Location – 2100 N. Halsted
In one word – Criminal
Food – My fellow food-lovers on a budget, welcome to The (French) Holy Land. With great food at great prices this hidden gem is more than a steal; it’s criminal.
Red Rooster is the cheap but equally classy sister of Café Bernard, a Lincoln Park favorite that’s built a well-deserved reputation during it’s 30+ years in operation. The two restaurants are in fact located right next door to one another and actually share a kitchen, a chef (owner Bernard LeCoq), and some of the exact same menu items; but at Red Rooster you can get them at a lower price. If you want to get a great deal on a good deal, I recommend going to Red Rooster on a Sunday-Thursday night so you can take advantage of their three course Prix Fixe menu for $20. You get your choice of soup or salad, your choice of entrée, and your choice of dessert. I recently returned to Red Rooster last Thursday with a large group from Trusty’s office and their Prix Fixe was fantastic.
As always, I had their Signature Grilled Salmon with Cabernet Sauvignon Sauce, normally $19.95 if you don’t go for Prix Fixe. This is one of my favorite meals in the city. The salmon is grilled well and is a very large portion—this is one big, burly salmon—so you can either bring your appetite or plan to leave with lunch for the next day. It comes with hearty roasted root vegetables—baby red-skinned potatoes, fennel, carrots, and red cabbage. The super-star of the dish is the rich cabernet sauvignon sauce. If you’re a sauce lover this sauce is your soul mate. I’ve asked Chef Bernard if it can be bottled for purchasing, but alas, he tells me that because it’s rather finicky and can easily separate, there’s just no way.
Others in our group tried their Duck Confit and Braised Lamb Shank for the Prix Fixe entrée; both were very moist and flavorful. For dessert the Flourless Chocolate Cake, as dense a flourless chocolate cake as you will ever meet, was enjoyed by many. The Strawberry Rhubarb Compote, which was tart but sweet, was another popular choice.
Drink – The wine menu is extremely affordable by the glass or by the bottle.
Service – The staff is very gracious but unobtrusive. Even after paying the bill, our party lingered at the table without feeling any rush to leave.
Scene –Beautiful, whimsical hand-painted walls and romantic lighting adds to the cozy and charming ambiance. As you can imagine, this is the perfect place for a date. But, you’ll also see lots of big groups.
Dress – 2nd date dress-wear is perfect: dressy, but comfortable.
Cost – 20 bucks for 3 whole courses. With wine, tax, tip: 30.
If you like, try – Brasserie Jo, Bistro Zinc
Written by hungry yuppie