With neighborhood French restaurants increasingly scarce, restaurateur Sandy Chen decided to go against the flow. The result is Le Sud, a charming spot that celebrates the food, wine and decor of southern France.
"I'd been doing Chinese restaurants for more than twenty years, and I was ready to do something else," she says. "Le Sud is a casual neighborhood restaurant, a place where people who live nearby can dine on a regular basis."
To encourage that kind of repeat business, Chen has developed an interesting list of special events. Tuesdays through Saturdays from 5-6:30 (Happy Hour), select drinks and apps are half price. On Tuesday nights, select bottles of wine are half-price, and on Wednesdays, there’s a three course prix-fixe for $36. Children 12 and under eat free on Sundays. For a complete list and all the specifics, check the restaurant’s website.
Which brings us to the food. Steak/frites is the crowd favorite, but it's always difficult for me to pass up a chance to have duck, something most of us don’t tackle on a regular basis. At Le Sud, the duck is glazed with honey and served with turnip puree, confit chestnuts, pickled cherries, fennel and mache. The wonderfully rich Coquilles St-Jacques made with scallops and a cognac scented cream sauce is listed as an appetizer. But if you pair it with a salad or soup, it could work as a light entree.
Le Sud’s decor is a departure from all of the minimalist, loft-style interiors that are seemingly de rigueur. Check out the tiles on the tables in the upstairs space, and take time to look at the tableware, serving dishes and furnishings. Chen says she combed the antique stores and resale shops to find just the right pieces. Suffice to say, she did a good job.
photos by Judith Landesman
Craft Beer Festival
Historic downtown Long Grove is hosting its fourth annual Craft Beer Festival on April 25 from 1pm-5pm. According to Mike Marr, Vice-President of the Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association and Owner/Brewmaster of Long Grove's Buffalo Creek Brewing, the event is a place where "people with a passion for craft beer can come together and and experience many of the Chicagoland's finest offerings.”
One of the event's plusses is the opportunity to meet the actual beer-makers, and with upwards of twenty breweries participating in the festival, guests should plan on having a very busy four hours.
Live music and multiple food vendors will also be on-hand, though the food is not included in the price of admission. Guests must be at least 21 years years old to attend, and no pets are allowed. A full access ticket is $40 in advance through EventBrite and at the Long Grove Visitors Center or $50 at the door, depending on availability. A non-drinker/designated driver pass ($10) includes unlimited water. Parking is available in the Stempel Parking Lot in front of Buffalo Creek Brewing 340 Historical Lane, Long Grove.
George Trois and Temporis
Two of the area's top restaurants, George Trois in Winnetka and Temporis in West Town, and- with twenty seats apiece- two of its most intimate, are collaborating on a series of dinners. Chef Michael Lachowicz will host the first, a 10-course dinner ($215) at George Trois on Tuesday, March 17, while Chef Troy Jorge will host the second, a 12-course dinner ($200) at Temporis on Tuesday, April 21.
Reservations for both dinners are on Open Table. Beverages, gratuity and tax are not included.
George Trois, 64 Green Bay Road, Winnetka
Temporis, 933 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago
Breakfast Potstickers are on the menu at the Wow Bao venues at 225 N. Michigan Avenue (7 am-10:30 am) and at 1 W. Wacker Drive (8 am-10:30 am). Think 5, 8 or 12 pan-seared potstickers filled with fluffy eggs, pork sausage, spinach, scallions and various seasonings. Three sauces (sweet Thai chili, soy ginger and chili oil) are served with the potstickers.
St. Patrick's Day
On Tuesday, March 17, everything that can be green will be green.