Hey, the last guy named it for himself, so why not call your French restaurant Chez Moi? At least there’s no doubt about who’s responsible. Cafe Bernard, a longtime Lincoln Park French bistro (long enough that there are probably thousands for whom it was their first French bistro), closed a month or so ago in that way that claims renovations but sounds a lot more like retirement. And Dish reports that owner Bernard Le Coq has indeed given up the restaurant biz and seems to be moving back to France to become a farmer. But into his shoes steps a veteran of another first-bistro-a-lot-of-people-ever-tried, the Mag Mile’s Bistro 110 (now Bar Toma). Dominique Touigne cooked there for 15 years, and now he’s bought the Bernard space and plans to open Chez Moi in May. Both restaurants, frankly, had gotten rather tired by the end, but Touigne sounds like a man who’s bursting with fresh ideas now that he has a place of his own, and he’s planning a porky, Alsatian take on the classic bistro menu with dishes like pigs’ feet and an eel stew called matelotte d’anguilles. If we may bring in one more longtime, now-closed French restaurant, sounds like just what we’ve been waiting for since the shuttering of the place that was probably all those 80s and 90s diners’ first introduction to Alsatian food— Brasserie Jo.
Speaking of firsts, we first got to know Indian food, and no doubt the same is true of many people, dining along Belmont near Clark. Then we tried Indian food up on Devon and learned that the Belmont ones weren’t so great. Nonetheless, we still hit that area from time to time just because it’s close, and we’re always intrigued when the younger generation breaks out of the tablecloth-restaurant mode and tries turning their cuisine into something more American-accessible (sometimes for good, sometimes for ill, but we like seeing creativity regardless). So we’re glad to hear that Curried, which has a food truck and a location in Old Town, will open a second storefront on April 26 at 3227 N. Clark (which was previously Radhuni, probably the best of the bunch in that area, but not so good we will miss it bitterly).