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“The best restaurant in Madison!” 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 #3 of 814 Restaurants in Madison
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $100
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: East Washington
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“The best restaurant in Madison!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2014 via mobile

And one of the best I've dined at in the US. A balance of great food, service, and atmosphere, where the staff take real care to give you a perfect dining experience!

  • Visited April 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
1 Thank VickiSS22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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240 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Portland, ME
Level Contributor
125 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Excellent food, kitchen service concern...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2014 via mobile

We started to go into "Graze"', the new affiliated restaurant, but could tell it would be way too loud for us, plus packed and we were concerned about service delay.

So we turned into L'Etoile, a lovely and elegant space and were seated immediately. Our server appeared promptly and took drink orders, which came right along. After a nice amuse bouche, we ordered risotto with ramps, nettles, asparagus and crab - excellent!

But then things started go south, as the shared kitchen was obviously backed up with orders at Graze. Before us, another table had to inquire where their entrees were. Theirs, and ours came shortly thereafter. Both the mushroom/cheese stuffed crepes and the Alaskan halibut were excellent, but the long delay tempered our enjoyment. We skipped dessert..

Management needs to focus immediately on how to focus on the food delivery to BOTH restaurants, not serving the volume of one over the experience at the other.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank oldmayor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 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
Thank Chris G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
McLean, Virginia
Level Contributor
31 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 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
Thank Susan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington NC
Level Contributor
31 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 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.

Thank cozsmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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