I have to admit I was a little concerned going to Bistro Campagne ( 4518 N. Lincoln Ave.; BistroCampagne.com ) for brunch.
The reason? Bistro Campagne has a new executive chef ( Adam Grandt ), who was most recently at Chop Shopa place that serves decidedly different fare than what patrons receive at the French restaurant.
However, my worries were unfounded. Grandt has graciously and deliciously picked up where Luke Creagan left offwhile adding his own touches. ( The dinner menu, for example, now has bacon-wrapped whole trout with spinach stuffing, potato confit and lemon-caper brown butter. )
While I could appreciate the French countryside appeal/decor, my dining companion was less convincedand I actually pointed out to her one idiosyncrasy that she picked up on: the music. While I like Aretha and Marvin Gaye music as much as the next patron, I'm not sure it fit at the bistro; however, my friend gladly sang along with the songs, as I got my own personal karaoke.
Another aspect that struck my friend as un-Gallic was something that is featured in a lot of U.S. spots: the large portions. ( In fact, a couple from Nice recently told me that they were overwhelmed by the sizes of dishes. ) However, I certainly don't mind leftoversespecially when the quality of the food is like that of Bistro Campagne's.
After a refreshing Mimosa Campagne, we had a wonderful Salade Lyonnaise that had everything from baby spinach and frisbee to pork belly and a perfectly poached egg. The quiche ( another delicious dish that was possibly my favorite item of the meal ) featured tantalizingly fluffy eggs.
In addition, the croque Monsieur had well-cooked ham and was covered with enough Gruyere to satisfy any cheese lover ( and had crispy pommes frites ). And the pain perdu ( French toast ) was a solidly balanced dish, with almond frangipane, Mick Klug Farms blueberry- lavender compote and honey oat granolaand, somehow, it wasn't too sweet, which is what I prefer.
So add Bistro Campagne to your brunch listand I can't wait until summer, when the Lincoln Square spot's atmospheric patio will be open.
Chicago Restaurant Week
Chicago Restaurant Week will be here before you know it.
Chicago's world-class culinary scene will once again be in the spotlight during the 12th annual Chicago Restaurant Week, Jan. 25- Feb. 7. ( Yes, it's technically two weeks, but "Chicago Restaurant Fortnight" doesn't have quite the same ring. )
Produced by Choose Chicago, reservations for the annual culinary celebration are now open at eatitupchicago.com, featuring menus for participating Chicago-area eateries. A record number of Chicago restaurants395!will take part in 2019's Chicago Restaurant Week. ( More than 600,000 diners took part in 2018. )
Chicago Restaurant Week will launch with First Bites Bash, featuring Joe Flamm, executive chef of Spiaggia and Cafe Spiaggia, and Chicago mixologist Jarmel Doss, assistant bar director of The Aviary, as First Bites Bash hosts, on Thursday, Jan. 24, 6-9 p.m., at the Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr. More than 70 of Chicago's most famous chefs and restaurants will be represented at the event, which allows participants to preview tasting portions from their respective Chicago RestaurantWeek menus. For a complete list of participating restaurants and to purchase tickets to First Bites Bash, visit firstbitesbash.com .
Note: Restaurant profiles/events are based on invitations arranged from restaurants and/or firms.