Picture a throaty glass of Malbec, a perfectly roast chicken, Gruyere-capped French onion soup and, for dessert, Grand Marnier soufflé. Enticing, right? Make it dinner this weekend at these six restaurants in MICHELIN Guide Chicago.
Brindille’s menu bears a strong Parisian accent influenced by the chef’s love for French cuisine. Roasted chestnuts are whirled into a creamy soup and poured over compressed apple, wild mushrooms and puffed rice. Spot-on Dover sole meunière is plated with a purée of watercress and golden-crisp pommes rissolées. And for dessert, preserved cherries are just one option to fill the baked-to-order almond clafoutis.
Choose a white cloth-covered table inside or dine outside under the garden’s twinkling lights and green tree branches. Inspired accompaniments make for memorable versions of rustic French standards. Start with a large, savory bowl of soupe à l’oignon gratinée capped with a thick layer of melting Gruyère. Then, discover their pitch-perfect duck pithiviers, wild mushroom duxelles and hazelnuts in puff pastry with a Madeira reduction. Brown butter pain perdu tucked with black figs is moist and delicious.
A cozy bar in the back is ideal for sipping, but then get down to business by partaking in this kitchen’s cuisine—classic French mingled with global effects. Begin with such signatures as cuisses de grenouilles à la Provençale—frogs' legs cooked with garlic, spinach and just the right bit of butter. Then linger over a perfect bowl of Gruyère-capped French onion soup. A riff on the rustic coq au vin renders the bird crisp on the outside, juicy inside. Profiteroles or crème brûlée make a divine finale.
Dishes here are intricate and take time to be described, which may explain the relatively slow pace of dining. The menu showcases classical edge and contemporary artistry. Begin with a bowl of creamy pumpkin soup, where fresh bits of crab and pheasant sausage add a gumbo-like quality and smoked paprika kicks it up. Keep the comfort food mood going with a bowl of tortellini served in a brodo of parmesan, pecorino, and Burgundy truffles. Finally, a single diver scallop proves that one is not the loneliest number with its delicate hint of sweetness courtesy of the lobster, coconut and lemongrass-scented sauce. Just when you think it couldn't possibly get any sweeter, the Goosefoot experience ends with handcrafted chocolates, a packet of seeds for your garden and a warm send-off from Nina Nugent and her husband, Chris.
Here, along with classical French cuisine, guests are also treated to suited waiters and cart brigade service. In fact, this quaint two-story townhouse, set in the heart of Streeterville and decked out with throw pillow-lined banquettes, fresh-flower arrangements and an upstairs tea salon, makes for the perfect backdrop. Diners look forward to a prix-fixe menu that allows them to choose between various courses, including an ahi tart, warming mushroom soup and sweet Grand Marnier soufflé.
This gilded French palace boasts some serious Great Gatsby vibes—down to the classic coupes filled with sparkling Grüner Veltliner and the glowing green lights above the restrooms. Self-made millionaires may splurge on a bone-in côte de boeuf, while the merely well-off content themselves with the exquisite beef tartare, served in a silver bowl atop crushed ice. The menu tilts heavily towards steak, but its pleasures are consistent across the board. Textbook-perfect roast chicken arrives in a piping-hot cast-iron dish, accompanied by crisped potatoes and a tiny pitcher of chicken jus.
Taureaux Tavern. Photo by Michelin North America
Hero image: Goosefoot. Photo by Anna Knott, courtesy of Goosefoot