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Mar 3, 2010 09:48 PM

Bistro Bordeaux - New French Bistro in Evanston

We went to Bistro Bordeaux this evening, to take advantage of their Wednesday night $28.95 3-course prix fixe special, and we thought it was excellent!

We started with appetizers. My dining companion ordered escargots. I'm not huge on snails, but these seemed to be very good. I ordered the crispy sweetbreads, and they were excellent and delicious. These were breaded and deep fried, very light and not at all greasy.

For our main course, my companion ordered the Nieman Ranch free range beef tenderloin with bone marrow crust, and this was just wonderful, one of the best steaks you'll find anywhere. (It was one of only a few items on the menu with a small upcharge over the $28.95 prix fixe, but having a $5 upcharge on a $26.95 entree so that it's $33.95 for three courses is still an excellent value.) I had the roasted skate, which was also excellent, and was served over a bed of fennel confit, which was very nice.

For dessert, my companion ordered the lemon tart with pine nut crust, which was very nice (and it was a tart tart indeed!). I had floating island, which was an excellent rendition of one of my very favorite desserts.

Note that some of these items (sweetbreads, beef, and lemon tart) are not currently on the menu on their website, but they have been added to the regular menu (they were not daily specials).

So we had six dishes, and all were excellent. Our server (Michael) was excellent, and Pascal stopped by the table to make sure everything was going well.

Bistro Bordeaux is a welcome addition to the Evanston dining scene!

Bistro Bordeaux
618 Church St
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 424-1483

Bistro Bordeaux
618 Church Street, Evanston, IL 60201

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  1. Breaded and fried sweetbreads! YUM! OMG that sounds like heaven right now! This place sounds like a must visit next week perhaps.

    Unfortuantely I can't view their site from here as it's blocked, but did ya take a gander at the wine list at all? Big selection? Reasonable prices? Cheers! -mJ

    2 Replies
    1. re: njfoodies

      The wine list is available on their website, if you can read .pdf files, at It's really very nice They have 16 wines by the glass, with all but one priced $8-11. Bottles start at $29 and about half are $45 or less. Of the roughly 80 wines on it, six are domestic and the rest are all from France. They also have an additional "cellar list" of another 30 higher-priced bottles for $89 and up.

      I read on another board that they also offer BYOB for a $15 corkage fee, which is quite reasonable.

      1. re: nsxtasy

        Nice! I will definitely check it out from home, and probably make a reservation. Based on the name, I am surprised that they offer any domestics, but I don't think that is a bad thing in the least, especially in this economy, and people wanting to drink what they know.

        $15 corkage is pretty awesome, and again, I would kill to have corkage fees like that on the East Coast. Most of our corkage fees are $25-$50 in Philly and NYC.

        16 wines by the glass is just about perfect IMHO. Not too many, and just enough for a good selection. Their bottles prices seem more than reasonable as well, and I am curious to see their cellar list. Nice!

        But for me, your comment about the sweet breads is what has me wanting to visit! Can't wait to try them! -mJ

    2. Bistro Bordeaux switched to a new menu a couple of weeks ago, and no longer has the crispy sweetbreads on it. However, they now have a veal loin that includes sweetbreads among its accompaniments. I did not have this dish at dinner there tonight, as I could not resist their marrow bone crusted Niman Ranch beef filet. Delicious! The rest of the meal was equally wonderful; I loved my pork confit appetizer, and could not resist the floating island dessert again.

      Bistro Bordeaux was full tonight, and they said that they have been very busy, especially Wednesday evenings (due to the $28.95 special) as well as Fridays and Saturdays. Reservations are a good idea, and can be made at

      Bistro Bordeaux
      618 Church Street, Evanston, IL 60201

      1. What a charming restaurant. The food was outstanding, with incredible flavors. Jessica our server was attentive, warm and informative about the food menu, the wine list, the restaurant and the owner. Even Pascal Berthoumieux, the owner, took time out to visit with us to see if we were pleased with our meal and share a little about his passion for this great 'American Dream', his restaurant, and his life in France.

        An appetizer of Maine Bouchot mussels steamed with shallots, garlic, leeks and white verjus, was so delicious and great to dunk the warm French bread in. The Bibb lettuce salad with champagne vinaigrette and fresh herbs was refreshing with flavors that were far greater than just a salad. The Wild caught Russian river trout, with butter braised green beans, shaved fennel, parsley and hazelnut vinaigrette was wonderful. The ranch ribeye with layered potato souffle, chard rapini, pearl onions and natural beef jus, was too good to come to an end. The Creme de Chevre Frais a la Rhubarbe Goat cheese custard with rhubarb and almond cookies, was to DIE FOR! The wine list was pretty complete. We loved the Alsace Pinot Gris, Willm “Reserve". Even the coffee was exceptionally rich, full bodied and flavorful.

        This wasn't just another great Saturday night meal. It was truly a memorable evening.
        We'll be back. We're already planning an anniversary dinner at Bistro Bordeaux for our two married kids. Craig & Suzie Cohn - Buffalo Grove, IL

        Bistro Bordeaux
        618 Church Street, Evanston, IL 60201

        1. I had eaten at Bistro Bordeaux several times under previous Chef Frank Mnuk and, as noted in earlier posts above, thought it was thoroughly excellent. He moved on (to Pensiero albeit briefly) and Tim Vidrio is now in charge. I ate there again last night and it seems to have gone downhill a bit. I started with the seared foie gras and although it had a nice crisp to the outside, it was cold in the middle - and not just a little cold in one spot, but mostly cold throughout. I had braised short ribs for my entree and it came as a solid block (which some other places do, some better than others). It was somewhat dry and firm, even though this is a dish that is great when it is moist and tender. Floating island is a favorite dessert of mine, and theirs was pretty good. Service was excellent. All in all, it was just okay, not dreadful but not up to the high standards set in previous visits.

          2 Replies
          1. re: nsxtasy

            That's really a shame. Let's hope your experience was an anomaly and not the new norm at BB.

            1. re: chicgail

              I hope you're right.

              Incidentally, I had been wondering about the status of their Wednesday special, in which they had been offering almost any three courses for $28.95. (It was formerly on their website, but I hadn't seen it there lately.) On the blackboard over the bar it did note the "Prix Fixe Special Wednesday" although it didn't mention a price. So apparently Wednesday is still a "deal night".