FrontRunners: Endurance Tasting

  • Joseph V. Robbins

Le Français (847.541.7470, www.lefrancaisrestaurant.com), the venerable French powerhouse located in the Chicago suburb of Wheeling, doesn’t need a gimmick to draw diners—some patrons make a special point of flying into town just for dinner there. These days, however, it does have a curiosity beyond its usual allure: a $500 tasting menu.

The menu is the creation of executive chef Don Yamauchi, a veteran of Illinois culinary mainstays Gordon and Carlos, who is now in his second year with Le Français. Yamauchi’s 15-course tasting menu features essentials such as foie gras and caviar paired with deep-in-the-cellar wine selections that, on a given night, can include Cristal or a vaunted 1982 Bordeaux. The chef considers his menu a kind of endurance test. Says Yamauchi, “We just wanted to see if anybody wanted to be pampered all night long.” We’re up for the challenge.

Read Next Article >>
Photo by Noah Fecks + Paul Wagtouicz
This era of the butcher-as-artist has produced a new masterpiece: the tomahawk cut. This monumental...
Photo by Lila Photo
The eighth annual festival will include dinners, cocktail parties, tastings, and more…
The winner of the competition is given the opportunity to study under a master chef…
Photo by John Farrell
The high-end restaurant chain has opened its 11th location, providing surf-and-turf fine dining...
The winner will be announced in the January 2015 issue, which hits newsstands December 30…
The food and hospitality staple of California wine country is hosting 12 holiday charity dinners in...
Dining tables are overtaking gambling tables as Sin City’s hottest spots…
Photo by Ted Morrison
In the Piedmont region of Italy, where Cristiano Cremi­nelli’s family has been curing artisanal...
Photo by Deborah Jones
Chef Thomas Keller and a coterie of fans toast the legendary restaurant’s 20th anniversary…
The experience take places from July 30 through August 30 and joins together the visual and...