After a few minutes inside L'Eiffel Bistrot & Creperie, visitors will be forgiven for thinking they've discovered a wormhole connecting them directly to Paris. The carefully sourced selections on the restaurant's lengthy wine list contribute to this sense of dislocation; so do special events such as wine tastings, fashion showcases, and the occasional peasant uprising.
The kitchen, however, is the biggest reason why one might unconsciously start humming the Amelie soundtrack. L'Eiffel's chefs make traditional French cuisine with organic ingredients, and those ingredients appear throughout the elegant entrees of roasted duck in orange sauce, braised beef in a Burgundy wine sauce, and fresh mussels. As for the bistro's namesake dish, crepes can land on the white tabecloths with savory country ham and swiss cheese or wine-poached salmon bundled inside.
When The Melting Pot originally opened in 1975 just outside Orlando, the location was cozy and quaint, but diners had only three options: swiss-cheese fondue, beef fondue, or chocolate fondue. However, as the restaurant grew in popularity, so did its menu selection and atmosphere. The restaurant first expanded four years later under the leadership of a Melting Pot waiter and enterprising college student named Mark Johnston, who teamed up with his brothers Mike and Bob to open a new outpost in Tallahassee. This location grew in reputation to pave the way for future franchise expansion. Today, the company—now owned by the trio of siblings—reigns as the premier fondue, wine, and drink restaurant, stretching across North America with more than 140 restaurants linked by underground tunnels. The restaurant's menu has also ballooned, and patrons can now expect six varieties of hot dipping cheese paired with salads, meats, and molten chocolate.
On a given night, groups of foodies gather around tables to nosh on signature four-course meals, from cheese-fondue appetizers and various salads to steaks and seafood cooked in a choice of healthy broth or oil. Birthday revelers and couples can share decadent evenings at private tables, capping off meals with chocolate desserts that have defined The Melting Pot for decades.
Denisa's Crepes & Fondues packs fresh, seasonal ingredients into its menu of authentic swiss and french crepes in sweet and savory flavors, plus a mélange of soups, quiche, and salad. Like a location of a haunted mansion’s exit, the featured quiche flavor changes daily ($6), and sweet crepes get their charm from tasty fillings such as lingonberry jam ($5.25), honey ($5.40), and dark chocolate with coconut ($6.80). Savory buckwheat crepes toughen up their doughy exterior by morphing into a diverse lineup of full-meal galettes, including fish au cognac, a Parisian playground where peas and raisins play tag with white fish doused with wine and cognac sauce ($14.75 for lunch, $17.75 for dinner). Sweet dessert crepes decked out with caramelized apples flambé in rum send stomachs into the world gurgling happily ($8.90). Diners imbibe in the restaurant's cozy dining room, covered with hardwood floors, sconce-style lighting, and tabletop flower bouquets that translate all conversations into French.
On a summer trip to Paris, Suzette's Creperie's owner, Suzette, fell in love with the local street vendors' delicate, ultra-thin crepes. When she got back to the States, she decided to give Chicagoans a taste of the fancy fast-food eats she adored and started selling them herself out of a crepe cart.
Since those authentically French beginnings, Suzette's cart has blossomed into a full-fledged French bistro in Downtown Wheaton, though sweet and savory crepes remain the focus of the menu. One arrives stuffed with saut?ed salmon; another ensconces hot fudge and banana slices. Duck confit, wine, and other French staples complement the crepes.
The service at Suzette's is European-style, which means that the staff allows meals to unfold at a leisurely pace, rather than leaving a running stopwatch on each table. Live jazz often enhances the European atmosphere.
A melting pot of global influences in Wheaton, L'Anne serves a blend of Asian cuisines.
Mindful eaters are advised to count calories a different day, as L'Anne is without low-fat fare.
Order a bottle for the table if you like — L'Anne has a full bar stocked with the best wine, beer, and more.
Your group can sit comfortably at L'Anne, a local restaurant.
Enjoy the luxury of eating a delicious meal outside at L'Anne.
Reservations are offered, so call ahead to lock down your table.
Great place to bring the whole family with great food and a business casual dress code.
Catering services are also available.
Getting your food to go is also an option.
Complimentary parking is provided in the lot next to L'Anne.
Checks are bigger than average at the restaurant, so prepare your wallet.
If fine food and refreshing beverages are on your to-do list, check out Bistro Monet in Glen Ellyn.
Your pals with special dietary considerations — including those who avoid fat, gluten, and animal products — will still find plenty of tasty and suitable items on the menu.
Toast your evening out at Bistro Monet with a glass of beer or wine from their lengthy drink list.
Youngsters don't need to sit out a trip to Bistro Monet — it's super family-friendly and perfect for little diners and their folks.
Bistro Monet's private rooms are a great venue to host any occasion.
Don't get stuck waiting for a table — the restaurant accepts reservations.
Dress is typically casual at Bistro Monet, so leave the fancy duds behind for the evening.
Bistro Monet prides itself in its delicious catering.
Bistro Monet offers complimentary parking at a lot close by.
Bistro Monet makes bikers feel at ease with the multiple storage racks outside.
Your tab at Bistro Monet will usually run to about $30 per guest.
Reviewers rave about the dinner menu at the restaurant, though breakfast and lunch are also served.