Monday, September 19, 2011
BISTRONOMIC: ONE HOT NEW BOITE
Balmy September weather found Chaîne diners renewing old friendships in the outdoor area fronting Bistronomic, dubbed “best new restaurant” earlier this year by Chicago Magazine, as they sampled passed hors d’oeuvres of smoked salmon, country paté, tuna tartare, and beef tartare and sipped Champagne Marguet Père et Fils Blanc de Noirs Tradition, NV Ambonnay.
Once the crowd moved inside for dinner, Bailli Jane Tracy welcomed everyone, introduced two guest chefs, and announced the updating of our website by Vice Chargé de Missions Elan Jacoby, Doug Simpson, and Vice-Chargée de Presse Nadia Gould. Elan then proposed the toast to our guests, wishing all “a heavy purse, a light heart, and a full belly.” We learned that 300 international people now follow our Facebook page!
Soon baby Mason jars of Peekytoe crab salad with fennel mousseline and pomegranate were placed in front of us, and the Giovanni Puiatti Pinot Grigio, Friuli Isonzo, 2008 was poured. What made that dish so delicious? Chef/Partner Chef Rôtisseur Martial Noguier hinted at lemon vinaigrette with chives, pernod, lemon confit, lemon candy, and more. Vice-Echanson/Caviste-Cellarmaster Mon Roldan noted that no trees were cut to produce this wine; it had no oak.
A terrine of foie gras/chicken liver/caramelized quince with hazelnuts was paired perfectly with Markus Molitor, Riesling, Kabinett Ziltinger Sonnenuhr, 2009. The next course of housemade wild mushroom ravioli with truffle oil and parsley was sublime and was well balanced with the Domaine Joseph Voillot, Volnay, 1995. This evening’s wines, mostly from our cellar, came from artisanal producers, and this one, with its “solid taste of earth,” to quote Mon, was especially popular at my table. The wild duck breast with red cabbage, glazed figs, and sherry sauce served with frisée and a purée of Swiss potatoes exemplified bistro cuisine at its very best. Patrick Lesec, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, “Rubis,” 2000 was the full-bodied matching wine.
Dessert was a special treat from Chef Martial—-his “Kit Kat” Bars with an orange Grand Marnier coulis. Crunchy and playful, this was a delightful finish to the wonderful “sophisticated gastronomic bistro” fare. Domaine Madeloc, Banyuls,“Robert Pages,” NV was our final wine of the evening. Many of us had enjoyed Chef Noguier’s inspired Chaîne dinners when he was chef at One Sixtyblue and later at Café des Architectes, and now it was a thrill to be welcomed by him in his very own restaurant. Accolades for service and waitstaff were vigorous and a Chaîne award now hangs proudly in this Gold Coast hot spot of Chicago.
We will open autumn 2011 with a welcome from the instantly successful Bistronomic restaurant of Chef/Partner Martial Noguier. Early in 2011 saw the début of the new “sophisticated gastronomic bistro” concept of Chef Noguier that followed his long and established reputation and successes ranging from Michel Richard’s Executive Chef at Citronelle in Washington DC, to The Pump Room, to One Sixty Blue, and Café des Architects.
France is very present in Martial’s dream come true, with enlarged black and white family photographs personalizing the walls and a menu responding to the demands of a clientele eager to enjoy Bistronomic for everyday dining as well as for special occasions. Leading food critics from Chicago, from national publications and French reviews covering a European readership, all recognize the steady path that Noguier is on.
An elegantly delicious menu has been crafted for us reflecting the philosophy and new thinking of dining with excellence in today’s world. Bistronomic has been exclusively secured for the Chicago Chaîne (a privilege as Martial is serving well over 200 covers each evening….) Many members will have recently returned from summer vacations. I look forward to seeing you all again, to catch up and to encourage camaraderie without compromising our high culinary standards. The atmosphere will be casual.
Join us for our very first dinner of the 2011/2012 series that will propel us forward into a memorable beginning of our Fall Season. Space is limited to 65 so please sign up early! This would be a wonderful opportunity to introduce serious potential members to meet us and us them.