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Reviews: Winnetka’s George Trois Sets the Standard For French Food

Plus, Bellemore casts a delicious spell in the West Loop

Anthony Tahlier

George Trois is doing something special up in Winnetka and Jeff Ruby thinks it sets the new standard for French dining. Chef-owner Michael Lachowicz captures the “polished charm and attention to detail of the lusty Gallic restaurants of yesteryear without giving in to their sense-numbing overkill, creating something precious and beautiful and, most surprising of all, completely fresh.” A recent nine-course Périgord truffle menu presents treasures like truffle-foie gras raviolo, two delicacies that “boost one another to new heights and yet don’t seem excessive.” Tenderloin stuffed with sliced truffles has “flavor so visceral you almost overlook the accompaniments” while dessert includes a mini truffle souffle that’s “something weird and blunt and wonderful.” After decades of experience, Ruby says Lachowicz has “finally found the confidence and strength to mine the past and strike gold.” [Chicago]

Maggie Hennessy thinks Bellemore lives up to its lofty expectations with “richly layered, seasonal cooking and intellectual cocktails.” Boka Restaurant Group’s newest restaurant showcases Jimmy Papadopoulos as he “balances resourcefulness and evident skill with an unmatched knack for layering textures and flavors.” The social media-friendly oyster pie, accompanied by a glass of Moet & Chandon, is a “special-occasion splurge” that manages to “exceed the #hype,” while “pillowy” Hawaiian rolls are similarly crowd-pleasing and “tear apart as wispily as cotton candy.”

Other plates also “cast [their] own spell.” Fried razor clams evoke images of New England clam shacks and a “mind-numbingly busy venison tartare [comes] together like a symphony.” Hennessy’s favorite dish of the night though stars “ingenious” roulades of cornish hen meat encasing garlicky hen sausage. Capping things off is a rum cake that tastes like a “cocktail in delightfully potent dessert form.” Complementing the food are “intricate” cocktails such as the Cruel Intent, a “wintery play” on the classic Clover Club. [Time Out]

Morena’s Kitchen in Belmont Cragin provides “energizing” Dominican cuisine, writes Mike Sula. The small storefront fries up batches of chicken, served with housemade habanero hot sauce, that “present a compelling reason to get up in the morning.” Sancocho, a meaty stew, “turns your gut into an internal furnace that’ll warm your bones long after you’ve returned to the cold outside,” while carne guisado is braised beef with “similarly restorative” properties. There are more “labor-intensive dishes” on Saturdays as well as chimichurri, a Dominican hamburger featuring beef marinated in lemon and mustard. [Reader]

Forum 55 is a “bare-bones, DIY experience” that hits the mark when it comes to “good, inexpensive food.” Joanne Trestrail thinks that while the ordering kiosks are overly complicated with “too much clicking to do, and too many opt-outs,” the bites themselves are quite tasty. Winners include Butcher & Larder’s MightVine BLT, Pork & Mindy’s Bao to the Pork sandwich, and miso ramen from Friends Sushi & Ramen. The experience itself is “evocative of a college dining hall” but “once you learn what you like, from which vendors, it gets easier.” [Crain’s]

Restaurant Michael

64 Green Bay Road, , IL 60093 (847) 441-3100 Visit Website

Forum 55

55 East Monroe Street, , IL 60603 (312) 849-9512 Visit Website

Alla Vita

564 West Randolph Street, , IL 60661 (312) 667-0104 Visit Website