We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“First date... perfection.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of L'Etoile Restaurant

L'Etoile Restaurant
1 South Pinckney Street, Madison, WI 53703
+1 608-251-0500
Website
Menu
Improve this listing
Reserve with OpenTable
L'Etoile Restaurant is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
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
Columbia, MO
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“First date... perfection.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013 via mobile

Probably one of the top ten restaurants i have ever been. Very pricey but we made reservations early, were seated right up front. watched the sun set on the Capitol, as the lights came up. Dinner was a long event.A little appetizer to start, wine. Then a small plate, escargot. Heaven. A salad, with heirloom like cherry tomatoes, roasted hazelnuts, and a bed of field greens in a, tangy, horseradishy dressing. fantastic. then dinner.. sea scallops.. amazing. creme brulee for dessert.. perfect.wine pairings were lovely. exceptional service, amazing views. one of the most romantic meals.ever.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

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
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Ups and Downs”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

A special occasion. We had the charcuterie plate to start, then each of us had 3 more courses plus a dessert course. This was a long, interesting meal. We knew that it would be very expensive, so that wasn't a surprise. Our server was positively lovely. Our table was in the rear of the restaurant. To be fair, we chose this after originally being seated next to the front window. We preferred the rear as it seemed less cramped in next to neighboring tables. The back of the restaurant has zero ambiance. Zero. Sit in the front.
The food had hits and misses. We were generally pleased with it, and there were some real knockouts. At issue for us were the wine pairings that we ordered with each course. We were not in agreement with the choices for several of the courses, and in retrospect, we probably should have chosen our own. We do like the fun of occasionally putting ourselves in the hands of a good sommelier, but this was not the venue for that.
All in all, the charcuterie plate was simply outstanding, the entrees didn't thrill us (pan fried gnocchi was tough and chewy, fish was chewy and bland0 Hot and Sour soup interpretation was lovely. A fun experience, we are glad that we went but probably won't return because the atmosphere was just a little clinical for a special night.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Wife's birthday dinner out...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

Wow. Really nice. Oh yah, really expensive. White table cloth, multiple courses, small servings, distinctive flavors to each bite. Wonderful meal. Great service. Probably won't go again. Too expensive. If I want to spend over a couple hundred on dinner and a moderate bottle of wine, I'll do it in Chicago or San Francisco.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Pascagoula, MS
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Interesting but not outstanding”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

I went here for a solo dinner. I picked three small plates instead of an app and main. The pork belly was first and was the best, I would recommend. This was followed by the sweetbreads. They were the worst sweetbreads that I have ever had. They were tough and stringy and I felt the breadding was too thick. The meal ended with the pork tenderloin and this was just ok. This is the first time in quite a while that I was disappointed by a restaurant that was so highly rated

  • Visited April 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Best restaurant in Madison”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

This is not your typical Wisconsin restaurant. It is heavy on the pocketbook and not heavy on quantity. So if you are looking for a cheap restaurant with loads of food, do not go here. However, if you are looking for a true foodie experience with local foods and expert wine pairings, please go here. This is our favorite restaurant in Madison especially for special occassions. The food and service is always wonderful. If you are fortunate enough to have Michael serve you, he is a master of pairing wine and food. Even if he does not serve you, you can ask for his assistance to match your wine and highly recommend you do so. His passion for the food and wine is unlike anything in Madison. The restaurant did move not too long ago and the ambience is different than the old location. The view of the capital is beautiful but you can feel like you are in a fishbowl particarly at the tables by the window.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed L'Etoile Restaurant also viewed

 

Been to L'Etoile Restaurant? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage L'Etoile Restaurant, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.