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L'Etoile Madison--Tips/Suggestions?

bte576 May 28, 2012 07:15 AM

Will be celebrating with dinner at L'Etoile in a few weeks (please don't tell me I should pick a different restaurant...decision has been made).

Just thought I would see if anyone has any tips on what to order, etc.

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  1. Fowler RE: bte576 May 28, 2012 11:39 AM

    Hi bte576,

    We have dined there several times and have always enjoyed it. The menu changes frequently for obvious reasons but these are items that stick out in my memory as being very good:


    The charcuterie plate as an appetizer. We order it every time.

    Halibut for an entree

    The steaks seemed hit or miss, but one was excellent

    One of our dining partners said the prawns were a good entree

    The onion soup (not the typical French onion soup)


    They have a good wine list but it is expensive. The outstanding bottles were:

    Joguet Chinon
    Donnhoff Spatlese Riesling
    Kosta Browne Sonoma R.R.V. Pinot Noir
    Graillot Crozes Hermitage

    Have a fun time.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Fowler
      bte576 RE: Fowler Jun 14, 2012 05:42 PM

      I just wanted to report back that I had halibut as my main course and it was amazing!! Thanks for the tip. I am sure it changes frequently, but mine was a paprika crusted fillet with short ribs and a red pepper/bean puree of absolute deliciousness.

      My husband went with the ribeye and enjoyed it.

      The other real highlight was sharing a second course of bacon wrapped asparagus with a duck egg and potato latke. So good...

      We both did the 3 wine pairing selection and were happy with that. Thoughtful choices and we drank wines we would have never picked ourselves, but really enjoyed--which is always nice.

      We had the carrot french toast like dessert that was very good, but way too rich after all that food on a hot day. That was the only thing I wished we'd have done differently.

      I had a hard time passing up charcuterie and cheese...but we knew we'd be in Madison all weekend and figured we'd do meat and cheese at the Old Fashioned the next night. We ended up only have drinks there though, but I thought I would put in a plug for the cheese plate, cocktails, and wines by the glass list at The Merchant which was great for nibbling and drinking on our second night out.

      1. re: bte576
        Fowler RE: bte576 Jun 17, 2012 03:12 PM

        Hi bte576,

        Thank you for all of the details! It sounds like you had a great weekend.

    2. t
      TheBookPolice RE: bte576 May 28, 2012 06:21 PM

      Every time I've had shrimp out of that kitchen, it's been superb.

      1. b
        bte576 RE: bte576 May 30, 2012 05:40 PM

        Thanks...will have to let you know how it is!

        1. b
          bte576 RE: bte576 Jun 14, 2012 05:51 PM

          I wanted to add though that while I really enjoyed our dinner, I did not love the space. With the high ceilings and being seated staring out at a local bus stop, the dinner did not feel very intimate at all.
          The atmosphere did nothing for me--good thing the food was superb!
          Maybe it is better to be seated towards the back?

          2 Replies
          1. re: bte576
            Fowler RE: bte576 Jun 17, 2012 03:24 PM

            >>> I did not love the space. With the high ceilings and being seated staring out at a local bus stop,<<<

            You did not enjoy seeing the freaks and weirdos stumbling out of the buses while you ate dinner? Views like that are what makes Madison special, :-)

            1. re: Fowler
              bte576 RE: Fowler Jun 19, 2012 05:48 AM

              Ha! You know...it totally works for Graze I think, just no so much at L'Etoile.

              While eating our first course I observed at the bus stop a women with a bloody face and a bus driver giving some sort of statement to a police officer. Really set the mood...

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