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$49 for dinner for two, redeemable Sunday–Thursday (up to $99 value)
$59 for dinner for two, redeemable any day (up to $99 value)
All it took was a kitchen job in the French Quarter to spark Norman Hargrove's passion for Cajun cooking. Chef Hargrove showcases this passion at Nouveau Tavern, which brings the bold, vibrant flavors and spirit of the Crescent City to River North. Not content with just recreating classic dishes, Hargove and his staff put their own modern twist on traditional staples. Cornbread-stuffed roast chicken and catfish po' boy sliders with spicy maple aioli emerge from the kitchen alongside shrimp and grits. The Chicago Reader praised that dish for its "incredibly creamy" stone-ground grits and shrimp "cooked to a perfect snap," all surrounded by chicken andouille, brussels sprouts, and tomato confit.
Awash in purple and yellow lighting, Nouveau Tavern's main dining room also hews to a more modern approach. Flat-screen televisions hang throughout the space, as do sphere-shaped chandeliers composed of tiny beads of light. Although chairs and banquettes fill the room, standing becomes more common on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights when Nouveau Tavern transforms from a festive restaurant to a dance-fueled nightlife destination that stays open until as late as 3 a.m., depending on how many clocks are set to New Orleans time.