Last night Eater got a sneak peek at Maude's Liquor Bar, the hot new Parisian brasserie set to open Jan. 4 in the West Loop. Maude's, owned by Gilt Bar honcho Brendan Sodikoff (a vet of Per Se, French Laundry and a slew of other top-rated restaurants) was off to a solid start and felt more like an eatery that's been around a while as opposed to the preview dinner it was hosting.
While we're not giving a review since a) it's not officially open and b) Eater doesn't really do reviews, we can say that the food chef Jeff Pikus is putting out was pretty spot on. From the fresh, crusty bread served with nearly each plate and the plump Maine mussels straight from Ingrid Bengis Seafood to the falling-apart beef short rib bourguignon and spreadable chicken liver toast, there was a lot of oohing and ahhing going on. But the hands-down most clever dish we had was the French onion fondue, which was essentially French onion soup without the broth. It was all about the baked gooey gruyere and silky caramelized onions. Even more impressive is that the majority of the menu is under $20.
It's still hard to believe this sophisticated sexy space once housed the sleek lounge Vice. Sodikoff and his team completely transformed the space with gorgeous white subway tiles, mismatched chandeliers, tufted leather banquettes and a long marble-topped bar. The mix of music paired perfectly with everything from Bjork and Bowie to Fleet Foxes, the Smiths and even some big band tunes.
Sodikoff already struck gold with Gilt and it looks like he may score again with Maude's. Make your reservations now because chances are come Jan. 4, it's going to start filling up fast.
· Maude's Liquor Bar Gearing Up For a Post-NYE Opening [~EChi~]
· Maude's Liquor Bar's Rustic French Menu Takes Shape [~EChi~]