FrontRunners: Endurance Tasting

<< Back to Robb Report, September 2002

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.

Photo by Daniel Krieger for the New York Times
Few restaurateurs have made as refined an imprint on New York’s dining scene as Drew Nieporent. In...
Part of a larger renovation at the hotel, the new Le Miyako has added a teppanyaki table...
Placed in different kitchens, chefs will create eight-course menus inspired by local cuisine…
Interactive cooking demonstrations with acclaimed chefs, wine and tequila tastings, and an open-air...
Photograph by Deborah Jones
The Michelin three-star chef is also creating a new signature restaurant for the cruise line…
The bistro is a tribute to the meals prepared by Italian mothers and grandmothers everywhere…
Marcus’ welcomes guests with a globally influenced menu and a modern art-filled setting…
Festivities will include musical performances, bourbon tastings, and meals prepared by some of the...
Photo by Christian Horan
The 26,000-square-foot Nobu Doha dishes out a fusion of Japanese and Arabian Gulf delicacies in...
Photo by Deborah Jones
The heart of Napa’s three-Michelin-star restaurant gets a makeover…