Twenty years ago we bought our first boat – the 26’ Whaler. It wasn’t much of a boat for Buzzards Bay, but if the winds blew kindly, our “Big Trip” would be to Oak Bluffs where we’d pick up a Town Mooring and take the Island Bus to Edgartown.

We’d always walk by L’ETOILE and think it’s was a cool spot for a restaurant; right on the main drag across from Murdock Fudge and Vineyard Vines.

Today, it’s also part of the Sydney Hotel (of the Lark Hotel Chain).

We’re docked the Edgartown Harbormaster’s pier for the first of our summer getaways to this iconic little village.

Due to Covid, many dining experiences aren’t normal. We’ve seen $12 martinis delivered in plastic cups and even an entire dinner served in cardboard boxes and a brown paper bag.

I have to say, other than our server’s mask, you’d never know E’ETOILE anything other than a first class culinary experience.

They’ve set up tents and tables on the front lawn to accommodate outdoor dining. At first it looked a little contrived, but it ended up being a perfect Al Fresco dining experience.

We love people watching so we took the table closest to the street. If you’re looking for a quieter experience, I’m sure you could find it at a table closer to The Sydney.

The Food

In anticipation of a fine French culinary experience, we skipped cocktails and ordered a nice bottle of Prisoner Cab…

It’s quite good and at $89, it was priced just right for our elevated dining adventure.

The menu at L’ETOILE was the kind I like – something for every palette, but succinct enough that we knew every dish would be specially crafted…

We started things off with a variety of appetizers featuring “Chilled Katama Spearpoint Oysters”. Unlike pretty much everywhere in New England, these beauties are not served with a cocktail sauce, lemon wedges, and horseradish.

Each oyster is presented already “dressed” in one of two special creations.

Five were served in a Preserved Limoncello Cream, and four came in a Pomegranate Mignonette…

The dressings presented a unique flavoring, but never overpowered the flavor of the oyster.

By the way, each sat in some of the most beautiful oyster shells we’ve ever seen.

Gary and Amy also shared the Spinach Salad…

Mrs. Horne and I shared the Gnocchi…

I love gnocchi, but seldom order it as an entree because it’s so heavy. I like to see it offered as an appetizer and in the case of L’ETOILE, it’s elevated well beyond the typical Italian fare.

It was served with Black Truffles, Shiitake and Shimeji Mushrooms, Pine Nuts, and Shaved Parmesan. This presented a unique flavor profile and really balanced the heaviness of the potatoes.

Gary and Amy both ordered the Rack of Lamb…

The Lamb Flavoring was traditional French and quite good. As we all know, we “eat with our eyes,” and the E’ETOILE’s rack was a visual feast.

They also treat the vegetable sides with great respect. Amy gave me a taste of her Spinach Soufflé. It was rich and creamy.

Mrs. Horne continued our pursuit of the French culinary experience with the Long Island Duck…

I’m a pretty good chef, but I’ve given up trying to cook Duck. It’s truly an art to get the seasoned skin crispy without over doing the medium rare breast. The Duck at L’ETOILE was perfectly executed.

Mrs. Horne was also very impressed by the Roasted Vegetable Wild Rice Hash.

I was toying with the Lamb or the Duck for my main, but once both were ordered, I made the decision to veer off and ordered two “seconds.”

The first was the Charred Octopus…

I only discovered octopus a few years ago, but I know from watching The Food Channel that it’s a very demanding dish to cook.

It’s typically a two stage process where it’s initially braised to tenderize it and then finished in a sauté pan to add flavor.

In the case of L’ETOILE, the flavor was infused though char grilling. It was a very successful dish – quite tender and full of flavor.

My final dish was the Braised Boneless Short Ribs served Tony Meyer’s style..

I loved everything I tasted, but this was my favorite. I actually forgot is was a beef short rib until I sat down to write this review. It tasted like a perfectly cooked Asian Spare Rib. The Polenta was very good, but I’m not a big Polenta guy. Fortunately, Mrs. Horne loves Polenta and she said it was great.

Although our tummy’s were fully satisfied, we just had to try their desserts. We ordered two Creme Brulee’s

The trick to a great Creme Brulee is the browning of the sugar on top and ours was perfect, In addition, L’ETOILE has raspberries baked in.

We’re returning to Edgartown for Labor Day weekend and I have already booked a dinner back at L’ETOILE. It’s a little too fancy (pricey) to be my favorite restaurant in Edgartown, but it’s certainly a place I look forward to dining at again.