As you all known, I am tremendous francophile. As such, I am overjoyed by the number of new French establishments in the River North & River West areas of Chicago: Maude’s Liquor Bar, Paris Club, and Bistronomic.
Last week, I was lucky enough to visit Maude’s with some girlfriends. I’d been dying to try Maude’s and had a couple of unsuccessful attempts to visit, so I was very excited to go.
Maude’s is a dive-style bar/restaurant. I absolutely love the decor, but was unfortunately unable to snap some photos due to the fabulous, but low-lit ambiance. However, the use of leather sofas, bistro tables, heavy wood, and white bathroom tile in addition to tons of mirrios creates a wonderful space for after work cocktails and dinner with friends.
Each of us ordered something different, allowing us to sample much of the traditional French menu. We started with Steamed Mussels served in a white wine sauce with olives. I’m not a huge mussel fan, but the sauce was to die for and made for very enjoyable mussels. We also had a Seared Scallop with Lentils (which served as inspiration for a dish we made over the weekend).
There were also a couple orders of Blackened Brussel Sprouts. In the past, I haven’t liked brussel sprouts (perhaps because of the preparation). But I am always willing to try a new food or new preparation, and I am so glad that I did try the brussel sprouts because they were amazing. They were served in a lemon-garlic sauce (hello…what’s not to love?!), sliced in half with the perfect amount of blackened-ness. Heavenly.
Finally, I ordered a Lyonnaise Salad that was exquisite. Frisee Greens served with…wait for…PORK BELLY! (YUM!!!!!), brioche croutons, and a medium-hard poached egg. All of the flavors melded together so beautifully and the brioche croutons did an excellent job of soaking up the egg yolk and pork belly juice. DIVINE!
Wrapped up with a couple glasses of 2009 California Pinot Noir (unfortunately I don’t remember what vineyard 😦 ) and marvelous conversation, Maude’s was a wonderful way to end a Tuesday night.Maude’s Liquor Bar 840 West Randolph Street, Chicago 312-243-9712 or maudesliquorbar.com