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“Early Valentines Day” 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 #10 of 838 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
Oxford, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Early Valentines Day”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

My husband took us to this lovely little restaurant for Valentine ’s Day. It was perfect! We had an excellent server named, Erin, who was very sweet and chatted happily with us. The food was marvelous, well prepared and presented. Every server or attendant that came by, even to fill our water glasses, was professional and pleasant. From start to finish we were there for about two and a half hours.There was lovely jazz piano in the background and the atmosphere was clean and modern while intimate. We will definitely be back!

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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198 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    132
    33
    25
    6
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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Singapore, Singapore
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
35 helpful votes 35 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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