The chef Daniel Rose knows a thing or two about French cooking. He opened his first restaurant, Spring, in Paris in 2006. His foray into the US dining scene resulted in New York City’s Michelin-starred Le Coucou. And now Rose is bringing his French cuisine to his hometown of Chicago.
Le Select, which opened on January 28, is Rose’s first venture in the Windy City. It’s a classic French brasserie, from the menu to the design of the dining room. Rose partnered with the interior-design firm AvroKO to exude French elegance throughout the space. Antique mirrors and an emphasis on arches call to mind the restaurants and train stations one might find while traveling abroad.
The menu, too, is reminiscent of a Parisian brasserie. You may begin with appetizers such as onion soup, escargots and mussels bathed in white wine and butter. Main dishes include standbys like steak au poivre and duck breast à l’orange, as well as specialties such as lightly seared scallops in a French curry with celeriac purée and a choucroute Strasbourgeoise for two, packed with sauerkraut, smoked sausage, veal boudin, braised pork belly and knockwurst. Sautéed radishes with butter and pommes dauphines are just a couple of the accompaniments on offer.
Desserts, from the Boka pastry director Casey Doody (the restaurant is a collaboration with the Boka Restaurant Group, which also includes spots like Girl & the Goat and the Michelin-starred Boka), similarly hew to the classics: Crème caramel, eclairs and profiteroles all make an appearance. The wine list, meanwhile, spans a whole range of bottles. Wines from well-known regions such as Bordeaux and Burgundy sit alongside options from the Loire Valley and the Roussillon.
Drinks can be enjoyed at your table, of course, or at one of Le Select’s three bars. The brasserie itself has two separate bar areas, while the second floor is home to Bar 504, a more intimate spot that can double as a private dining room.
The restaurant is a veritable jewel box of options, a French gem right in the middle of the United States, no transatlantic flight required.
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