See what I did there? It is here people! Despite the weather outside 😒 (let us just take a moment to acknowledge and collectively weep at how Chicago is set to be colder than Antarctica this week)
Its not all bad though!!! Chicago's Restaurant Week is upon us! So you know what THAT means... ya girl is eating WELL this week. In case you are unfamiliar with Chicago Restaurant week, it is an annual event in which restaurants from across the city and neighboring suburbs have really great deals. Most menus include 3-4 courses for less than $48 per person. It is a great way to discover new Chicago restaurants, or eat at one you’ve always wanted to try. This year, Restaurant Week runs from January 25th - February 7th, and I am committed to fitting in as many visits as Chase bank will allow me.
First up was Margeaux Brasserie in the Waldorf Astoria (oui, oui, I know); which more than lived up to the expectations.
Margeaux’s is a part of the Mina group of restaurants, headed by chef Michael Mina. Located in the esteemed Waldorf Astoria hotel here in Chicago. Margeaux’s is a bit of a hidden gem in french cuisine that deserves its things. Particularly with a restaurant week menu that is curated to give the average diner (it is me), who can’t just drop $$$ on fancy french cuisine, a dining experience to write home about.
So with plus one in tow, I tried almost the entirety of the restaurant week menu. It started out with the the lobster velouté with seared diver scallops. A dish that could be likened to lobster bisque, the velouté was a beautiful example of one of french cuisines ‘mother sauces’. It was a robust dish that was a great flavorful kick-off to the meal.
Cue the entrees.
I am not fluent in french, which was a bit overwhelming to look at the menu for the first time. HOWEVER, I am nothing if not prepared, and I Google translated my way through the options ahead of time. Which is how I landed on the loup de mer aux escargot, to highlight my meal that evening. Loup de mer aux escargot loosely translates to Sea bass with escargot (snails). I must admit I was more excited about the escargot than anything else to be honest. The dish came with an interesting celery sauce to complement the crispy skin sea bass, which I never would have thought could bring out so much flavor! Set on a bed of cauliflower puree, the combination of the fish, vegetables and escargot was a hit. My only compliant is that there were only (3) little snails. I could have absolutely had more.
For dessert, I indulged in an apricot bostock, which is an interesting marriage of a flaky pastry (think bread-like) and a cake. The dessert was accented with almonds and a beautiful creme fraiche sauce that I am sure the angels wept into. I honestly could’ve eaten an entire cup of the creme fraiche by itself.
Wine of the Time
Ironically— I opted out of wine at a french restaurant. PLEASE hold on to your pitchforks. I opted out for a good reason. The serveur heard that I am partial to Manhattans and he recommended this incredible bartender’s special. It was a rye whiskey stirred with pear bitters and a sweet vermouth. Absolutely delicious, and one was MORE than enough to make it through the meal and after dinner conversation.
Overall, my personal recommendation would be if you can, make it to Margeaux Brasserie for restaurant week. I managed to keep the tab at less than $50 if you do not include drinks. It is well worth it, and is one of the rare ones that provide an incredible deal for variations on the regular menu. Again, this year, Restaurant Week runs from January 25th - February 7th. If you manage to make it to Margeaux’s or have any recommendations for the week — drop me a line in the comment section.
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