I'd definitely say L'Etoile, but we were somewhat underwhelmed by Harvest - sky-high prices for very small servings. The descriptions were much better than the actual food, and the foie gras was in desparate need of some sea salt (none on the table) - thank goodness I had my handy baggie of Maldon in my purse!
Any there's nothing wrong with at least one white brat at State Street - you've gotta do it :)
L'etoile-highly acclaimed-expensive but worth every penny-downtown
Harvest-uses locally grown products-menu changes daily-downtown
Johnny Delmonico's-great steaks-downtown
Eno Vino-great menu & wine- various special tastings during the week with food & wine pairings-far West side-kinda hard to find but totally worth it
Fleming's-nice atmosphere-large selectionof wines-great calamari appetizer
Ocean Grill-nice seafood -downtown
Old Fashioned-Wisconsin comfort food-downtown
Sardine-french inspired-great skatewing-off Williamson
Any Food Fight restaurants- www.foodfightinc.com
Many ethnic places on State street
I second the suggestions for Magnus and Jolly Bob's, and here are a few links for a pretty good range of great places to eat:
I was just in Madison this week and it is one of my favorite little cities in the world.
I highly recommend two places:
1) The Weary Traveler on Williamson St. Local beers, super reasonably priced wine list, wonderful food. Try the Hungarian Goulash, the vegan chili, or Bob's Bad Breath Burger.
2) Right across the street is Jolly Bob's Jerk Joint, a Jamaican restaurant inside a tiny house that opens in to a huge sunken patio in back. They have a full bar serving some really lovely tropical drinks - try the Nacho Loco, a big old glass full of cream, ice, rum, coffee liquer, and a whole banana blended. Their food is spicy and top-notch Jamaican, with all manners of jerk meat, rice and beans, plantains, etc. and it's bright, charming and lively.