Midwest Living Review
When you're in the mood for good French food but also want to let loose and unwind in a somewhat noisy space that'll fit about 60 people, then head to Bistronomic. Martian Noguler, the French chef who brought accolades to Cafe des Architects at the Sofitel Hotel, opened this spot in February 2011, and it's been busy ever since. Cheese rules here, and you can sample it in $12 flights divided by cheeses made within less than 300 miles from Chicago (including Capriole Farm Herb Goat Cheese from Greenville, Indiana; Hidden Spring Bohemian Blue from Westby, Wisconsin; and Uplands Pleasant Ridge from Dodgeville, Wisconsin) or more than 300 miles from the city. A chalkboard menu touts the day's specials, which always includes grilled cheese (Camembert, the day we visited). Then, patrons can move on to small plates, medium plates and large plates. We tried the homemade country pate, a thick, savory, spreadable dish served with Dijon mustard and impossibly rich baguette croutons ($7). The flat iron steak arrived bathed in a shallot puree and with duck-fat fingerling potatoes and watercress salad ($23), while the filet of beef au poivre topped a wish-we-had-more dollop of pureed Yukon gold potatoes, caramelized endives and cognac sauce ($26). It wouldn't be French to leave without at least a little chocolate, so we tried the homemade chocolate hazelnut bars ($8), a dark-chocolate high-end version of the commercial Kit Kat bars served atop orange sauce. And made that morning, the strawberry sorbet was an amazing herald of spring flavors. We're already planning a trip back; after a meal like that, how could we not?