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Oct 10, 2007 08:57 AM

Le Bouchon and Savarin

Hi - anyone have any feedback about these downtown restaurants for lunch or dinner? Heard good things but want some other opinions. And, any suggestions for good eats in, or close to, the loop area for a nice dinner? Ethnic especially. Thanks - Neil

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  1. I wasn't familiar with Savarin, so I googled it and learned that it was a restaurant that closed a few years back. The chef is now at Keefers (which is a steakhouse).

    Le Bouchon is not downtown -- it's in the Bucktown neighborhood. The same owners have La Sardine, which is much closer to downtown.

    La Sardine
    111 N Carpenter St, Chicago, IL 60607

    6 Replies
    1. re: Amata

      Thanks - anyone been to La SArdine?

      1. re: neiljsalkind

        Just for clarification... a lot of people would indeed group Bucktown as downtown. Just as a lot of people from Schaumburg say they live in Chicago.

        Le Bouchon is an excellent restaurant. Low key, quaint yet bustling and good food.

        1. re: blondie60614

          I went to Le Bouchon last monday for 1/2 price wine night. It was a great way to spend perhaps less than at say Sam's for a great bottle of wine and good food. (I had a great Chateauneuf de Pape for around $28). They also have a 3-course prix-fixe menu available every night for $20 which includes french onion soup (which is good) your choice of roast chicken or steak frites (I preferred the chicken) and a dessert. It has a nice ambiance as well, very true to French Bistro form.

          1. re: chucktowneater

            I'm glad to hear it. Le Bouchon is one of my favorite restaurants!

        2. re: neiljsalkind

          La Sardine and Le Bouchon have essentially, if not exactly, the same menu.

          I prefer La Sardine because I can't stand the crowds at Le Bouchon. Its a small, homey place and they just jam people in there on weekends. Last time I was there we didn't have enough room for the wine bottle on the table, so the waiter perched it up on the wall molding. We literally had to push our way out the door to get outside because there were so many people hanign out near the door. I guess that's a sign of a popular restaurant, but it seemed to me that they need to space the reservations a little better. A few people were complaining that they had been standing more than half an hour waiting for their tables. On a less busy night I think I would have had a better experience. Some like it, but I prefer having a little space around me, which you get at La Sardine. Both have the half price wine Mondays and prix-fixe Tuesdays, which I think is one of the best deals in the city.

          1. re: wak

            Though both classic bistro fare, the menus are actually quite least the preparations are very different. La Sardine feels a little more brasserie where Le Bouchon is definitely bistro. Le Bouchon has more rustic fare. Though I know I am getting picky here. Both are excellent. If you do not mind crowds and noise, I find Le Bouchon to be better. However, if this bothers you, then for sure stick to La Sardine.

      2. Savarin has been closed for several years....