that is often found in such an large open space.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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florida
Top Contributor
127 reviews 127 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
“Worth a meal”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

Our experience was wonderful, the food was nice to try at least once. Our first courses consisted of a pork belly dish as well as a duck confit dish. Both were flavorful and well prepared. Our entree was the grass fed steak. It was good- but all of the accompaniments were a bit overwhelming. We were so full after dinner that we didn't try a dessert- but they gave us a complimentary plate of peppermint meringue and caramel popcorn. It was delicious! the service and staff were all awesome--- when my husband mentioned how much he liked the popcorn, they even gave him some to go!

  • Visited November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 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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