Bistronomic: Perfect Stop on the Mag Mile

Bistronomic is the new restaurant by Chef Martial Noguier, of Café des Architects and one sixty blue fame.

It's a modern space with comfortable chairs, dark wood tables and booths and, at peak times, a challenging noise level. It’s also contemporary bistro food, unfussy and mighty tasty. Share it or hoard it for yourself, there are no rules here other than to enjoy oneself. The wine list is realistic, and the Negroni (a blend of Campari, vermouth and gin) perfection.

Can’t Have Too Many Croutons!
Start out with one of the salads, like the vinegary Belgian Endive ($9) paired with Great Hill blue cheese, julienned apple and glazed walnuts, or perhaps the Chioggia Beet Salad ($10), tiny, jewel-like roasted beets sprinkled with Capriole goat cheese, baby mache leaves and hazelnut vinaigrette, drizzled with white truffle oil. Addictive.

The Chicken Liver Mousse ($7), ethereally light but oh, so buttery, was hidden under a nest of lightly dressed frisee, accompanied by Dijon mustard, cornichons and plentiful baguette croutons. Kissed with a touch of cream and port wine, it was finger-licking good.

From the Warm Cheeses menu (all $8), we chose the Capriole Farm herbed goat cheese with oven-dried tomato and shaved, blanched garlic, served in a tiny crock to be spread on more of those crispy croutons.

Or perhaps you’re a raw tuna fan, in which case you will order the Ahi Tuna Tartare ($11), diced and served in a small glass crock with avocado and pureed piquillo peppers.

I hope that the Parmesan Gnocchi ($9) never leave the menu. They smelled like the forest floor in the best possible way. A hearty porcini broth, sautéed mushrooms and shaved cheese surrounded the perfect little potato pillows.

And I’ve got to say that the Black Mussels ($11) were a treat. The steaming white pot was brought to the table, laden with the little bi-valves and redolent of basil puree, a gorgeous green against the pottery, dotted with chunks of piquillo peppers. The broth was garlicky, winy, lemony and disappeared by the spoonful.

More Lentils?
I’ve eaten my share of little green French lentils this year, and I thought I could eat no more…at least until the Seared Lake Superior White Fish ($21) appeared, floating on a sea of them. Dotted with nubbins of bacon and accented with Dijon mustard and a wee bit (ha!) of cream, it was simply scrumptious.

Rosy red slices of Flat Iron Steak ($23), set atop a bed of shallot puree and topped with a watercress salad, were accompanied by Nichols’ Farm fingerling potatoes roasted in duck fat. Totally indulgent, but worth the splurge.

Adult Kit Kat Bars
The signature Chocolate Hazelnut Bars ($8) were the perfect finish. Deep, dark bittersweet chocolate mousse layered with crispy praline and served with an orange sauce, they were the very grownup version of Kit Kat Bars.

For food this good, the restaurant needs to improve their service at lunch: valet MIA, long waits for servers and water glasses that went unfilled. In contrast, dinner service was attentive, charming and wonderful. I’m hoping bistronomic can raise their lunch game to match the culinary experience.

4 stars out of 5

Bistronomic
840 N. Wabash
Chicago
312-944-8400

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