Saturday, February 15, 2014

Returning to a favorite restaurant

When I was working in Chicago, I got to try a rich variety of restaurants from the ultra-gourmet to the hot dog joints that could only be classified as "dives".  Don't get me wrong, one of those dives was an all-time favorite and I'm still searching for a Chicago style hot dog as good as Gold Coast Dogs.
As a short term resident in temporary housing, I ate out a lot and I got to experience the exquisite food and elaborate showmanship of the late Charlie Trotter and on the other end of the scale, I ate once at Gino's Pizza where tourists line up around the block in the dead of winter to get a seat inside graffiti covered booths to be served their pizza.  My review of the two places is easy, Trotter's was well worth every penny of the outrageously expensive tab and Gino's was well, I only ate there once, enough said.


But my favorite Chicago Restaurant is one most people have never heard of, Bistrot Zinc.  Bistrot Zinc is a classic French bistro that serves that same classic neighborhood style French food that you would find in Paris.  You know the kind, things like Steak Frites or Steak au Poivre and Poulet Grand Mere (grandmother's chicken).  It is also the restaurant that introduced me to one of my favorite dessert treats, Crepe a la Banane et Nutella (crepes with Nutella and sliced bananas), YUM!  I love those so much I make them at home now.

But, I don't love this place simply for the food, I also love the atmosphere.

The traditional Zinc bar, and the equally traditional bistro decor, and a front window that opens up when the weather permits all contribute to an elegant yet homey feel.










(I took the above photo early one morning to give a better view of the decor.)


I love the way this place makes me feel when I eat there.  I feel like I've been transported to Paris and that I belong there.

Of course there were other favorites.  My friend David and I loved going to Spago where the bartender Spiros knew us by name.  And, Le Colonial was one place I always took out of town visitors.  I've actually been to all three Le Colonial restaurants, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco and all serve fantastic French/Vietnamese food in 1920's Southeast Asian surroundings.

But, my heart belongs to Bistrot Zinc and it's the one place I always stop on every visit to the windy city. 

10 comments:

Thérèse said...

Such a beautiful beautiful place! The Bistrot' ceiling is amazing.

Steve said...

That would be worth visiting if I ever make it to the Windy City.

llandudnopictures said...

Looks like a fabulous place, I can see why it's your Number One!

Lowell said...

That is my kind of place! If I lived still lived in Chicago, I would definitely give it a try. I like the exterior but the interior is gorgeous!

Judy said...

I love these old buildings and this one has been transformed into something special.

Franklin Bruce Taylor said...

The exterior shots even remind one of Paris. And the food sounds really yummy.

Franklin Bruce Taylor said...

There's lots of information and some great pictures at the website: bistrozinc.com

My mouth is watering!

Kate said...

Haven't been back to Chicago for years so these restaurants are not familiar to me. Gotta make a trip this spring and will need to check out the French restaurant.

Jack said...

What a charming place, Sharon. I'll meet you there!

PerthDailyPhoto said...

As soon as I saw Bistrot Zinc in the first shot Sharon I thought about Paris, how fab to find this spot in the middle of Chicago :) It would definitely become a favourite of mine.