If you know me, or you've been reading for some time, you know that the restaurants I choose to dine at are typically thought through far in advance, and our recent trip to Paris and Italy was no exception. Upon deciding we would first touch down in Paris, I immediately started looking for where I'd like to dine. Luckily, Bon Appetit had just published their Paris-focused mag, and I scoured the pages like it was my job. I decided that Chez Georges, for its romantic history of being the hang-out to Julia Child was a good place to start. So after a full day of travel, we indulged in the Parisian comfort food at the Chez Georges bistro.
Which of course, was a magical experience. Something I've learned about myself with dining is when there is an additional story behind the meal, chef, or restaurant, the experience can turn from great to magical. Imagining Julia slurping up escargot, having boisterous conversation in the tight booths, and clinking wine glasses full of Bordeaux, elevated my experience to this level. (And as a side note, if you've not yet seen the movie Julie & Julia, I highly recommend it ~ such a fun story about both blogging and cooking!)
And so, when we landed back in Chicago I must admit I was a bit reticent that I would never be able to experience French cooking the way I did at Chez Georges, at least without another trip back to Paris. But then I entered Bistro Voltaire.
And on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I was teleported back to Paris. Just stepping inside, greeted by a thickly accented Frenchman, I knew we were in for a treat. The checkered floor, wine red booths, and tin ceiling embodied the ambiance of the bistros in Paris to perfection.
Service was as friendly as they come, and invited us to try the oeuf en cocotte, which includes eggs, mushrooms, crème fraiche, and porcini truffle mousse, and a little fairy dust to make it magic. We then moved on to the escargot, with the scallops and duck as our mains. I savored each bite, the plan of having a light dinner the day before Thanksgiving long abandoned.
And perhaps the best part? Bistro Voltaire is now offering a 3-course menu on Mondays for just $27. I just found Paris all over again... in my own backyard.
226 W Chicago Ave