Saturday, March 12, 2005
Reason XXVIII to Love Madison: Fine Dining Edition
by Tom Bozzo
Some of us in the know — or at least who are second-degree in the know these days — have been aware that a potentially transformative sale of L'Etoile, at its best moments our upper-Midwestern answer to Chez Panisse (and at its worst, still a very nice place to eat), has been pending. Chef-proprietor Odessa Piper has sold, the Wisconsin State Journal reports this morning, to her talented chef de cuisine Tory Miller and Miller's sister, who will keep things substantially the same:
"I've been working quietly for some time to put the next successor in place," Piper said. She wanted someone who would maintain her 28-year relationships with local farmers and the Madison community. Piper had turned down an earlier, more lucrative offer because she didn't feel the buyer understood or appreciated the charm of L'Etoile...Chef O's hippie background is a not inconsiderable part of Madison food lore. It's nice to see it make an appearance for what will hopefully be the benefit of the local food scene.