840 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago (Near North Side)
Waiting for someone to squire you to Paris? Until that happens, you can happily bide your time at Bistronomic, a sensuous slice of France in the heart of the Gold Coast. While the city hustles and bustles around it, Bistronomic offers a tranquil respite, complete with enough buttery comfort to satiate the most exasperated downtown shopper. Chef Martial Nouguier’s cuisine is as suave as his accent, showcasing traditional bistro fare with splashes of modernity. He has a way with truffle oil, imbuing beet salads and frites with crisp, forest-y flavor. Nouguier shines with fish and seafood as well, serving up perfect iterations of scallops, halibut, and more, complimented by seasonal accoutrements such as fava bean purée. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with the slightly deconstructed baked Alaska, wherein a soft disc of shortcake and toasted meringue crown an indulgent bowl of ice cream, strawberries, and caramel.
Chioggia beet salad
Seared diver scallops
view full menu here
... on the side
eye for al fresco design
The patio at Bistronomic is a snug haven for downtown dining. Located right in front of the restaurant, tables are separated from the sidewalk by a wall of shrubbery, creating a garden-in-Paris type of ambience. The ceiling overhang means diners are shielded from sunshine, rain, and anything else Mother Nature (or rowdy passersby) might throw at you.
if I were a movie
Bistronomic feels like the French version of the Italian restaurant in Lady and the Tramp. It captures that same alluring intimacy and serenity, although instead of slurping spaghetti in an alley, diners cozy up over chicken liver mousse and steak frites.
Dinner: Sun–Thu 5 PM–10 PM; Fri–Sat 5 PM–11 PM
Lunch: Wed–Fri 11 AM–2:30 PM
Brunch: Sat–Sun 10 AM–2:30 PM
$21 (braised lamb roulade) to $33 (steak Delmonico)
840 N. Wabash Ave. (between E. Pearson St. and E. Chestnut St.), Chicago, IL 60611; 312-944-8400