About L'Etoile Restaurant

1 S Pinckney Street Suite 107
Madison, WI 53703
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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.

Dining Style:
Fine Dining

Cuisines:
Contemporary American, European

Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Monday - Friday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm, Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm

Cross Street:
East Washington

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$50 and over

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(608) 251-0500

Website:
http://www.letoile-restaurant.com/

Parking Details:
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.

Executive Chef:
Tory Miller

Additional:
Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Restaurant Photos

L'Etoile Restaurant Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.7

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.8

ambience

4.5

noise

Moderate

90% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Best Overall
Wisconsin
Best Food
Wisconsin
Best Service
Wisconsin
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Best Ambiance
Wisconsin
Fit for Foodies
Wisconsin
Notable Wine List
Wisconsin
Contemporary American
Wisconsin
Best Overall
Madison
Best Food
Madison
Best Service
Madison
Best Ambiance
Madison
Fit for Foodies
Madison
Romantic
Madison
Special Occasion
Madison
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special occasion (56)
fit for foodies (49)
romantic (40)
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notable wine list (35)
scenic view (35)
neighborhood gem (5)
great for lunch (3)
good for groups (2)
hot spot (1)
great for brunch (1)
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736 reviews
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We had the 7 course meal with wine pairi ...

Dined 4 days ago

We had the 7 course meal with wine pairing. Each dish was so uniquely delicious, it was hard to pick a favorite. The wine also paired perfectly! This was a meal for a special occasion, everything was perfect. We got one seated at one of the best tables, by the windows looking out towards the capital. The waiters were also very knowledgeable and friendly. Had a wonderful experience at L'Etoile...am never disappointed by the food whenever I do go.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food3
ambience2
service2
value2

Didn't get a view that I requested slow service

Dined on May 18, 2016

It was an anniversary dinner and made a special request to have a view of the capital but we were in a corner with no view and have the staff behind us getting things all night. Also the service was slow and it wasn't busy.

food5
ambience4
service5
value5

We went for our 30th anniversary dinner. ...

Dined on May 18, 2016

We went for our 30th anniversary dinner. I had ordered flowers to be delivered to the table and the restaurant had them already placed. I had informed them of the occasion and a special menu with "Happy 30th Anniversary" written across the top was on the table which was a nice touch. The wait staff and greeters were professional and friendly. We each received a complimentary glass of champagne. The meal was very expensive which is to be expected. It was also delicious and served at an appropriately leisurely pace. I am by no means a "foodie" but I can appreciate when a place really knows what they are doing and this one sure does. We were able to talk and enjoy our evening with some of the best food I have had. Lots of locally grown items too. I will be back.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Great service and explanation of menu

Dined on May 14, 2016

They called me in advance to share that we experience traffic problems due to the graduation at the university. They advised that we could arrive early (in advance of our reservation), and they would take care of us. They asked in advance if we were going to the show (musical), and put us at ease that the timing of the five course meal would work out fine.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
food4
ambience5
service5
value3

Good but ...

Dined on May 6, 2016

... overpriced. $650 for dinner for three. Had to stop at McDonald's on the way home because I was starving.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

Pricey, but worth it. Like an art galler ...

Dined on April 28, 2016

Pricey, but worth it. Like an art gallery for food.

food5
ambience5
service5

We were celebrating our wedding annivers ...

Dined on April 24, 2016

We were celebrating our wedding anniversary. The staff made the evening even more special by acknowledging our anniversary.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

TASTING HEAVEN and SPLENDID SERVICE

vip
Dined on April 16, 2016

We LOVE tasting menus with wine pairings. This one is not inexpensive (190.00 a person) but let me tell you, it was absolutely delicious. The seven courses were absolutely the correct portions. We left full, but not stuffed and uncomfortable. Initially we were going to do one tasting and my wife was going to order A LA CARTE. After seeing my food and pairings, she decided to shift over. She had been served a couple of her dishes and they were delicious, but she wanted the full monty. The server and our chef could not have been more gracious in shifting gears mid way through. And in a well oiled kitchen with a fine chef, I know there is more to it than just a quick change up. They were lovely about it and even adjusted our bill and didn't charge us for one of her courses. The Sockeye Salmon literally melted in your mouth. I was NUTS about it! We also especially enjoyed the duck, and neither of us tend to be fans unless it is prepared perfectly. It was. The wines were beautifully paired to bring out the flavors, and they were mostly unique to us and from small vineyards. As it was my wife's birthday, we also were generously given a champagne toast at the end of our meal, which was such a nice touch. The only thing I would have changed was that we had to rush a bit for a show after dinner. The dinner was a show in and of itself and you need to allow 2 and a half hours, maybe three if you are doing the seven course tasting. My mistake, not the restaurant's. They worked hard to consider our timing needs without making us feel rushed. They even called our theater for us to see if they could be sure our seating would be protected. It worked out fine, but next time I will spend my evening with L'Etoile, which lived up to it's name. I can't wait to return!!

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Fun, Fancy Dining

Dined on April 16, 2016

It was a fun time. Somewhere I likely wouldn't be going every weekend but it was a great experience for a special occasion or a fancy night out. My girl friend and I thoroughly enjoyed the food, atmosphere and the service. The dessert was exceptional. They have a great view of the capital building. The atmosphere is quiet but I didn't feel restricted to a whisper. The wait staff were very attentive but not too present. Will go again after I save up a few more pennies.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
food5
ambience5
service5

Excellent all around

vip
Dined on April 14, 2016

Excellent all around

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Worth the hype

Dined on April 10, 2016

Great food. True art in a dish. Staff is genuinely friendly, helpful and attentive. It may be very expensive, but the food and staff are well worth it for a special night out.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, scenic view
food4
ambience4
service4
value2

Overpriced

Dined on April 10, 2016

Don't get me wrong---the food is good, but for >$80 per person I want to get blown away, and I just thought it was good. I didn't finish my entrée because I got bored with it by the end. The wine was excellent. The atmosphere wasn't as cozy or intimate as I remembered from 10 years ago.

food3
ambience4
service5
value3

Lovely atmosphere, overpriced

Dined on April 8, 2016

Ambiance and service were wonderful. The food was very good but not outstanding. Small portions will leave you wanting if you are hungry.

food3
ambience4
service5

The tasting menu is superb ! The best ...

vip
Dined on March 30, 2016

The tasting menu is superb ! The best ingredients, and the best chefs, in the Midwest. Fabulous!

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Best place in Madison

Dined on March 19, 2016

Had dinner here while in Madison for the weekend - the monkfish was delicious. Service was excellent. Would highly recommend

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Exceptional Experience

Dined on March 16, 2016

If you want outstanding food prepared exquisitely and presented beautifully, look no further. Our party had the 3-course dinner with wine pairings. You could not ask for better food and wine combinations than what we were served. Everything about this restaurant is done with care and thought. We have never had a bad experience at L'Etoile. If you are in Madison for one night only, do yourself a favor and dine here.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Special night out

Dined on March 12, 2016

the service was amazing, the food was special, every detail was carefully executed.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5

Outstanding food-- it gets better and be ...

vip
Dined on March 12, 2016

Outstanding food-- it gets better and better!

food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Best in Madison.

Dined on March 10, 2016

Having lived in Madison for about two years now, I didn't think there were any restaurants this good in Madison. The meal I had in particular, along with wine pairings was as good or even better than some of the one star michelin restaurants I've eaten at in Chicago. I can remember every dish, not a single one was bad or even average. Only complaint would be the bread, for my taste it was a bit chewy but thats just my personal taste. Wine pairings were great. Service was not stuffy or overly formal. Beautiful modern building. Great time!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Bravo!

Dined on March 10, 2016

Tori Miller and his staff continue to raise the bar for fine dining in Madison. The ambience, menu and service at L'toile are superb. The culinary creativity with farm fresh local ingredients is spectacular. Prices may seem high but the quality of the experience is unmatched.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

L'etoile is the cream of the Madison food scene

Dined on February 28, 2016

You simply cannot go wrong with L'etoile. Each dish is thoughtfully prepared and perfectly executed. The ambiance is beautiful with a stunning view of the capitol. Great service including a sommelier on staff. It is pricey, but well worth it!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

A Fantastic Treat!

Dined on February 14, 2016

I never knew that food could be experienced this way! My date and I spent our Valentines Day eve experiencing L'Etoile for the first time. From the first bite, we experienced complex flavors that we never had before. Our server was also attentive and helpful. It was pricy, but the experience and meal we had was well worth it. Truly a Madison gem!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent

Dined on February 13, 2016

The food was excellent as was the service. It was just a little on the expensive side. Other than that, everything was great and we will return.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
food5
ambience5
service4

The food was phenomenal, wine pairings w ...

Dined on February 13, 2016

The food was phenomenal, wine pairings were incredible, service was great. Great for a fancy date night.

food5
ambience5
service5
value3

Be prepared

Dined on February 7, 2016

Be prepared to squeeze every moment of enjoyment out of your L'Etoile experience, because dinner for two can easily set you back almost $500 including tip. Worth it? As an unparalleled dining experience, there isn't another such place in Madison.

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food3
ambience3
service4
value1

Accept no substitute...

Dined on February 7, 2016

The ribeye here is one of the finest. Unfortunately for me and my guest a substitution was made. I was told a NY Strip would take its place and would be just a little leaner. Instead of a strip the size of the ribeye, we received maybe 2ozs at $56! PS... Keep the wine list near! There were a couple $30 glasses of house champagne that was an unpleasant surprise.

food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Great job

Dined on February 5, 2016

I went there with my fiance to celebrate 10 years of being with her and we didn't say anything till the end. There was a problem with police outside and my fiance had a small anxiety attack because of the cops because there was more then usual but they let us switch to a table in the back instead of the window seat. Thanks to everyone that helped.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, scenic view
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Perfection

Dined on January 28, 2016

Owner and James Beard award winner Tory Miller and his staff decided to honor L'Etoile's 40th anniversary this year by creating a special three course prix fixe menu every week of 2016 inspired by founder and another Beard award winner Odessa Piper's dishes (in addition to the seven course prix fixe tasting menu and the a la carte offerings). Last week, after checking the week's Odessa menu that is posted every Tuesday and we had our chops all excited about the veal-based entree. Alas, I checked the menu before the new menu was posted for the week. When we arrived and much to my chagrin, the entree listed was the feature the week before. Our server, however, had a discussion with the kitchen staff and surprised us. Everything about the experience, including Chef de Cuisine Itaru Nagano's on-the-spot improvising to perfection a veal entree for us in place of the featured dish, was dreamily delicious. The soup course was an ingenious playful take on chicken wings. The server poured a delicate grilled lettuce soup over a divine Wisconsin cheddar and pieces of perfectly fried chicken nuggets. It was a little difficult to eat, luxuriate in the flavors of the dish and giggle at the same time but we managed without embarrassing ourselves. I won't wax ecstatic any further about the veal preparation (prepare to salivate: blanquette of veal in a white wine cream sauce with daikon and red radishes, turnip, celeriac and oyster mushrooms) and a perfect (there's that adjective again) dark chocolate pot de créme with a fresh gingersnap and candied orange peel. The attention to everything, including help selecting the wine to complement the meal–perfection. Can't wait for February's Odessa-inspired meal by way of Chefs Miller and Nagano.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

This meal made a Special Occasion spectacular

Dined on January 23, 2016

We received a gift card for our wedding and chose to use it on a birthday also. We were impressed by the menus which had the birthday congratulations printed on it. We have never spend two hours over a dinner but it was most enjoyable. The server was enthusiastic and patient with us explaining each menu item as we were deciding plus which beverage would be best with our choices. We appreciated the champagne to toast with at the beginning and the extra little edibles that were served. Each dish was prepared with many items that all complemented the taste buds. Only a first class chef would know what fruits, nuts, and vegetables would make a total winner for taste and presentation. The number of staff was impressive with one server just pouring water and another bringing fresh silverware for each course. The entire evening was very pleasurable and although the portions looked smallish, we were stuffed and ate nothing more upon arriving home.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, scenic view
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Among the best of the best in Madison, Wisconsin

Dined on January 3, 2016

This is a favorite place for my wife and I to go on the most special of days! The menu is inspiring, the staff are exceptional, and the ambiance is unforgettable. Not to mention win of the best views of the Capital!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
food2
ambience4
service5
value3

Disappointed

Dined on January 1, 2016

The service was exceptional. We were very disappointed with the food. The steak and the duck dishes were tough and not very tender. While several of the 5 courses were quite good, overall they missed the mark.

food5
ambience5
service5

The 7 course tasting menu was amazing! W ...

Dined on December 30, 2015

The 7 course tasting menu was amazing! We had a wonderful view of the capital building and our service was very knowledgeable about each course. The cocktails were also very delicious!

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Fantastic!!!!

Dined on December 19, 2015

Had a wonderful meal with a rememberable wine. Our server Katheryn was so nice and gave us such gray service. Will be dining here again soon

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Celebrated Anniversary

Dined on December 13, 2015

We went here to celebrate our 10th anniversary, and had a wonderful time! The staff went the extra mile to make it a special evening. The food was outstanding, and when eating less usual items, the staff was by no means pretentious and explained the best approach to delightful consumption.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5

Top Notch

Dined on December 6, 2015

i dined at L'Etoile with 2 friends. We all ordered the 7 course tasting menu with wine pairings. It was delightful! We all really enjoyed hearing about the food and wine and where they come from. It's like a fun history lesson along with a fabulous meal. The staff was top notch and happily answered all of our questions. I highly recommend this for a special occasion dining experience.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, scenic view
food5
ambience5
service5

Taste every flavor!

Dined on December 5, 2015

This last Friday evening I took my partner to L'Etoile for our fifth anniversary. It is a high end expensive restaurant so it's not a place I can afford to go to except for the most rare and special of occasions. I had been there once before years ago and I remembered feeling the same thing I felt this time, that I never knew you could taste so many flavors in food. I have been exposed to excellent food my whole life but this is an experience where you don't realize how amazing favor can be, not just in the initial bite, but it changes as the flavor settles. I have heard what work the original owner (Odessa Piper) put into selecting the ingredients and since that time the ownership has changed. It is impressive that in a city like Madison you can have a transition like that and not lose quality. The only thing I tried that did not blow me away was the potatoes that were served with my second course (which was the Skate Wing). They were good but not that different than high quality breakfast potatoes. They were a very small part of the meal and this is hardly a complaint but with the bar so high with flavor exploding from every single thing that I put in my mouth, this item that was just good stood out. The service was amazing.! Even though the price point isn't for every day and everyone, it is one of those things that you've got to experience at least once in your life.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

Birthday

Dined on December 3, 2015

Because it was my birthday this was a very special place to go. We don't usually go to this type of restaurant, usually are burger or fish fry people, so we were a bit apprehensive about how the food would taste. It was fantastic. Portions were perfect. Our service was great. The only odd thing was we were asked if we'd like to sit near the window and we said yes. There was only one other couple in the restaurant when we arrived and we were seated right next to them. We usually ask to be seated further away, why not. But there only other tables near the window were for six or more. It was OK but we felt we were invading their space and it also meant more movement going on with servers, etc. As the restaurant filled up the heat went down - brrr - and the noise level went up. Glad we were finished with our meal. We will go back.

Tags: romantic, special occasion
food3
ambience4
service3

Overpriced, competent fare. Nothing more.

vip
Dined on November 29, 2015

Don't get me wrong, everything I had at L'Etoile was fine. There weren't any glaring errors or missteps in any of the items that I ordered, but it's sort of amazing what they're charging versus what they're putting on a plate. The $56 rib eye was, I kid you not, two slices of meat with another round, plus the accompaniments (which, again, were pedestrian but inoffensive). My husband's half of a small squash was $35. Like, what? That was essentially my reaction to each of the three courses I received. Had the prices been reduced by 35% (for the mains, anyway), I wouldn't have thought all that much of it. It's a merely competent meal that thinks a little too highly of itself. I will, however, note that the restaurant has some real gems on their wine list, and if you know what you're doing, you can enjoy delicious wines at prices that aren't severely marked up. Our table didn't interact with the in-house sommelier, so I can't comment there. Waitstaff was friendly in the trademark Wisconsin fashion, although the wait for drinks after the initial order was quite lengthy. So, yeah. Expense account, someone else paying, whatever -- go for it. But go in with tempered expectations.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

Memorable meal and service

Dined on November 29, 2015

Service and food were outstanding, as usual. Consistently fabulous restaurant that offers very unique and wonderful tastes. We had a 'dinner for two' that offered a shared (but very large) main dish, along with choice of starter and dessert, and a wine pairing. Wait staff are very professional and knowledgeable with just the right amount of attention and personality. Highly recommend L'Etoile.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service4

Always great for a special occasion

Dined on November 22, 2015

This was our first time trying the tasting and wine pairing menu. After enjoying a variety of tasting and pairing menus across the country, I appreciate how difficult it is to serve the right variety/mix to please a spectrum of clients. We enjoyed the L'Toile tasting/pairing experience. The variety was very good as were the sauces. I would lean to at least one additional more full body reds. We always enjoy the local sourcing.

Tags: romantic, special occasion

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