Reasons to Celebrate

Summer 2002
Odyll Santos

Click on Image
For Caption

Bistro 110
There always seems to be something to celebrate in Chicago's restaurants. It could be a birthday, a new menu, and an expansion - whatever it is. there's a good reason to raise your glass for a toast.

At Bistro 110, two new wines are the focus of attention. Bistro 110, a favorite near the Magnificent Mile for its traditional French cuisine and its Sunday jazz brunch, launched its private label white and red wines this past spring. Bistro Blanc and Bistro Rouge, each made with a mix of grape varietals were blended by Bistro 110 Executive Chef Dominique Tougne and Palmer Vineyards, located on the North Fork of Long Island in New York.

No doubt Palmer was selected for its classically structured wines, which have won praise from international wine writers as well as a long list of awards over the years. Palmer boasts gold medals in all of California's major tasting competitions and has produced some of the nation's top wines. Its 1998 merlot, for example, won gold medals in wine competitions held by the Taster's Guild and the American Wine Society, while the 1999 Gewurztraminer won Gold Medals in the New York Food Wine Classic and the San Diego National Wine Competition and Silver from the American Wine Society. Robert Palmer, whose marketing efforts have made Palmer one of the most visible producers in Long Island, heads the winery.

For Bistro 110, Palmer worked with Chef Tougne to create the 1998 Bistro Blanc, a light and fresh wine, with the scent of citrus and strong tastes of grapefruit. The predominant grape in Bistro Blanc is pinot blanc, with chardonnay the next major grape in the blend. Sauvignon Blanc, gewürztraminer and viognier make up the rest of the mix.

The 1997 Bistro Rouge is dark with berry tastes, a fitting accompaniment for the evening's duck foie gras with cherries. Bistro Rouge is dominated by merlot, which gives the wine a soft fruitiness, complimented by the black curlant tastes imparted by cabernet sauvignon. Cabernet franc, the third grape in the blend, gives the wine an aromatic nose.

The wines go with many dishes on Bistro 110's menu, but are particularly attractive with certain choices. Bistro Blanc, with its light character, is wonderful with seafood and shellfish, such as oysters on the half shell. The restaurant, which recently unveiled a new raw bar area, offers its freshly shucked oysters on the half with shallot vinegar. Black mussels "Mariniere" is another starter to go with Bistro Blanc. The dish is steamed in white wine with shallots, butter, garlic and herbs. Among restaurant favorites, seared sea scallops with saffron Basmati rice would go well with the new white wine. The scallops are wood roasted and served over a nest of sauteed fresh spinach and rice and drizzled with olive oil.

The deeper Bistro Rouge is perfect with richer fare. Duck foie gras, such as the one served with cherries atop toast points the night of the wines' launch, paired well with Bistro Blanc, but was luscious with Bistro Rouge. On the menu itself, there is a different, but equally tempting foie gras option, which comes with a star anise poached petite pear filled with fresh plum compote.

A dinner of one of Bistro 110's heartier dishes would be complemented by a glass of Bistro Rouge. Choices include the Osso Burro le Chevrtuil, Venison Osso Bucco in a Red Wine, sauce and home made Spatzle, and Medallions of Beef Tenderloin, grilled and served with French-fried Potatoes and Béarnaise. With two new wines made by Palmer, Bistro 110 has something more to offer its guests. Bistro Blanc and Bistro Rouge have joined other world-class wines on Bistro 110's list.


All-star chefs for a Grand Celebration - Le Français
Celebrating a legend in Chicago land dining calls for a gathering of chefs. That's how Le Français, the acclaimed restaurant in Wheeling, ILL. celebrated its first anniversary with partner Phil Mott and partner/chef Don Yamauchi and its twenty-ninth year of offering premier French cuisine.

In March, past chefs of Le Français returned to the venerable establishment to contribute to the festivities. These kitchen maestros included Le Français founder Jean Banchet, Carrie Nahabidian, chef at Naha, Mark Gross of Oceanic, Patrick Chabert of the French Culinary Experience and Joe Doppes of Bistrot Margot.

Each chef created one course. Chef Nahabidian presented a delectable combination of Maine Diver Sea Scallop and Hedgehog mushrooms with French Lentils, Back Bacon, Wilted Italian Frisee and Red Wine Syrup. From Chef Doppes came a rich dish of Foie gras and Grilled Vegetable terrine with Black Truffle Vinaigrette. Oceanic's Chef Gross contributed Roasted Black Bass with Sea Urchin Butter, while Chabert offered Lobster Chartreuse.

Naturally, Le Français masters contributed their own delicious creations, including Roasted Breast of Squab and Leg Comfit with Sweetbreads, served with Savory Cabbage, from founder Banchet. Chef Yarnauchi presented Spicy Tuna Tartare with Cilantro and Ginger, wrapped in leeks and accompanied by Osetra Caviar. Le Français Pastry Chef Carolyn Blanc offered guests a Tarte Tatin and Grand Marnier Soufflé as well as a Champagne Sorbet.

Like the list of kitchen masters, the list of guests was equally star-studded, featuring other acclaimed chefs and restaurateurs. Dining at Le Français were Carlos and Debbie Nieto of Carlos, Gabriel Viti of Gabrid's, Gale Gand of Tru, Michael Maddox of Le Titi de Paris, Bruce Sherman of North Pond Cafe and Chef Tougne of Bistro 110.




Trotter to Stay
And finally . . . Ever imagine Chicago without Charlie Trotter? Heavens, no! Luckily, stories that Trotter would shut down his namesake restaurant and move to Europe were untrue (word is, he made a comment that was taken out of context). Trotter looks to be around for sometime. His award-winning restaurant in Chicago's Lincoln Park will be celebrating its 15th anniversary.

Trotter's to Go
1337 West Fullerton, Chicago, IL
773 868-6510


Events |  Food & Beverage International |  NutraFoodies |  California the Magazine
Home |  Food |  Wine |  Chefs |  Restaurants |  Advertisers |  Recipes
Travel |  Forager |  Whos News |  Directories |  Newsletter |  About Us |  Media Kit

©2000 - 2008 Food&Beverage International
All rights reserved. | Contact Us |