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Apr 2, 2007 05:06 PM

Milwaukee - Anyone Been to Chez Jacques (formerly Jacques French Cafe) since it moved to 1st St?

I used to love going to this place when it was on 2nd but it's been quite a while since I've
been to Milwaukee. I saw that it closed for a while and eventually reopened as Chez Jacques on 1st St. Has anyone been there? What did you think?

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  1. It's been almost 6 months since you asked, but I can finally reply. I took my wife there for her birthday this past Saturday night. What a gem! We loved it!

    We were seated very quickly in the bar area, but this was OK with us as it seemed to be somewhat quieter that the dining room. There were several people sitting at the bar who seemed to be from the French Bistro Division at Central Casting (the guy with the ponytail and beret with the turtleneck sweater; the rail-thin woman, exquisitly coiffed and manicured, wearing very expensive high heels and jeans with a perfectly worn hole in the knee), but this added to the ambiance of the place which was very pleasant.

    Our waitress turned up very quickly and took our drink and appetizer orders while we pondered further. This seemed to have caused some confusion because a few minutes later, the owner came over to see if he could take our orders. We explained that the waitress had taken our appetizer orders and was coming back. He said he would send over a breadbasket, and the minute he said that, she returned with breadbasket in hand. I was worried that he thought our waitress was ignoring us, which was certainly not the case.

    For apps, my wife had Champignons Farci (mushrooms stuffed with spinach, feta, and garlic). I had the Bouchee D'escargot, garlic-sauteed escargot served over puff pastry. They were both excellent, but the garlic stayed with us a LONG time. (Not so much that it interferred with the enjoyment of our mains, but caution is advised if you are there on a first date.)

    My wife had Boeuf Bourguignon which was served over bow-tie pasta, and she enjoyed it immensely. The portion was large enough that she took about a third of it home. I had Grouper en Croute from the specials, and it was wonderful. There was a shrimp mousse involved between the grouper and the crust, and it was served with a coarse-ground mustard sauce. There was saffron rice on the side. The portion was huge, but I made it though (I LOVE Grouper!).

    I had bread pudding for dessert, and my wife had a flourless chocolate cake that was not on the menu. They were both as good as any we have ever had.

    We saw several other people being served the gourmet plates that are available, and they looked splendid also. We are eager to return to try them, and there are many other items I hope to get to (I was actually torn between the Steak Frites and the Coquille St Jacques until the waitress told me about the grouper.)

    Two glasses of Burgundy for my wife, two glasses of Rose for me, two coffees with dessert, and the bill came to $100 and change. We cant wait to go back.