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Sep 16, 2007 01:57 PM

French Bistrot in the City

I'm looking for a good French bistrot in Chicago, or possible the very close outskirts, to take my mom for her birthday. She used to live in Paris, and misses classic bistrot food. I need a good, not super expensive (I'd go up to about $25 for an entree, depending), authentic place. We also have some food restrictions in my family: one seafood allergy, one nut allergy, and one vegetarian, so the menu has to satisfy all of us. Right now I'm looking at Bistrot Margot, Brasserie Jo, Marche, and the Stained Glass Wine Bar. I've never been to any of them, though, so I welcome any comments and other suggestions. Thanks!

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  1. Skip Stained Glass and Marche if you want something classic. I would personallly go to La Sardine near Harpo Studios off of Randolph. I think it is rather authentic, has good service, and a wide enough menu that you will be able to find something. I prefer their sister restaurant Le Bouchon, but many think it is too noisy and crowded and rushed so might not be good for a family birthday.

    Bistrot Margot and Basserie Jo are both good...I just prefer Sardine. I also like Bistrot Campagne in Lincoln Square.

    1. Some friends and I had a very nice meal at Kiki's recently. Although I have never been to Paris, it seemed the menu was fairly authentic "bistro cuisine" (mussels, steak & frites, roast chicken, duck terrine, tarte de Provence, etc.) . I am not a huge fan of the genre, but I enjoyed my meal very much, and the service was great. The wine list was very nice and fairly reasonable with many choices by the glass.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Roger Spark

        I forgot to add a place link.

        Kiki's Bistro
        900 N. Franklin St., Chicago, IL 60610

      2. Here's another hint: La Sardine has a prix fixe on Tuesday night that is the best deal; you can get 3 courses very reasonably, including the yummy dessert soufflees... However, if your mom wants some quiet, then take her on a different day.

        1 Reply
        1. re: grapeface

          As does Le Bouchon. Le Bouchon feels like a classic bistro- same owners as Le Sardine

        2. I think you'll like Kiki's Bistro. Authentic, varied menu, great service. The staff is all good but I hope James is your waiter! And for dessert, consider the pear tart--it's divine!

          1. You don't mention where (which city neighborhood or suburb) you're coming from.

            The Stained Glass is very good, but not very French. If you're in the northern suburbs, one authentic place is Miramar, in Highland Park. Another is La Petite Amelia, in Evanston. In the city, Bistro 110, right off Michigan Avenue, is always good and quite authentic. I also agree with the suggestion of Kiki's by others.

            1 Reply
            1. re: nsxtasy

              One more super-authentic French bistro in the Northern suburbs is Cafe Central, in Highland Park. Sometimes they have Îles flottantes for dessert!