Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

Paris Club – Chicago

Sunday, July 24th, 2011
Brasserie Jo is re-invented into Paris Club
Paris Club 2

Paris Club
59 West Hubbard
Chicago, IL 60610
Opening hours: Mon-Wed 4pm-12am
Thurs-Fri 4pm-2am
Sat: 4pm-3am
Sun 4pm-10pm

Well-known French Chef Joho, and RJ and Jerrod Melman, sons of Rich Melman of “Lettuce Entertain You” fame have re-invented the space, which was formally Brasserie Jo. They are introducing to the River North neighborhood of Chicago a very straightforward, brasserie-style of French cooking, which will definitely appeal to a new generation of diners, with an emphasis on share-plates. They have assembled an impressive culinary team of some of the most respected names in French dining. The Paris Club kitchen will be led by executive chef Tim Graham (Brasserie JO, TRU), as well as notable French-trained chefs Walter Manzke (Church & State, Bastide), Doug Psaltis (Alain Ducasse, French Laundry) and Michael Bellovich (HUB 51).

Highlights of the menu include Scallop and Uni Tartare (an interesting combination), Sweet Frites, Short Rib Bourguinon and Vegetable Cassoulet plated with an array of fresh and seasonal sautéed vegetables.  Smaller portions make ordering simple and encourage guests to try a variety of offerings, such as Escargot by the piece, Lamb Meatballs with Harissa Tomato Sauce, and bite-size Croque Monsieurs “fingers”. In addition to these items, Paris Club also serves an array of homemade charcuteries and pates.

The team has handpicked a list of more than 10 champagnes, 25 reds and 25 whites representing France and U.S. vintners to offer guests easy, reasonably-priced, drinkable wines by the glass or bottle (see below). The restaurant will also feature a number of proprietary wines and craft beers on tap, as well as signature champagne cocktails and aperitifs.

Studio Paris upstairs is an indoor/outdoor lounge that doubles as a functioning photo studio by day and nightclub by night.  The club features an impressive outdoor lounge seating area under a retractable glass roof (a necessity due to Chicago’s quickly changing weather) that opens to the Chicago skyline. A 25-foot bar, festooned with bottles of French champagne, connects the indoor/outdoor bar area. Somewhat resembling the high energy clubs frequently seen throughout Europe, guests can expect to hear great music, see impromptu sets from recording artists visiting the Windy City and take in music spun by guest DJs from around the world.
The only way to secure a table reservation is with bottle service. Should you wish to come upstairs for cocktails or small bites, check in when you arrive – they let people enter based on availability. Table reservations can be made by filling out the form on their website Studio Paris is also available to host private events and photo shoots.

Studio Paris: Hours of Operation:

Wed 5:00pm-12:00am
Thurs-Fri 5:00pm-2:00am
Sat 6:00pm-3:00am
Sun 5:00pm-11:00pm

Dinner 2


Grant Achatz About to Open New Restaurant Called “Next” – Chicago

Friday, March 25th, 2011

small logo RDCCulinary Tidbits . . . It sounds like an attention-getting scheme to me, although next month when Grant Achatz opens a new restaurant in Chicago called “Next”, if in fact it opens, could be the most burdensome ever in culinary history. “My idea of fun seems to be more work,” he said; he will remain in charge of Alinea, his acclaimed restaurant nearby, while he is refining the new menu, which will be painstakingly reproduced from the classical French repertoire: whole lobes of foie gras baked in brioche, clear turtle soup with Madeira, duck pressed and sauced with its own blood and marrow, as served at the Tour d’Argent in Paris for more than 200 years.
These dishes, will be served for all of three months. Next will then morph into an entirely different restaurant, and again into something different three months after that.

Frontera Grill, Topolobampo – Chicago

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

445 N. Clark St., Chicago
(312) 661-1434
Closed Sunday & Monday
Quality Mexican
Prices: Moderate

Both restaurants are located in the same building, Frontera Grill (seating 65) is the more casual of the two restaurants and Topolobampo, the higher-end operation, seats only 45. They both share the same entrance and both have outdoor seating. Chef/Owner Rick Bayless is nationally acclaimed for his authentic cooking that represents many of the important gastronomic areas within Mexico. He is relentless in his quest for the finest ingredients and to truly reproduce Mexican cuisine on the highest level. Tamales de Pescado Yucatecan tamales flavored with achiote, filled with fresh catfish, steamed in bananas leaves and served with fresh tomato sauce; Garnachas small homemade tortillas topped with savory pork pibil, pickledonions and habanero salsa; Cazuela de Borrego al Cascabel charcoal-
seared lamb simmered with woodland mushrooms, potatoes and Mexican vegetables; Guacamole fresh and chunky, served with tortilla chips; Tostaditas made-to-order tortilla chips with two salsas; three-chile (cascabel, morita, guajillo) and roasted tomatillo with serrano and cilantro; Puerco en Salsa Roja grilled pork tenderloin in spicy New Mexico red chile sauce with grilled red onions and black beans.

Farewell, Le Francais – Wheeling Il. (Chicago) (CLOSED)

Monday, March 24th, 2008

It was located at:
269 South Milwaukee Avenue, Wheeling, IL
(708) 541-7470
Very Expensive

After researching one of the most famous French restaurants in America I discovered that present owner Michael Moran closed the restaurant last summer. The telephone at the restaurant does not respond and it looks as if Le Francais, after one comeback attempt, is now gone forever.

I remember driving up to Wheeling from Chicago en route to dinner at Le Francais, when Jean Banchet was still in the kitchen. I was with my friend and business partner and his then girlfriend who was at the time getting a divorce from her present husband. She was still wearing the wedding ring from her previous marriage, quite a large solitaire diamond, and somehow in a cavalier way I convinced them to throw it away, as a sign of true love. She took it off after much hesitation, and I tossed it out the window into the cornfields. Looking back at it now, it was a damn stupid thing to do, although they were married shortly after and now have three lovely children, the oldest of them is over twenty years old.

Le Francais was an Auberge (country inn) that you would typically expect to find somewhere in the countryside of France; in this case, it was located in the suburb of Wheeling about an hour or more from Chicago. The restaurant comfortably seated 90 patrons on a combination of tables and banquettes. Copper pots and utensils decorated the walls and hung from the ceiling in true Auberge fashion.

Originally, after he took over from Banchet, and on his return with Mr. Moran, Chef Roland Liccioni strived to keep the reputation of the restaurant at the highest standards, which founder Jean Banchet maintained before his retirement many years ago.

A “duet de foie gras,” which paired seared fresh duck foie gras with a thick slice of foie gras torchon.Two preparations of foie gras served over slices of daikon radish served over a bed of diced beets and roasted macadamia nuts; An assortment of game and fowl pates and terrines made with care from traditional recipes; Maine Lobster ravioli garnished with sautéed shrimp accompanied by
a lobster sauce or Vietnamese broth; Portobella mushroom tart served with fava bean and perigueux sauce; Napoleon of Sauteed foie gras with cumin bracelets accompanied by a sauce with slices of salsify; Wild mushroom soup garnished with seafood were just a few of the dishes served in this excellent restaurant.