Au Cheval takes classic greasy-spoon fare—brats, bologna sandwiches, fried chicken—and infuses it with decadence using butter and offbeat ingredients. Provided customers are hungry and not health-conscious, it’s hard to be disappointed with the elevated yet familiar cuisine here. The egg-based dishes, such as the crispy potato hash with duck heart gravy, are consistent winners, and the no-frills cheeseburgers ($9.95 for a single, $11.95 for a double) are among the best in town. Few food items stray above $20. The beer menu is well curated but overpriced; cocktails and wine are better bets. Knowledgeable and attentive service impresses.
Mirrors, plush banquettes and a slick shiny bar all make this feel like a European take on a Midwestern diner. (Cheval , after all, means “horse” in French.) Though the slightly too-loud music and sometimes overbearing crowd might appeal more to young hipsters, Au Cheval is a great destination appropriate for all sorts of foodies. Except perhaps those on a diet.