Preparing French cuisine at home is a laborious process that involves catching wild escargot and convincing crepes not to fold themselves into paper airplanes. Leave the work to the professionals with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of authentic French fare at Jilly’s Cafe in Evanston.
Jilly's Cafe infuses authentic French dishes with American elements in a range of entrees, sandwiches, and brunch selections sidling alongside an extensive wine list. Take a fragrant dive into mussels marinieres, peppered with shallots and fresh herbs in a white-wine cream sauce ($11), invoking the oceanic flavors of Paris II, the city's underwater counterpart. Roma tomatoes, fresh herbs, and flavorful garlic mingle in the mushroom risotto, finished with a deluge of sweet-cream butter and piquant parmesan cheese ($13 for lunch, $16 for dinner). Steak frites ($29) sate cravings for authentic French concoctions alongside an array of pastas, roasted meats, and fresh seafood. Noontime noshers partake of lavish entrees or taste lighter bites, with a selection of protein-packed salads ($9–$11) and innovative sandwiches, including the open-faced smoked-salmon sandwich decked with tarragon mayo, chopped egg, onions, and capers ($11). To aid in expert entree pairing, the extensive wine list organizes each varietal's flavor and body from lightest to heaviest to most likely to succeed, and the ever-changing items on the Sunday brunch menu tempt diners with an array of egg dishes, pancakes, and savory selections.
The chefs at Jilly’s Cafe meld French and American cooking traditions to create a menu of elegant fusion fare peppered with culinary surprises from around the world. A large specials menu rotates its options frequently, treating diners to plates piled with nourishment that might include duck, rack of lamb, and fresh seafood, and every Sunday, a selection of breakfast items scramble for the right to occupy the brunch menu. To celebrate specific holidays, Jilly's rolls out set menus designed with a theme in mind—guests can ensure a romantic night out by reserving a table on Valentine’s Day or visit on Easter to honor America's mascot, the Easter egg. The eatery’s long-winded wine list allows aficionados to sample new varietals while giving grapes a chance to see what their old friends are up to.