Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About L'Etoile Restaurant
L'Etoile is a fine dining restaurant on the Capitol Square that focuses on local and sustainably sourced ingredients. Our menu is influenced by numerous culinary traditions and seasonality. Inquire about our monthly wine dinners and tasting menus. Full bar service available.
Madison, WI 53703
Contemporary American, European
Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Monday - Friday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm, Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
$50 and over
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Our parking lot is located on the corner of East Washington and Webster Street, behind the American Exchange Bank. Alternate Parking may be found at the Tenney Street parking ramp, located on the corner of Webster and Main Street. Street parking is also available on the Capitol Square most days after 6 P.M.
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
L'Etoile Restaurant Ratings and Reviews
Fine dining is somewhat of a hobby for us! We have dined all over the US with our notable favorites being Benu in SF and Eleven Madison Park in NYC - just to name a few. We have enjoyed coming to Madison occasionally over the past 3 years as it is just a 3 hour drive from home and it is such a fun little city. We ALWAYS hit L'Etoile when we're in town. Tuesday night we were treated to a spring menu that literally had no weak spots. Usually in a tasting menu, we've found that at least one course misses the mark. Not so with this one! The wine pairings were generous and spot on. I can't wait to travel here again- hoping to get in on the fabulous farmers market sometime this summer!
Incredible! The food, service, and drinks were all well above and beyond expectations. Everyone from the maître d to the waitstaff to the bartenders were extremely friendly, professional, and attentive. Our server Frank provided impressive descriptions of all the menu offerings; his descriptions and perfectly attentive service were only rivaled by the food itself! We tried the spring soup, burrata, Alaskan halibut, Peterson ribeye, French cruller, and the prix fixe menu -- every bite was amazing! Especially recommend the halibut and ribeye, but I would get every single item again. For drinks I tried the French Antique (or something similar to that name, first cocktail on the menu), which had a lovely light lilac flavor, and the Strawberry Sidecar, which was more sweet but with a spicy undertone that I loved. In addition, the atmosphere here was wonderful! We will definitely be going back, we were very impressed by the quality of the atmosphere, service, staff, and food.
L'Etoile is our favorite special occasion restaurant in Madison. It is a sensory experience. The food looks beautiful, smells great, and tastes wonderful. The ingredients are combined in very creative ways. Service is excellent. I would urge you to ask MIchael, the sommelier, for wine recommendations; we have always been pleased with his guidance. Also, he does a great with the wine pairings if you decide to go that route. The wait staff is attentive , helpful and friendly. At our recent visit, we were celebrating a friend's birthday. We all had a first course and loved what we had. I was especially pleased with the burrata. For entrees, two of our party ordered snapper and the other person ordered halibut. The fish was perfectly cooked in all cases. It was a lovely evening at a perfect place for a celebration.
Absolutely amazing. We were treated like royalty. Excellent food. Super chef. Loved our wait staff. Can't give enough accolades. We were celebrating 2 anniversaries and it exceeded our expectations. We'd do it again in a heartbeat. Expensive... so maybe save for our and our friends anniversaries again.
L'Etoile continues to be our first choice - amazing, world-class dining in Madison, WI. I think the food is just getting better and better. This time, we were joined by our friend from Buffalo, whom I think visits us partly to dine at this restaurant. We all agreed that the beautiful presentations were equaled in every way by the food selections, preparation and flavors of each dish. Bravo, L'Etoile!
It was a big disappointment and we would never go back or recommend it to anyone. Our waiter completely ignored us after our food arrived at the table coming back only ONCE to ask how our food was and this was just moments after it had arrived-I hadn't even tried my $56.00 ribeye which was very tough! He did not come back after that (through the entire meal) and did not see if we needed anything else. My companion was wanting some wine after finishing his martini and while our waiter was doting on his other tables, never once stopped back at our table to see if either needed anything else. The hostess was the ONLY attentive person in the restaurant supplying us with water and removing our plates when we were finished. At the end of the meal, we just wanted to leave and my companion told the waiter, who stopped to ask if I wanted desert, to cancel his dessert he had ordered with the initial order but someone brought it anyway. The waiter was busy chatting at another table and we told this person that we canceled dessert, after asking the waiter about the situation, our waiter came back and just said "oh yeh, that' right" and quickly left our table! Then, the manager came to our table and said the dessert was "on the house". We shared the dessert, paid for our meal (and our waiter just said "thank you"-and nothing else), and then we left. We did not complain during our meal and certainly were not rude so we decided we would NEVER go back and NEVER recommend the restaurant. We drove from Milwaukee for our special occasion and ended up getting stiffed on what we were expecting as a great evening out!
L'Etoile is a total dining experience. Ingredients are locally sourced, crafted into fantastic dishes and served by knowledgeable, enthusiastic and attentive staff. Taste is fresh, flavorful and unique. Yes, it is expensive, which makes it a wonderful treat for a special occasion and worth every penny. I took my daughter to L'Etoile to celebrate her upcoming birthday. Treat for me too.
I had very much been looking forward to dining at L'Etoile but the food arrived cold and bland, there was an issue opening my wine and rather than give me an option, it was brought back to the table 15 minutes later already in a decanter that I was told they had put through cheesecloth to remove cork particles. While I understand this and would have done the same myself at home I certainly would not have expected this to be the practice at a restaurant I am paying several hundred dollars for dinner for two.
Given that this was a Saturday night I am fairly certain the "B" team would not have been on so it is unlikely I will go back.
I want to preface this review by saying that I am a fancy restaurant hobbyist, who often goes out of my way to go to Michelin-starred and other high-caliber places in Chicago. I preface my review this way, since I feel the price point is similar to some high caliber places I've been to and I can't help but compare the experiences. For other people wondering how L'Etoile compares as a dining experience to something like El Ideas or Oriole, read on. For someone who is just looking for a fancy tasty menu in a fancy place in Madison, L'Etoile is fine and will probably hit your needs.
My partner and I had an 8 o'clock reservation, which we were 15 minutes early for. The service took our coats and seated us early (which was fantastic). When we were sat down, we told who we presumed to be our server (after they asked) that we would be getting the tasting menu. She seemed excited and left. We assumed we had ordered and 20 minutes later, someone came to ask for our drinks. Another 15 minutes passed before we got our drinks and yet another 10 before the server came back to take our order (which we thought was already placed). The cadence of the night went on like this- where the service seemed rushed and the pacing between the dishes was often way too long or way too short. The description of the dishes often left out entire ingredients, even if they made up huge portions of the plate and the servers weren't aware of what they were. Service was friendly, but definitely not comparable to high caliber Chicago restaurants.
The food was alright. The flavor profile leaned sweet. The best dish was a Foie with cherries and chocolate. One of the dishes (the Fluke) was a complete miss for my partner and I. It had large chunks of raw veggies, including unpeeled carrots. The food was alright, but not worth the price.
The best part of the evening was by far the cocktails. If would recommend L'Etoile for anything, I would say that the bar is one of the best in Madison.
Excellent food and service in a dining room looking out floor to ceiling windows with a view of the capitol. Nicely paced even though one of us had the tasting menu and the other did not. Knowledgeable sommelier and great wine pairings. L'Etoile did not disappoint!
Had the 7 course degustation with matching wines. Absolute top quality food and wine that were almost perfect. Not quite sure about the banana with the Foie Gras and the cheese course was a little uninspiring (particularly because Wisconsin is the cheese capital of the US and we had tasted some great cheeses in a nearby shop that afternoon).
Service was excellent, staff were polite and extremely knowledgeable about the dishes served. When we mentioned the cheese dish was a little uninspiring, the waiter immediately went back to the kitchen and the chef mad up a completely different cheese dish which was absolutely beautiful. We were a little embarrassed and didn't mean to make a fuss... but we were very impressed with their response. 9/10 would highly recommend and would definitely go back.
This is the sort of restaurant where eating a meal is like going on a luxury vacation, in all the best possible ways! We each had the tasting menu, and we split one wine pairing since we're such lightweight drinkers (although we also had a cocktail apiece to start). Absolutely everything was exquisite; every bite was an experience. Such a fabulous evening.
Absolutely excellent. Three-course a la carte meal for both of us. Every dish was thoughtfully prepared and a work of art. Olin, our waiter, took great care of us. The view of the Capitol building is awesome from any table. Nice, quiet, adult patrons. People, leave your screaming kids at home; this is NOT the restaurant for them. It was so pleasant to enjoy fine dining without someone's misbehaving and undisciplined children ruining the atmosphere.
My wife and I enjoyed a wonderful Thursday evening at L'Etoile in mid-February. Although it had been a while since we'd last dined there, it was as delightful as ever! Both of us chose the tasting menu, along with the wine pairings. The food would have been spectacular on it's own, but each of the paired wines was great complement to the applicable course. The service was personal, attentive, and expertly delivered; the staff was friendly, professional, and very knowledgeable. The setting goes well with the food and the service, and the overall ambience is very warm and pleasant.
Truly a fantastic dining experience. A night that my wife and I will remember. We celebrated my wife's birthday in grand and romantic fashion. The view of the Wisconsin State Capitol was magical. Our seven course meal, with wine pairing, was absolutely perfect. Well worth it. Highly recommended. We will come back.
The food was fantastic!!! I am still dreaming of the sturgeon, so good! They were super open to all of our asks and customized a tasting menu for us that was truly special. The ambiance was special with the view of the capital in the night. Great spot for a date and an anniversary dinner. Will probably make L'Etoile our go to place for special occasions :)
We had a fantastic dinner celebrating a milestone occasion. It was our first time after hearing about it for the better part of 20 years. The food and wine pairings were outstanding. The only reason for the 4-star review was the desert choice we made was very bland and even a bit unappetizing. But the first two courses were positively spectacular. Our service was excellent and when the server sensed our displeasure with the desert she took it off of the bill without us even asking for such generosity. The ambiance and comfort of the restaurant was outstanding.
In terms of value, it is difficult for me to say that our meal was dramatically better than what we would have experience at other higher end restaurants in the Madison area. And with a price tag that was at least double that of any other restaurant we'd have gone to, it brings the value issue into question a bit. But by no means does this make it a disappointing meal or evening. On the contrary, we had an exquisite time. Just don't know that we would go back unless we received a significant gift card or were guests of another party.
I first went L'Etoile when I was a young girl at the original location. Coming back to L'Etoile it has exceeding my expectations on what I had remembered the ambiance and menu to be. The view of the capital was spectacular with the floor to ceiling windows. The staff was very attentive and did everything possible to make it a special experience.
Terrific as always. Service is always first class. We have dined here a lot and they never fail to treat us as valued guests. We nearly always dine there for special events with our children. Well behaved children are always welcomed and actively acknowledged. Our children are now 12 and 15 but they have been coming to L'Etoile since they were 7 years old. They love the food - including on this last visit "the best steak they have ever eaten and yummy spinach!"
Love the food, love the people (especially Frank!).
We went for my wife's birthday. Tasting menu was spectacular. True farm to table cuisine. The wine parings were perfect and the portions were all perfectly sized. We left feeling perfectly satisfied and happy. Superb waitstaff as well. Friendly by not overbearing.
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