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“Great cocktails; high prices” 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 #4 of 775 Restaurants in Madison
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $100
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: East Washington
Memphis, Tennessee
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
“Great cocktails; high prices”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

This is a very nice restaurant with good food and service. It has a very impressive cocktail service with very unusual combinations and liquors. The food uses local ingredients and is similarly top-notch. The issue is price. Some of the cocktails are very reasonable (around $12) but a few were $20 - I don't think I've seen those prices in New York or Vegas. Some of the entrees were also very high (around $50). I really liked the place, but the prices are an issue.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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214 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    148
    34
    24
    6
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Ann Arbor
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
68 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Big City quality”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2014

Maybe it's because Madison is a state capitol, but this restaurant far exceeded expectations for fine dining. It could have been a much more expensive meal, but we were not that hungry and we all opted for two first courses. Nevertheless, these came with an amuse bouche and a small taste of cold soup. I had the smoked salmon and the local greens salad. Both delicious, but my companions really scored with the risotto. Get the salmon, but share it and order the risotto! The wine list was lovely, with the by-the-glass options to be quite nice without needing to order a whole bottle if your table has different preferences as mine did. The staff were very professional with out being stuffy. I'd go again and get the full experience next time!

Note that this restaurant is the same building with the much busier "Graze." We couldn't get in there and in the end were quite happy that "'L'Etiole had open tables... You don't have to spend a fortune to eat well here.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
Milton, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
402 reviews 402 reviews
167 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 132 cities Reviews in 132 cities
213 helpful votes 213 helpful votes
“Girls Night out!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2014

I made reservations on our way back from Wolershine Winery. They asked if I had any food allergies when making the reservation!!! What a GREAT idea!! I am gluten free, so very much appreciated this! My food sensitivity was confirmed when we were seated! Our waiter, Patrick, did a very nice job! I was the designated driver, or would have loved to have tried the wine flights offered. Enjoyed listening to the wine steward as he brought wine to other tables. The view is nice as others have said, looking directly to the capitol. The pre-appetizer was very thinly sliced apples with a nice sauce. The appetizer was a salad with cold veal. Both were great! We both ordered steak for dinner, which was delicious! The desserts were just OK... the flourless cake was displayed beautifully on the plate, but lacked taste. My girlfriend tried the creme brule, but didn't care for it. It was fun to try a new venue! I am very pleased that they us locally sourced ingredients!

  • Visited June 2014
    • 3 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.
Madison, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Felt E'lite at L'Etoile”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2014

We have had 3 excellent meals at L'Etoile. The view of the Capitol out the front window is beautiful. They use only locally sourced ingredients for their offerings, which changes daily. They have one of the best wine selections in the city with excellent staff knowledge. Because the menu changes frequently, I will just say that we have never had a meal that wasn't wonderfully prepared and presented by a very attentive staff. A few of our exceptional offerings have been Lettuce Soup w/fried chicken, Beet Salad and superb Steaks. Worth the price.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
Madison, Wisconsin
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 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
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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