This past weekend, Paris Club hosted practice dinners and Eater got an invitation to the table. We popped by the modern French bistro Saturday night and were pretty impressed with how far its come since seeing it in a very raw state two months ago. The vibe inside was energetic, pulling in a cross-section of Chicagoans from young hipsters to socialites to media types, many of whom sipped pinot gris and pinot noir on tap, something that is apparently unique to Paris Club in Chicago.
Despite the room being packed and hopping, the noise level was tolerable where you could easily have a conversation with your dinner guests; we're not sure if something structural was done during the build out, but if so, they need to share that secret with other new restaurants. The Hey Champ DJs spun hot mixes all night and we're told they, along with DJs Matt Roan and A-Cup, will have rotating residencies, which will be great for when Studio Paris, the indoor/outdoor second-level lounge, opens in June.
Owners R.J. and Jerrod Melman and chef-proprietor Jean Joho (Everest, Brasserie Jo) along with Lettuce Entertain You honcho Rich Melman, made constant rounds throughout the dining room, engaging with guests to gauge feedback on their meals. We sampled a variety of the reinterpreted and updated French classics, created by a team lead by chefs Tim Graham and Doug Psaltis.
A few of the things we enjoyed included decadent foie gras with braised pineapple, rich Maine lobster frites, buttery sauteed scallops, perfectly grilled steak frites, lamb meatballs with harissa tomato sauce and the clever Croque Monsieur fingers served in a short glass atop a poached egg, which hid at the bottom like a little surprise. A rich and creamy pistachio pot de creme capped off the meal.
With all the buzz in the room Saturday night, there's no doubt that energy will transfer to the public when Paris Club opens its doors Feb. 9
· First (Raw) Look at Melman Bros. Paris Club [~EChi~]
· All Paris Club Coverage on Eater Chicago [~EChi~]