We kicked off Restaurant Week tonight with a surprise choice: dinner at a new French spot in the South Side, Bridge Ten Brasserie. I admit, I was hesitant to come here, as it’s nestled in next door to a hotel (although not actually affiliated with them), and the prices are a bit on the higher end. But, a last minute change in our original Monday night reservations left us in need of a place to try (and so few restaurants are open on Mondays). Thankfully, Michael’s mum, who had been to this place for lunch a few weeks ago, gave us a tip to check it out, and I am so glad that we did!
We were greeted immediately (in French!) by the saucy maître d’ David (more on him later) and seated in the spacious dining room. Since I have become the old lady who loves the ‘early bird’ seating time, our reservation was at 6pm, and we had the place basically to ourselves. Our server, Lauren, brought our wine ($5 per glass of house wine on special for Restaurant Week!), and we were brought a serving of hot, crusty French bread with condiments.
While we chose to order the Restaurant Week specials, the full menu was also available, and we put in an order for an additional appetizer to enjoy between the soup and entree that made up the special.
The soup of the day was a potato leek soup in a cream base. The texture of the soup was very similar to a bisque, with the flavor of a hearty potato soup, although somehow lighter than either style. It was so flavorful and rich that I momentarily forgot Seth Meyer’s sage advice to wait a minute and totally almost burned my mouth.
Next, our appetizer arrived. We ordered the crêpe au homard, which is a lobster crêpe in a leek and sherry cream sauce. Oh. My. Goodness. This was mouth-watering-ly good. The sauce was again very rich yet very light, and the chunks of lobster were huge and succulent. Apparently, I’m crazy about leeks. Who knew? (I made a mental note to check into leek availability when we start visiting farmers’ markets later this year – I want to learn some new recipes!)
I, on the other hand, went the more traditional route and ordred the poulet roti which was this enormous roasted chicken (they said ‘half chicken,’ but I feel like they meant ‘half of the biggest chicken that ever lived’). The meat was cooked so flawlessly that it basically fell off the bone, and the vegetables were also of a melt-in-your-mouth flavor. Also, I’d ordered a glass of the house Beaujolais that was on special for Restaurant Week, and while that typically pairs best with ham (yes, you will recall that Beaujolais is lovingly referred to in this house as ‘HAMWINE’), the saltiness of the crisp skin of the chicken made it a great pairing.
My only complaint about my dish is that the fries could have used some kind of dippy sauce, like maybe a garlic aioli or truffle oil accompaniment. They did go perfectly dipped in the sauce from the veal dish, so I did a little of that.
After dinner, I just couldn’t resist a chance to try dessert. Some of the desserts are made in front of you, as shown here with David, who, by the way, cracked us up. Throughout the night, he wandered to tables, sometimes singing in French, sometimes making recommendations in French, sometimes dancing about with silverware, but always charming in a Vincent-Cassel-ish fashion. You know, like he was going to critique our ballet performances then have us over for a delicious meal. Love it!
But we wound up ordering one of the desserts that was not served on fire (en flambé, hey, check out that high school French coming right back!) This is the clafoutis, a spongy dessert with fresh bluberries in a light cream. We enjoyed a glass of Cockburn Tawny Port with dessert (with only a few giggles), which was the booziest Port I think I’ve ever had. It was more like straight Brandy than a Brandy-influenced wine!
Our meal at Bridge Ten Brasserie was delicious, and a great way to kick off our Restaurant Week adventures. While the menu is a bit pricey, you can certainly get a good meal, including a glass of wine, for $30 while RW is going on (although I have to suggest that you add on the lobster crepe too – it’s worth the extra charge!). The service was excellent, the food was wonderful, and the ambience of the restaurant was lovely as well. They have parking available for $5, which is free during lunch hours, and there is free street parking just a few blocks away as well.
We’ll be back this summer for sure – they’ve also got a patio for outdoor dining, and being situated right off the 10th Street Bridge, I’m sure the view of the city will be gorgeous!