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Brasserie Jo on West Hubbard carrot crudite

javaandjazz Jul 11, 2010 07:04 AM

Had a very nice dinner at Brasserie Jo on West Hubbard last night. I just have to say the carrot crudite they brought out was a real surprise. I have always liked carrots but now I LIKE them even more. I told our wait person how good they were and he offered the recipe. I can't wait to get home and make them now. I'm from CT. Also, their mac & cheese was very good too. We were told they are closing soon and that maybe another french restaurant will reopen in that space. I hope that if I ever come back to Chicago, I will have the oppurtunity to try the new place.

  1. ellenost Jul 11, 2010 08:26 AM

    My sister and I recently returned home to NYC from Chicago and also had dinner at Brasserie Jo. We thought the carrot crudite was amazing. We asked for a second portion. The restaurant is lovely and it's a shame that they're closing. We loved the onion soup. I ordered the hanger steak with fries, and was disappointed. The fries were too crispy (had the texture and taste of canned potato sticks--not french fries), and the steak was very chewy (yes, I do know the texture of hanger steak, and this wasn't it).

    1. twodales Jul 11, 2010 09:35 AM

      Intrigued about the carrot crudite? What made it so special? What was it made of besides carrots? Was there a dijon-ish vinaigrette?

      2 Replies
      1. re: twodales
        ellenost Jul 11, 2010 09:39 AM

        It had a horseradish dressing.

        1. re: ellenost
          javaandjazz Jul 11, 2010 08:07 PM

          It was the horse radish that made it. I love horse radish! It was slighly subtle but you could definitely taste it.

      2. m
        Masonville Jul 11, 2010 06:38 PM

        Possibly no connection whatsover, but I do recall one of the very early LEYE restaurants, 1972ish, just south of what's now the Viagra Triangle, that served, among other interesting appetizers, a perfect carrot crudite. I had just returned from my first trip to Paris--which was then still stellar despite some (prescient) prophets of decline. I wish I could remember the name--it may have been The Flying Frenchman, but Google has not unearthed its corpse. In any case, perhaps somewhere in the LEYE archives is the one true recipe for a shredded carrot crudite.

        13 Replies
        1. re: Masonville
          nsxtasy Jul 12, 2010 04:02 AM

          >> I wish I could remember the name--it may have been The Flying Frenchman

          I believe you're referring to Great Gritzbe's Flying Food Show.

          1. re: nsxtasy
            ferret Jul 12, 2010 10:18 AM

            And it opened closer to the mid-70's.

            1. re: ferret
              nsxtasy Jul 12, 2010 11:24 AM

              1974, according to the LEY website at www.leye.com/files/press_kit/About_LE...

              1. re: nsxtasy
                ferret Jul 12, 2010 02:44 PM

                I recalled it being a high school thing (I started in 1974) while Fritz's opened while I was still in elementary school.

            2. re: nsxtasy
              Masonville Jul 15, 2010 06:30 PM

              OK, nsxtasy, you're right. I needed a few days to process the memories. The Flying Frenchman was within a few blocks, but was a quite different animal altogether. Anyway, I have to say Gritzbe's was a seriously "authentic" place, which I say despite my usual skepticism/contempt for that commonplace. Which leads me to a general comment about LEYE: it's obviously vulnerable to the accusation that it's the restaurant equivalent of DisneyWorld. I'm not entirely sure that's a negative, altho I'm inclined to think so. But it doesn't stick w/ LEYE. In many if not most instances, Melman does an amazing job of getting it right and doing it better than most. Certainly in 1973 (and that's when I first went to Gritzbe's), he had a better handle on French bistro cuisine than anyone else in Chicago.

              1. re: Masonville
                nsxtasy Jul 15, 2010 06:46 PM

                I have tremendous respect for Lettuce Entertain You. They have brought a high level of quality to all their concepts. What's really amazing, though, is what a broad range of concepts they have created - everything from fine dining to cheap eats, from ethnic food to mainstream. I doubt that there is any restaurant company anywhere in the country that has done so many different things so well.

                1. re: nsxtasy
                  JPea Jul 16, 2010 10:44 AM

                  Interesting discussion but too much misinformation and misinterpretation. How 'bout some "true facts"?

                  The Flying Frenchman and Great Gritzbe's Flying Food Show were at the same location, the southwest corner of Wabash and Chestnut. The Flying Frenchman opened in late 1969; Great Gritzbe's opened in late 1974.

                  The Flying Frenchman was owned by Bill Contos of Chez Paul fame. When they opened they featured crepes and other simple French standards. But around 1971 Jean Banchet took over the kitchen and transformed the restaurant, if only briefly. Of course, Chef Banchet would go on to helm the great Le Francais which he opened in early 1973. Anyone dining at The Flying Frenchman in the early '70s was witnessing the early evolution of a great chef. It's not surprising the carrot crudite was memorable (by the way, how was the rest of the meal?). Congratulations on recognizing genius and thanks for sharing your memories with us.

                  Great Gritzbe's, Lettuce Entertain You's third restaurant, served French toast, French onion soup and French fries but it surely was not a French restaurant. Their menu, largely sandwiches and gimmicky drinks, was far closer to R J Grunt's (Lettuce Entertain You's first restaurant) than to The Flying Frenchman's. One of Great Gritzbe's contributions to the culinary scene was an all-you-can-eat dessert bar, following Grunt's successful salad buffet.

                  Lettuce Entertain You is getting far too much credit when people attribute introducing sophisticated French cuisine to Chicago in the early 1970s. Back then—their salad days, if you will—they were busy trying to replicate the success of R J Grunt's. It was only later they got around to trying to replicate other country's cuisines. Their first attempt at foreign food (not very successful in my opinion) was Lawrence of Oregano in 1976, serving massive portions of Italian-American classics. One could argue they hit their stride in the 1980s with Ambria and a string of other foreign restaurants including Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba. I'm not at all trying to deny the importance of Lettuce Entertain You in the development of the Chicago (and national) dining scene but let's have some historical accuracy.

                  To get back to the original topic, can anyone provide details of Brasserie Jo's carrot crudite? It sounds really good and I'm not sure I'll be able to get back to the restaurant before it closes.

                  1. re: JPea
                    nsxtasy Jul 16, 2010 11:22 AM

                    I wasn't sure where you were coming from, JPea, until I re-read the post to which you were replying, and saw this statement:

                    >> Certainly in 1973 (and that's when I first went to Gritzbe's), he had a better handle on French bistro cuisine than anyone else in Chicago.

                    I agree with you, JPea, that Great Gritzbe's was not French in any way. If anyone had the best handle on French bistro cuisine at that time, it was Kiki, who opened Le Bordeaux on Madison in the Loop in 1969. In the early 1970s it was the only French restaurant in the Loop, and featured classic French bistro cuisine (which Kiki is still serving today at his eponymous bistro in River North). Walking down those few steps into Le Bordeaux was like being transported from the Loop to the French countryside. Of course there were also high-end French restaurants in town as well, such as the ones from the late Jovan Trboyevic (Jovan opened in 1967 and Le Perroquet in 1973).

                    1. re: JPea
                      chicgail Jul 16, 2010 03:16 PM

                      "their salad days" LOL!

                      1. re: Chandraram
                        potatoes Jan 1, 2011 11:04 AM

                        Thanks, Chandraram. Can you give us the measurements of each ingredient?

                2. re: Masonville
                  LindaRacine Jan 17, 2011 07:51 PM

                  This is sort of off topic, but does anyone remember the name of the restaurant that was on the 7th floor of Water Tower Place when they first opened the retail space? They served things like sandwiches, salads, omelets, etc. They had the most menu items I'd ever seen (until Cheesecake Factory maybe). I thought it was a LEYE restaurant, but I could be mistaken.

                  1. re: LindaRacine
                    twodales Jan 17, 2011 08:53 PM

                    I think it might have been a LEVY restaurant. Think it was their first restaurant. Was it D. B. Kaplans?

                    1. re: twodales
                      ferret Jan 18, 2011 01:54 PM

                      It was D.B. Kaplan's.

                3. greygarious Jan 1, 2011 11:24 AM

                  Jandj, since you are in CT you might like to know that there is a Brasserie Jo in Boston's Colonnade Hotel.

                  1. javaandjazz Jan 1, 2011 04:09 PM

                    this is right from the restaurant.

                    Brasserie JO Carrot Crudites

                    2 lbs. carrots
                    1 tbsp. fresh grated horseradish
                    2 tbsp, prepared horseradish
                    1 clove of garlic chopped
                    1 tbsp. Diion mustard
                    4 tbsp. melior vinegar
                    2 tbsp. olive oil
                    l~ cup chopped parsley
                    salt & freshly ground pepper
                    1. Peel and Cut carrots in 4 in. long sticks. Set aside in cold water for
                    approximately 1 hour.
                    2. Drain and pat dry very well. Put in bowl and add all remaining
                    ingredients. Toss verywell together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
                    Set aside for approximately 2 hours before serving to ensure carrots
                    absorb all seasoning.
                    3. Serve in a small serving dish.
                    Note: This is a pe~if'd snack that goes very Jvell with Alsace wine or a beer. This tuas a
                    favorite if Chif Joho ~\ grandparents. IjYON cannot find me!for vinegar, use a nice tuhite zvine
                    vinegar as a substitnte.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: javaandjazz
                      potatoes Jan 3, 2011 12:22 PM

                      Thank you!

                      1. re: potatoes
                        javaandjazz Jan 3, 2011 12:41 PM

                        Good luck. I haven't made them at home yet and it's been since July 2010 since I have had them.

                      2. re: javaandjazz
                        stellamystar Jan 16, 2011 08:39 PM

                        I made these about 6 months ago and they were fab! I used white wine vinegar and regular ole horseradish. The dressing is also great for salad! I still think they're better there, but these are great for home!

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