Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chicago Area >
Aug 18, 2007 02:12 PM

casual french for sunday dinner

Any recs for a casual french place for Sunday dinner near downtown Radisson, including 2 older children

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. If by casual French you mean bistro fare, then you have some choices, otherwise Chicago's few French restaurants are anything but casual. I can give you some names to research. I haven't been to most of these bistros in a while, so I can't really comment about their respective merits. I know there are varying opinions (and a lot of discussion here) as to which is the best. The following are within a mile or so of your hotel:

    Bistro 110
    Brasserie Jo
    Cyrano's Bistrot
    Bistrot Zinc
    Kiki's Bistro

    There is also Café Des Architectes, in the Sofitel Water Tower. I have never eaten there, but I think it is more contemporary French Fusion. I also suspect it is more trendy and upscale then the places listed above. The outdoor terrace seems inviting.

    Les Nomades is close to your hotel, but again, it is much more upscale (prix fixe 100+/person). It is in a different league than the bistros mentioned above.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Roger Spark

      I've recently been a fan of Brasserie Jo, although I don't know if they have a childrens menu (if that's important). Their menu is on-line if you want to check. I have ordered either specicals or the choucroute, a giant pile of smoked meats and sausages on a pile of sauer kraut that appeals to my Germanic roots. They also serve Tripel Karmeliet which is just about my favorite beer/ale, and have a nice wine list.

      I have been less impressed with Bistro 110 which can get very crowded and noisy and food that I find uninspired bistro standards.

      My last experience at Cyranos was a year ago and not good, although things may have chnaged since.

      I have had several pleasant brunches at Bistro Zinc but have not been their for dinner for several years.

      1. re: wak

        I second brasserie jo. I had a really good dinner there and the enviornment seems pretty kid-friendly.

      2. re: Roger Spark

        Roger's list is a good one. However, Bistro 110 and Kiki's, which are my two favorite casual French places, are both closed for dinner on Sundays, as gymp noted below for Kiki's. (Bistro 110 is open but only for brunch.)

        Les Nomades is not at all casual, in price, in attire, in attitude, etc.

        Another option, and open Sunday for dinner, is Cafe Matou in Wicker Park, a short cab ride away.

        1. re: nsxtasy

          OOPS - I must correct myself. According to their website, Bistro 110 is indeed open for dinner on Sundays. And that's where I would recommend; it's really excellent. It's right near the Water Tower on Michigan Avenue, only three short blocks north of the Radisson.

          I apologize for the error.

          Bistro 110 website -

      3. Kiki's would be great, but I don't think it's open on Sunday

        Brasserie Jo is open on Sundays, and I've always found it satisfying, though I haven't been there for several months. I've never been tot Cyrano's, but it has been getting some hard knocks on this site recently.

        1. I would suggest Bisto Margot in Old Town. It's very family friendly and has great bistro food!

          1. I was going to recommend Scylla or Socca but too far away(they are both French oriented) but I love them! But there is Bistro Zinc on Rush St near Bellview, Bisto 110 on Pearson and there is a tiny French cafe, restaurant on Chestnut in the apartment building on the north side between Dewitt and Lake Shore.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JB12

              Scylla isn't exactly French, any more so than any other contemporary restaurant. (If anything, they are more a seafood/Mediterranean restaurant.) And don't recommend Scylla too much longer - they're scheduled to close their doors after this Saturday, unfortunately.

            2. The original comment has been removed