L'Etoile Restaurant

4.7
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1282 Reviews
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$50 and over
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Contemporary American

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About

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.
Dining Style
Fine Dining
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, European, Farm-to-table
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Hours of operation
Dinner
Tue–Thu 5:30 pm–9:00 pm
Fri 5:30 pm–10:00 pm
Sat 5:00 pm–10:00 pm
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Phone number
(608) 251-0500
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Tory Miller
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
East Washington
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Parking details
Parking may be found at the Tenney Street parking ramp, located on Main Street. Street parking is also available on the Capitol Square most days after 6 P.M.
Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 1282 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.6
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Quiet
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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T
Milwaukee
5 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Exceptional hospitality and service. The food was definitely special, and we enjoyed a delicious bottle of champagne. All in, a truly wonderful and memorable meal! And the view of the capital special in itself.

M
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

L'Etoile never disappoints - sublime food, incomparable service and an elegant atmosphere with a stunning view. You feel special just walking in the door. It's worth every penny.

OT
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience1

Waiter wasn’t familiar with menu items nor was the wine server knowledgeable of the wines. Dinner was served in a dull meeting room.

BD
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

THE place to go for a special event or an important dinner. Absolutely top notch.

JM
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely friendly servers, Michael as a somm par excellence, great views of the capitol outside the tall windows and very good food and wine.

MR
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best restaurant in Wisconsin. We go a few times a year and the food and service are always impeccable. Tory Miller’s gift is he attracts great people to work with him.

DB
Milwaukee
4 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

If you’re ready to splurge for a night out in Madison, it’s worth it here! Feels like James Beard award winning restaurant because it is, and stands up next to any that Chicago, NYC, LA, etc have.

TW
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was the 3rd tasting menu my friend and I have done with the reserved wine pairing. I don't how they do it but they always bring their "A" game and it's amazing. We had the best time, and the food and wine were incredible. We both look forward to coming back for the next tasting menu. Thank you all for a great night. We love the staff!!

OT
New England
12 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall1food1service4ambience4

Awful food. What a total rip-off. We have never been impressed with their ala carte menu, but we thought maybe the tasting menu would be great. We paid about $380 for a dinner for two that lacked coherence but filled with artifice: a starter of four different seafood served in gift and Lego boxes with scented dry ice vapors, whose highlight is a fresh poached ONE-inch long Alaskan king crab; a dull foie gras highlighted with flavored foam; a duo of raviolis - cheese and raw egg yolk, and sausage, in a sauce that I could have prepared myself; poached lobster in a broth that could have used more seafood stock, served in ceramic pots; beef Wellington that lacked flavor; and a dessert of dryish chocolate cremieux with a strange tasting angostura ice cream and somehow redeemed by jellied kumquats. We will never eat at this restaurant again. Drinks, maybe, only because we love the atmosphere at the bar. An experience like this makes me mad to the point of wishing people will stop patronizing this sad excuse for a “high-end” restaurant, unless they drastically improve their menu.

i
London
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

When you go to L'Etoile and have the tasting menu, you are not having a meal. You are having a 2+hour experience where people bring you delightful, exceptional food, again and again. Prepare to have your palate awakened, your mind engaged, your stomach sated, and your heart delighted.

M
New England
1 review
Dined on December 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Presentation was unbelievable. Not sure how he comes up with this stuff.

R
1 review
Dined on December 11, 2019
Overall1food1service3ambience1

Our waiter was lovely and informative.
Food was bland, dry and still wrapped in plastic ( after they served it).
Service recovery was lacking and left us, as the customer, feeling undervalued and not properly cared for.
Worst spend of $100. Despite all the Yelp reviews, I would active discourage patrons to visit this restaurant. Extremely dissatisfied.

PF
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of the best dinning experiences we've ever had. Our waiter was very knowledgeable and pleasant. The food is exceptional - highly recommended for special occasions. Also the capitol view from the dinning area is absolutely stunning.

j
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful dinner. Staff called and learned it was my wife’s birthday. They made us extremely welcome.

JJ
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Incredibly amazing food and service! Will definitely go back.

DE
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

My first trip here was amazing.

The second was good, but not quite as amazing. The food was good, but not as excellent as I had recalled from my first trip. It also seemed like the service was especially slow my second time around. We were there from 7:30 to 10:00 and the amount of time between courses seemed really long. It was not a busy night at all either there was hardly anyone else there.

B
Milwaukee
10 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went for our anniversary. Excellent experience. Best restaurant experience I have had anywhere in North America equal to a holiday meal at a major known New York mid-town restaurant we had 5-years ago.

Not an every week experience but fair value. We will return.

GF
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was prepared well. The flavor combinations were excellent. The service was attentive but not smothering.

And the dinner was priced to reflect that.

P
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food and service. Really unique. A perfect anniversary dinner- even got an anniversary card signed by the staff, including chef Tory Miller.

CY
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

For a excellent meal and outstanding service you could go no further. The staff are polite and incredibly helpful in explaining the different meals and ingredients used in each dish. The evening was worth every cent and the price was not unreasonable by any means.

S
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food, wine and service: a real treat! Will go back for special occasions in the future.

SM
New England
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Late because of snow, time limited by a concert, stressed by life ... they took perfect care of us. It was a wonderful meal, great evening. Perfect!

BK
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

for that special occasion this is the place to go in the Madison area

M
Milwaukee
6 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

L'Etoile is a wonderful place to celebrate a special occasion, especially a romantic one. The chef's tasting menu is a delight. The service is warm, prompt and attentive. All this plus a lovely view of our Capitol. Thank you for everything!

GW
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our seven-course tasting menu (mine plant-based, and husband's not) was a glorious celebration of the differences between us, AND what we still share. The "Indigenous Wisconsin" theme was a harkening back to our love affair with this region (especially the parts of it you can eat). No anemic elimination versions here, or "throw-away" desserts - like a cake coming out of the freezer if a vegan shows up. This chocolate cake was true, sensuous perfection. Thank you Chef Miller and whoever had a hand in creating, or executing this mind-blowing meal. We are still high on our date with Wisconsin, and we will talk about it for the rest of our lives.

OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great for special occasions, great service, attentive and the food is delicious. Very small portions but you come to expect that at places like this.

MH
Naples
12 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was great. The 7 course menu was absolutely delicious!

KN
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect Evening in all regards: excellent food, service, atmosphere & company!!!

BD
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

L'Etoile is a high-end restaurant, great for dining out with that special someone on that special night. Everything was great, including Caitlin's service. It was a great pleasure to get a personal visit from Jake, the Sous Chef, too. My best to the staff, both front and back of the house.

H
1 review
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience3

Loved their customer service. They called ahead to meet our vegetarian needs. Food was customized. Was pricey, Yes. But it was worth it. There were a lot of freebies which were not in the menu at all. Very small portions but still it left a long lasting taste in the mouth. We went for our anniversary. It was definitely worth it.
Well done!!

DJ
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Incredible food, ambiance and service. It is well worth the expense for a special dining experience.

MA
Milwaukee
33 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Regrettably, some of the food was a bit off. Part of the duck of one at our table couldn't be cut. One diner found the halibut a little dry and tasteless. The beet starter was, in a word, awful. The carrot pastrami was a delight as was the steak. Service was great; Frank has always been wonderful for the 25 years he has served us. The ambiance is terrific, the room beautiful. Any kitchen can have some misses periodically; L'Etoile is still Madison's premier restaurant.

B
Chicago
58 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The great service started with the phone call after I made the reservation asking if anyone in the party had any dietary restrictions. I’ve never had a restaurant ask prior to the visit.
Outstanding service and food. We did the tasting menu less the wine paring and it was excellent!

I will be back!

S
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

It wasn’t horrible. For the price it should be excellent. Save yourself some cash and go to a local dinner club. It will be a unique experience with new flavors that you might not have enjoyed before. This was a mediocre restaurant pretending to be fine dining. The service was ok, the wine pairing was ok, the food was ok and occasionally blah.

OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Food and service outstanding and sommelier Michael first rate. Wish there was a bit more atmosphere but overall excellent food.

OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Coursed meal. Excellent quality food. Service was outstanding. Very expensive.

C
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The experience was everything friends told me it would be, even wishing my wife a happy birthday on the menu. Food and presentation were phenomenal!

ML
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My girlfriend and I had the best meal we have ever had here. Everything about the experience was absolutely perfect!

OT
Cleveland
6 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall2food4service1ambience2

Food was really good. You can tell the food was fresh and local. Portions were small but just right... Service for a restaurant like this needs a complete makeover. Again service was not bad but not up to the quality of the food.
Sat at the bar prior to dinner. Only one other person was at the bar and it took 10 minutes to even get water. Ordered a bottle of wine and the bartender had to come back 10 minutes later and ask “what was the name of the wine again”? It was a $300 bottle and she seemed confused.
Our menus were supposed to have “Happy Birthday” to my wife but they didn’t. They brought us to vegetarian menus for some reason? Strange!
Waiter was very nice but did not come around when needed. They threw the cork from our bottle away and had to dig it out of the garbage to get it back to us.
Desert was amazing!!! However, I ordered an expresso to have with my chocolate (amazing) desert but it never came. I had to wait until desert was finished and ask the waiter. He said he was sorry and forgot. He went back and grabbed it after I had finished desert. Probably should have been removed from the bill but no they charged me. No candle for her birthday?Really
Food is great and this should be more of a luxury restaurant not s diner.. We came dressed appropriately however there were people seated with shorts, tennis shoes, jeans.. we have to have at least o e restaurant in Madison were you have to dress for the occasion. Please upgrade your dress code. Unless you need business so bad you let just anyone in. It lessens the experience of the food when you let people in who look like they just rolled out of bed. Tennis and shorts at least should be not allowed especially on a Saturday Night. Very odd decision to have zero dress standards or code... if people can’t dress for the type of restaurant you “could” be then don’t jet them in. They can go to your Gastro pub next door.. Our you casual or our you a fine dining establishment?? Can’t be both

OT
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Deconstructed meals can work or not. The tasting menu was at about 50% success. Courses were either very good or meh. Many appeared that the chef was trying too hard to be complex when not necessary.