The culinary artisans at Le Poulet Bistro craft crepes le poulet, beef bourguignon, and traditional French dishes in an elegant, rural French setting. Behind a white-brick façade, waiters carry dishes over dark hardwood floors and past burnt-umber walls spotted with French-themed art. Le Poulet’s European style of cooking lets meat continually baste itself through the cooking process, a feat of automation bettered only by barrels of self-linking monkeys. Sweet treats such as the crepes Mon Ami—thin French pancakes filled with fruit and vanilla whipped cream—cap off evenings alongside authentic Italian Lavazza coffee.
Though outside the streets may be full of rain and slush, inside Pasteur, it's always sunny and tropical. Pure white walls carry the natural light from the front windows all the way to the back of the space, and woven chairs and soaring greenery lend a shore-side air to the space without relying on tables sprinkled with sea salt. What began in 1985 as a restaurant serving one simple dish—Vietnamese pho—has blossomed into a bustling, upscale eatery serving cuisine from all regions of Vietnam. Flavors of lemongrass, coconut, and garlic underpin a menu highlighted by seafood dishes: monkfish in a curry tumeric sauce, salmon baked in a clay pot, and whole fried snapper.
Café Amano summons patrons to its elegant, warmly lit interior with the savory aromas of gourmet small plates, salads, pastas, entrees, and more. Warm up over a plate of warming gnocchi di pesto, potato dumplings chaperoned by apple-and-gouda chicken sausage ($17), or sink your teeth into an elegant entree such as the oven-roasted rack of Australian lamb chops, enrobed in a shiitake mushroom port wine reduction ($29). A menu of decadent handmade desserts sports sweeties such as the chocolate l’orange torte, infused with Grand Marnier and tipsily donning a lampshade-style hat of chocolate ganache ($9). Relax in the cream and black accented dining room with a correspondingly hued Intelligentsia café au lait ($3), or sip on an imported dessert selection from the wine list such as the French Pineau des Charentes ($7 per glass). View the full menu here.
One glance at the Bonsoirée menu and it becomes clear that the chic, minimalist décor is pretty much the only thing minimalist about the place. Each dish in chef/owner Shin Thompson and chef de cuisine Luke Creagan’s "exquisitely crafted" four- ($58), seven- ($85), and 13-course ($150) flavor symphonies draws inspiration from a range of cultures and blends traditional Japanese presentation with classic French techniques. A new menu is introduced monthly, but a recent four-course line-up kicks off a night of gourmandizing with a salad of crispy Suzuki, grilled-haricot vert, and pickled ramp with lotus root drizzled in genmaicha vinaigrette and rhubarb sorbet. A fava-bean and spring-pea soup spiced with curried artichoke and green garlic then drum-rolls the curtain-raise on the meal’s centerpiece: a roast of grass-fed spring lamb from Mint Creek Farms, served with potato-and-chickpea confit, shochu Japanese–barbecue sauce, fried potato skins, smoked shimeiji mushrooms, and death mustard, a mysterious savory substance. A dessert of gingerbread ice-cream sandwich sided with ginger-cinnamon-bark ice cream and sprinkled with pecans helps quivering taste buds waft gently back down to earth. If you’re afraid that talking will destroy the food’s delicate interplay of complex flavors, you and your dining companions can entertain yourselves by watching Chef Thompson work his magic and occasionally subdue a cutlery-wielding octopus in the open kitchen window. Also, make use of Bonsoirée's new wine program: call Provenance Food and Wine, Cellar Rat, or Randolph Wine Cellars ahead of time, and get a bottle of wine delivered to Bonsoirée free of charge in advance of your reservation at no extra cost.
Mexican - French fusion features traditional 100% Mexican ingredients prepared with a French technique in a captivating setting in Wicker Park. Sabor Saveur prides itself on bringing the unique flavors of Mexican culture merried together with the French tecnique, blending both perfectly with a wonderful environment conducti
When Chef Joseph Calabres finished he education at the Culinary Institute of America, he left with a passion for cuisine of the classic French bistro. While he honed his knife skills and sous chefery in professional kitchens, he harbored the dream to start his own sidewalk eatery. He eventually realized his goal in the form of Café Touche. His menu highlights many of the same dishes enjoyed in bistros for the last hundred years, such as fresh boullaibaise, steak frites, and classic garlic buttered escargot served in a piping hot ceramic crock. The décor evokes the same ambience of a Parisian sidewalk as the kitchen’s aromas. Textured tin ceilings abut exposed brick walls, punctuated by the warm, glowing orbs of light cast from wall sconces. The extensive wine list completes the milieu with plenty of French vintages, stored in a cellar ideal for plotting protests.
With a star-studded resume that includes stints in such media-acclaimed restaurants as Yoshi’s, Ambria, and Tribute—a Detroit-based eatery of his own that earned him a James Beard Award—it shouldn’t be surprising that Takashi Yagihashi’s latest culinary venture was a success. At his eponymous establishment, the chef crafts gourmet dishes inspired by his French culinary training and accented with the traditional flavors of his native Japan, creating a menu that has earned the restaurant a Michelin star and that Chicago Magazine called "the finest Asian fusion cuisine in the city." In a spartan dining room adorned with subtle art and slate-colored brick, diners savor entrees such as chicken in a clay pot simmering with shimeji mushrooms, eggplant, and yuzu juice, or soy-ginger caramel pork belly served with steamed buns. Yagihashi also highlights his versatility in a number of prix-fixe menus, such as the weekly 7 or 11-course Kaiseki dinner and a tasting menu that pairs each morsel with a complementary wine. While mulling over the menu, savvy wait staff offer their recommendations for the best wine, beer, or sake from the restaurant’s lengthy drink lists, along with sweet post-meal choices such as Yagihashi’s signature brown-egg dessert, which Chicago Magazine says "elevates crème brulee to Zen-like perfection."