For our fifteenth birthday, lo these many years ago, we asked our parents for two things: a KitchenAid upright mixer, and dinner at Bistro 110, where a friend of ours claimed to have once eaten two tables away from Tom Hanks et famille.
Our parents (questionably) decided to overlook the request for kitchen appliances, and instead sprung for dinner for us and five of our high school-era BFFs at the restaurant we’d so sagely chosen. That night we were introduced to three critical concepts that have informed our restaurant-going existence ever since: (1) If a celebrity is seen somewhere once, that does not mean that he will be seen there every night; (2) poulet rôti; (3) oven-roasted garlic.
So it is with no small amount of excitement that we read the Tribune heralding the return of French cuisine to the shores of Lake Michigan. It’s back the way Madonna is back: never actually having gone away, as such, but suddenly cooler, hotter, hipper, and better than ever before. As Christophe David, exec chef at NoMI says, “It’s growing. And it is not finished.”
Chef David also points out that Chicago’s four-defined-seasons weather makes the city much more amenable to true Parisian cooking than rival urbs Miami or LA:
“In Chicago sometimes the winter is long, but at least you have the winter. When I talk to my friends in France I say, ‘Imagine Paris with a big lake, and it looks like Nice.’ Nobody believes me until they come visit.”
Just call us la deuxième ville. La ville du vent?
[Photo: Bistro 110’s French onion soup, via yummyinthetummyblog’s Flickr]