L'Etoile Restaurant

4.8
1155 reviews
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$50 and over
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Contemporary American
L’Etoile has served local and seasonal offerings since it first opened its doors in 1976. Multiple menu formats tailor each guest's experience as well as reflect the best ingredients of the season.

At L’Etoile there’s always a sommelier on hand to answer any questions you might have about our extensive wine list and provide recommendations based on your preferences, budget, and food compatibility.
What 1155 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.8
service
4.8
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Quiet
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MB
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So wonderful! The food was incredible. If you're adventurous and don't have any food sensitivities, then the tasting menu is definitely the way to go. They have excellent cocktails, and they even had a "non-spirited spirits" menu for people who prefer a non-alcoholic beverage. I've lived in Madison a long time and only recently got the chance to go to L'Etoile after hearing about how awesome it was for several years. It definitely lives up to the hype. So, if you have some extra funds and want to go all-out for a date night, I highly recommend L'Etoile.

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OT
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and great service

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FW
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner with my Daughter
Wonderful

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w
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

FAbulous meal and wonderful service. I do recommend L'Etoile often but I also mention the pricey menu and offerings from the wine cellar. They have wines from all over that trust me you have never tasted and will enjoy. It turns out our server Owen is in charge of the wine cellar and explained everything to us with great patience and the wine was amazing! The one downside that night Valentines evening was an unusual delay in food service although when the plates came they came at a nice sometimes overlapping pace. The starter was placed on dry ice and the view of the evaporation was amazing see the picture I uploaded

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TZ
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome meal and service!
I would’ve appreciated a heads up that this Valentine’s Day meal was a fixed price menu only, and the price was never mentioned. It was a bit more expensive than I would have planned.

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c
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had the tasting menu with wine pairings. Each course was beautifully presented and paired well with the wine. The food was excellent and the service impeccable.

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U
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

They take care of every detail. The drinks and the food are exquisite. The service is thoughtful and sincere. There is not a finer dining experience in the Madison area.

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OT
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Emily Ro was a great server, after plates were finished they were cleared off very quickly giving the table an open and easy conversational feel. We were seated right by the sidewalk and had a GREAT view of the capital. The tempo of the meal was perfect as well, didn’t feel rushed at all. 10/10 would definitely recommend and would dine here again.

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F
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food and service, excellent ambiance, not surprisingly it's expensive. Perfectly suited to that special occasion.

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TD
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

All aspects of this visit was great. The chef put together a birthday menu for one of our diners and offered vegan, gluten-free and no mushroom options. While a bit more pricey, a visit here is always well worth it. It is our go-to spot for special occasions.

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B
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Whereas everything was really good, and we had a lovely time, we didn't think the food was outstanding and didn't justify the hype and the prices.

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OT
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was exceptional! The best fine dining restaurant in Madison, WI!

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KS
Milwaukee
30 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 4

Unfortunately never again on New Year Eve.
From the less-than-friendly greeting, long wait for service to the lack of attentiveness throughout, and huge disappointment in the the food preparation. For a 150 per person, this should have been special.

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JT
Jacksonville
2 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Very classy, very expensive restaurant. Food was good, drinks were good, service was good, staff was excellent. I had never been to a place this upscale before. I appreciate the complementary champagne for my new fiance and I. (I proposed here on NYE). I hope we can have many anniversary dinners at L'Etoile.

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GI
Birmingham
2 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

Disappointing and frustrating. We booked dinner reservations for NYE as soon as l'Etoile was taking them, as we were excited to go to the "best restaurant in Madison." On the positive side, the food to wine pairings enhanced the dining experience, and three (out of the ten) dishes were outstanding: the foie gras, cauliflower and lamb. What went wrong? First, when we arrived, the staff who greeted us clearly didn't want to take our jackets, which was a little off-putting as they had just done so for the couple that entered before us. Because the table wasn't ready, they ushered us to the bar where we ordered two glasses of champagne. After about 10 minutes, the bartender finally started to pour one of the glasses, and then we were called to our table. We then sat there waiting for our cocktails (or any kind of interaction) for another 10-15 minutes. Our waiter finally came to the table and asked us if we were ready to order without going through any of the items on the menu. We asked what kinds of wines would be paired and he stated he didn't know and didn't offer to get the information or pass it on to us either. He said he'd recommend that for next year. And then we waited. And waited. To the point where both tables on either side of us teasingly asked what we'd done wrong. It was incredibly frustrating, especially after having had such amazing service and food in WI all week. When our first course finally arrived (after we had to ask for the bread that everyone around us was getting), it was impossible to miss the dark hair on my plate. They did replace the dish, with a smaller portion, and an apology. Our waiter also disappeared for two of the courses which was odd. Things got better halfway through the meal, but unfortunately the first hour ruined the full experience. I would definitely not recommend this restaurant.

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JN
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best birthday meal I've ever had. My husband was blown away by the lamb, and I got emotional over the almond cake. Truly an amazing experience. Thank you!

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JD
Milwaukee
11 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best restaurant I have ever been to. Totally worth the price.

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EC
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 2

This review is ment to be a true evaluation of the experience my husband and I had on New Years Eve.
First let me say how grateful I felt getting a reservation at all on NYE. I lived in Madsion many years ago and knew L'Etoile to be the best restaurant in Madsion and was super excited to finally get the chance to dine with you.
We arrived at our 5:30pm reservation and were luke-warmly greeted by 3 staff members, one of whom reached passed us to hug the people behind us and usher them in.
We then were sat at a table that felt like
Panara bistro seating, turned away from the main dining room and too close to where all the servers and other workers were using it for a thruway. I was in a hole and my husband was in the middle of traffic. Not enjoyable ambiance.
Our server was pretentious and bad. He spilled my wine when he poured it, poorly described the food and brought my espresso after I finished my dessert. I would have liked it with my dessert. We both expected way better service.
The pace of food delivery felt rushed, although the people bringing the food were attentive and seamed better than the lead server.
The food was well done, but was hilariously tiny. I get the "small bite is all you need of a good thing" and artful presentation is achieved in miniature, but the cheese and cracker course was no bigger than a postage stamp. I would argue 3 of those postage stamps would have been spot on, topped with honey from different fields of clover, alfalfa and buckwheat. That would have been fair.
The salmon was awesome. I just wish I had a few more ounces of it. The Lamb was from our friends farm and well prepared, but again, just wish it was a little larger portion.
Thank you for supporting Wisconsin local farms and transforming those ingredients into world class culinary creations. From two WI locals who dine on her fair often, there are far better places that serve up tummy filling delights at hometown prices. We'll continue to support them over L'Etoile.

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J
Chicago
15 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We love sitting at the bar. It seems cozier than the main dining room. It's like being in France: ambience is quiet , the service is unobtrusive but attentive, the portions of food are small, for sure, but the dishes have such complexity and are so delicious, you feel you've eaten just enough. Like France, the wines are tremendous and varied; staff are knowledgable and care. Unlike France the staff are really quite welcoming and friendly. We feel as if they know us and we aren't even regulars. L'Etoile is expensive, but for a splurge, worth every penny.

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e
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ultra high-end dining with outstanding food and service. Can't be beat.

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MR
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is the best restaurant in Wisconsin. Tory Miller is an excellent chef and his staff is highly trained and very good at what they do. The venue is also fantastic with a perfect view of the State Capital. Highly recommended.

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BV
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Started out the evening with an excellent cocktail. It was the perfect start to a fabulous meal-such unique ingredients and wonderful presentation

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LL
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed ourselves. The service was on point. We left there thinking that all the complimentary tasting were better than our main course meal.

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DD
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I brought my partner Carol (who is a foodie) for a milestone birthday; she loved your restaurant. We had not been to L’Etoile for years and you are as good today as 10 years ago. The food and service was exceptional.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Tasting menu was worth it!

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B
San Antonio
21 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food & wine pairings. Attentive staff overall great time. Will have to try the 7 course chefs tasting menu next

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R
San Antonio
8 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 2

We came with high expectations and left underwhelmed. The evening started with promise, both the lamb and duck appetizers were good, but both lacked that something that would make them great, however the potential was there. Then disappointment arrived, both the monk fish and the hen failed to impress. The star of the fish dish was the potato croquet, and the hen was so dry it must have sat on the pass for an age as surely the chef did not intend it to be so!

The service was however excellent, but we will not be returning.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were celebrating our 20th anniversary. We had always wanted to try L’Etoile so we made the trip to Madison. We had the perfect table with a perfect view of the capital. The staff was amazing. The seven course meal with wine pairings was everything we had hoped for and anticipated. We could have gone anywhere and we were so happy we chose to celebrate here! Truly! It was a very special night.

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YI
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My spouse and I are mostly done with giving each other THINGS. We have plenty of things. So, we give experiences. A "special occasion" dinner at L'Etoile definitely was an experience--and a lovely one. I reserved through a website, and, in the notes, mentioned that we were interested in their "Tasting Menu", but that there are foods we don't/can't eat (they do offer a strictly vegetarian tasting menu---but we had other ideas). Within a day, we heard from L'Etoile by phone, asking about our interests and prohibitions. They took it from there---and we had an exciting, varied, and delicious dinner. Highlights included two fish dishes (red snapper and monkfish) that made us feel we were dining seaside, although we were in the middle of the midwest. A sunchoke dish featured crosnes--a tasty root we hadn't tried before. Each dish was fully explained by our pleasant waiter, who offered advice when requested, and left us to converse when we wished to do so. Our table, near but not in the window, offered a mesmerizing view of Wisconsin's capitol building. We did manage to look at our plates every so often, as we attempted to commit each dish to memory. The music, a serious but not demanding jazz soundtrack, provided perfect ambience, but didn't overwhelm us. While the meal was quite costly, as a special experience we think it was well worthwhile.

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OT
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It's lovely, but very expensive.

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CC
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our meals were wonderful and full of surprises--amuse bouche and sweet potato lagniappe. Only gripes were my ricotta fritter dessert, not a bang-up finish to a great meal, and the Cabernet Franc brought to one of us in the wine pairings. Not up to the sommelier's other picks. Service excellent and well-paced. Meal was pricy but it was a special occasion worth the pocketbook pain.

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OT
Minneapolis
68 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Give yourself, and/or those you enjoy, a gift now (and throughout the year) by savoring the dining experience provided by L'Etoile. From the moment you enter until your leave totally satisfied you are imbued in professionalism. The maitre d' , the wait staff, the ancillary attendants, the wine stewards: All are engaging, knowledgeable, and masters of providing comfort. The menu is inventive, the offerings superbly, meticulously prepared, and the wine list is sure to please even the most discerning palate. But make it easy by ordering the tasting menu with the wine pairings so as to experience as much of the splendor L'Etoile has to offer in one setting. Resolve in 2019 to visit L'Etoile as often as possible!

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MW
Milwaukee
5 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Have been meaning to go for a while now. Big fans of Chef Tory Miller. Finally went for a birthday celebration. They were so accommodating! Even customized the menus for us. The food was fantastic! And we tried most of it! The snapper was perfection. And all the desserts were incredible. Since the menu is constantly changing, all I can say is you won't be disappointed whatever you choose!

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DW
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I do not live in Madison (I live in Atlanta), but visit Madison 1 - 2 times/yr. L'Etoile is one of my favorite restaurants in the country, and I try to dine there whenever in town. It never disappoints, and my most recent visit in Nov was no exception. The food was absolutely outstanding from the first bite to the last. And, L'Etoile has the most wonderful, imaginative and tasty craft cocktails of just about any bar/restaurant I have visited. On my most recent visit, I dined at the bar and spoke a bit w/ Natalie, the bartender/mixologist that has created a number of their wonderful cocktails. She was fantastic in advising which drinks I might prefer, and chatted w/ me a good bit about her approach to creating cocktails. That insight absolutely made my evening!

I have been dining at L'Etoile off and on for years as travel permits, and would highly recommend it to anyone that desires perfection in a fine dining experience. Bon Appetite!

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m
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The wines were very good. But the prices were too high. My husband loves wines and knows what he pays for them and what reasonable mark ups are.

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JG
Milwaukee
12 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, service, ambience. Well worth the trip.

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D
Milwaukee
13 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been to L'Etoile many times but the 7 course tasting menu this time was absolutely sublime. There is absolutely no finer dining anywhere including NYC!! Many kudos for spectacular cooking that continues to get EVEN better!!!!

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HM
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We appreciate the quality and inventiveness of the dishes and the attention to detail. You made our birthday celebration special. Particularly praise for our wait staff who as great.

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R
Milwaukee
4 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

L'Etoile's is always wonderful. Their food is fresh, creative and brilliant. The view of the Capitol and the foot traffic around the square is interesting and fun. The service is fantastic, couldn't be better, and they are great about accommodating specific dietary needs. The staff is knowledgeable about the food they serve and can answer questions and seem to enjoy talking about the kitchen. It's a wonderful experience, imho. My friends and I had a wonderful time and enjoyed everything about it.

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OT
Chicago
48 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

All I can say is that my wife and I visit this place for an outstanding meal with outstanding service each time we visit Madison. very specisl.

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