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“One of a kind” 4 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 #8 of 841 Restaurants in Madison
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“One of a kind”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2014

Loved the artistic and creative versions of their dishes. Very unique and still so tasty. Staff was cordial, and attentive. While the food is great, this is more of an "experience in dining" sort of restaurant. Be prepared to pay a hefty price for the meal, but it is well worth it. My family and I will keep coming back!

  • Visited April 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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203 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
McLean, Virginia
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Excellent food, but a bit overpriced”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2014

Had a very good meal with a large group. The service was excellent, which sometimes be a problem with a large group. We were well attended to, and we weren't left sitting forever, which has happened to me on numerous occasions when dining in a large group. The food was quite good, with a lot of options for the tastes of everyone in our group. Our major complaint was the cost of the meal - especially the wine. I was with a group for a business meeting. We travel to cities all over the country for our meetings throughout the year. We were stunned by the cost of a bottle of wine - which averaged well over $140. In fact, the few white wine drinkers in the group opted for significantly less expensive option to order by the glass. Overall, it was a nice dining experience, and we all had a great meal, but I've had better meals for much less money.

Visited April 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington NC
20 reviews 20 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Martinez lives”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014

I went with a group of eight and started off with a Martinez, which I believe is a recreation of the original martini. It was excellent! We then had the charcuterie plate and several other starters. There are plenty if mid course, or small plates, which is what I ate. We finished with several shared desserts. You can have a wonderful meal and not break the bank if you are careful. But you can also run up a large tab. The wine list is extensive and stocked with many unfamiliar, expensive bottles. Ours were in the $100 range and were very good. Staff was friendly and our waiter, Patrick, could not have been more pleasant. Hands down the best restaurant in Madison if you are a foodie.

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Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“One of the BEST experiences in Fine Dining”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2014

This is our fourth visit to L'Etoile in Madison, WI and I still cannot believe I have not written anything about this restaurant. It is one of the best experiences I've ever had in my life. Again, it is an experience more than just a meal. From the moment you walk in the restaurant you know you are in for a treat. Our table this time was facing the Capitol building, and or course, our two chairs were arranged so that we would both have a view of the Capitol while dining. From the mise en bouche to the last bite it was phenomenal. We had the foie gras which was splendid. A pasta dish to die for. Corned beef tongue and grilled octopus that were delicious. My main dish were scallops in a brown butter sauce.... YUM! The sommelier was right on with the wine recommendation. My partner wanted a light red wine and he got it!!! What a treat! And to finish it all a fantastic cheese plate. Of course they have to bring you a last sweet compliment - a little chocolate truffle that wrapped the whole experience. Definitely worth the trip (at least for us)!!!

  • Visited March 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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La Crosse, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
180 reviews 180 reviews
86 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
“Special occasions should be celebrated here!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2014

We were invited by friends to help them celebrate their 50th - so glad they did because dining at this place is truly dining! Each course was explained by our waiters, complimented with wine pairing. Beautifully presented, absolutely delicious. A special menu had been printed for our friends with Happy Anniversary on it. Be sure and try each course and complete it with a decadent dessert. Dinner for four was the cost of a transcontinental airline ticket, but that's how special occassions are celebrated.

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