The week between Christmas and New Years is traditionally a quiet time for me — not so much this year. I had dinners/lunches planned almost each night. On Thursday, I went with some former co-workers, turned vendors, turned former vendors to dinner at Maude’s Liquor Bar on West Randolph in Chicago.
We had reservations at 18h15 — which is a pretty ungodly hour for dinner, but a good time to sit and start a long slow French meal. Started off with a St. Germain Fizz (vodka, aperol and st. germain), which was quite a tasty treat. Definitely something that should make my summer drink repertoire.
We were seated around 18h30 and spent about 15 minutes reviewing the menu before we started off with the Cheese of the Day and the Escargot. The cheese was a double cream brie – the portion was very generous and coupled with the warm fresh bread, I loved it. There were three of us a dinner, one of which had never had much experience to French food (I hadn’t had much before this past summer). She was a trooper and tried (and loved) everything. The escargot was a traditional preparation and while it wasn’t anything mind blowing, it was a nicely flavored portion of escargot. Dipping the bread in the remaining butter and garlic was a great little treat as well.
I decided to switch from my cocktail to a bit of bubbles.
For our entree selection we decided to split the Traditional Cassoulet and the Sausage of the Day, which was a 50/50 beef/pork sausage. The Cassoulet was nice but extremely rich. Eating it as an entree would be just too much — I would hate it after eating about 1/3 of it.
The sausage was mild and lovely and served on the most flavorful cabbage ever and whole grain mustard. I do wish the sausage had a bit more bite too it, but I would definitely try it again — and if the other daily sausage is as good as this, you can’t go wrong. I do wish the plate would have had more of the cabbage — yes, it was that good.
We also decided to split the Blackened Brussels Sprouts (does it just seem strange that these are call Brussels Sprouts versus Brussel Sprouts?), which was cooked with butter and Parmesan. I must say, these sprouts were just fine — they had more of a bitter taste than I was expecting. The sprouts were the only thing that was left on the plate after we were done.
This place had a Montmartre Paris feel about it. There was so much energy, the only thing it was missing was some can-can dancers and perhaps a drunken Toulouse Lautrec causing a stir. I was really reminded of some of the bar/restaurants we visited while in Paris — it even came with the indifferent server.
I cannot wait to return and spend a few hours lounging, drinking and eating rich, yet well prepared food. Sorry I don’t have any pictures that go along with this meal — I was prepared only for a business dinner not a blog entry. I will attempt to be more prepared in the future.