A Squared: Recent Chicago Restaurant Visits: Paris Club Bistro & Bar

Friday, March 27, 2015

Recent Chicago Restaurant Visits: Paris Club Bistro & Bar

I don't know about you, but when I thought about the Chicago restaurant Paris Club my mind immediately went to house music, a crowded bar, and a trendy 'seen and be seen' atmosphere. Well, I recently dined there (for the first time!) and am happy to report that I was wrong-- and pleasantly surprised. What I found instead was a romantic and cozy French bistro offering a menu filled with creative versions of classic French dishes. Big comfy banquettes, wood paneling, and understated but luxe details adorned the dining room, which would be an ideal location for a date night, entertaining clients, or dinner with the ladies.

As you know, I'm a big fan of Lettuce Entertain You's eclectic portfolio of restaurants and I was happy to check another one off the list that-- yet again-- exceeded my expectations for quality service and great food.

So, let's talk about food-- and service, really-- because the first thing that we enjoyed at Paris Club was a cheese course straight from an old fashioned table side cheese cart. I am a sucker for both cheese and experiential dining, so this was a really fun surprise. The cart had a few different cheese varieties to offer and they were plated with toasted baguette, apple compote, toasted hazelnuts, dried apricots, and a lightly dressed frisée salad.

One of my favorite dishes of the night was a simple, but decadent dish that we shared at the table: fluffy scrambled eggs flavored with a hint of truffle and topped with tender lobster. Served with crusty bread, this dish was rich and flavorful and a few of my favorite things on one plate.

Other starters of note: the delicious little spinach and Gruyere gougeres. These came out as an amuse bouche for the table and they were a perfectly warm and rich way to begin this meal.

The handcut steak tartare was also lovely. Never one to suggest ordering a raw dish, I'm always happy when someone at my table suggests that we do because I always want to try just a little of it. And the tartare so much more up my alley: cut from tender and lean filet mignon, tossed in quail egg, and served with a deliciously spicy garlic aioli.

Because so many of the entrees sounded so good, we decided to continue our trend of sharing and split 3 of Paris Club's sizable entrees among the table-- along with a few sides like their amazingly buttery pomme purée and the crispy roasted Brussels sprouts with goat cheese and hazelnuts.

The roasted mushroom risotto was super delicious and a great option for any vegetarian diners. The portion was generous and the risotto was creamy and full of great flavors from the combination of roasted mushrooms and parmesan.

We also shared the crispy duckling, which was served on a charming little duck platter. The duck was perfectly crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, served in an aromatic l'orange sauce that was slightly sweet with just a hint of spice.

My favorite entree-- and another standout from the entire meal-- was the roasted chicken. A good roasted chicken is hard to come by, but when it's done right there is nothing better. This chicken was really delicious! Crispy skin, tender meat, and a flavorful garlic jus... enjoyed with that pomme puree, it was just the best. This would definitely be on my 'must order' list!

And as if that weren't enough food, we ordered dessert. Because dessert.

I'm a huge fan of profiteroles and will order them at basically any French restaurant that I go to-- and Paris Club's were some of my all time favorites! Flaky pastry with salted caramel ice cream inside served with delicious caramel sauce and a touch of fleur de sel. They were finished off tableside with a generous drizzle of warm chocolate sauce... just incredible!

Also in our dessert spread: something a little fruity! This Meyer lemon tart was sweet, tart, and refreshing with a deliciously crunchy bruleed topping, flaky crust, and a few berries on top.

And finally-- at the urging of our Lettuce Entertain You friends-- we also ordered one of Paris Club's enormous eclairs. This was a serious dessert and not your typical bakery donut. More than a foot long, this soft pastry was filled with a delicious banana custard and was topped with fudgey icing and toasted hazelnuts. It was so big and we had so much other dessert that I ended up taking a huge slice of it home to my hubby who gladly ate it for a bedtime snack and then finished it off for breakfast the next morning.

I cannot say enough wonderful things about the ambiance, experience, and food at Paris Club. It's a not-so-hidden gem in River North and should definitely be on your dining out To Do List!
Paris Club Bistro & Bar on Urbanspoon

Editor's Note: While my meal at Paris Club was complimentary, the opinions expressed here-- as always-- are my own.

A Squared

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