Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Last Friday, Adam and I headed to yet another of the Bib Gourmand restaurants. We are serious about eating our way through that list! This time it was Browntrout on 4111 N. Lincoln. According to their webpage, Browntrout is "a comfortable, casual fine-dining experience". They have a rooftop herb garden (though probably not right now!) and use sustainably farmed or organic products whenever possible. All their meat is from grass-fed free range animals. Just my kind of place!

I give Browntrout an 'A' for ambiance. It was very cozy in there. Nice and warm, dark wood, deeply colored walls, beautiful glasses and flatware, and nice dim lights. The picture below is from their website but is essentially from the vantage point of where we sat, so gives a good idea of what I could see from my seat (though the lights were much dimmer in reality).

Our server started by asking us if we preferred complimentary sparking or still water, which I appreciated as a nice touch. I always want still, but I am glad when nice restaurants provide sparking or still free of charge. It seems gauche for a high end restaurants where you easily pay $30/entree to charge for carbonated water.

Usually, Adam and I split because a full meal for both of us is just too much food, but because Adam still had a nasty cold, we each ordered independently. I look at menus completely differently when I'm ordering for just myself!

I got the the Shaved Squash Salad. It was wonderful. The base of the salad was very thinly sliced squash and thinly cut apples (no lettuce). There were also thin slivers of celery, as well as pine nuts. It was very tasty, and all healthy ingredients! Adam had the Ceasar Salad w/ Duck Egg and he was quite happy with it as well.

For dinner, I had Canadian Walleye w/ potato and sunchoke, wild mushrooms, shallots and fennel. The fish was cooked perfectly and the garnishes were delish! The wild mushrooms were really excellent, much better than the ones I had last week at Bistro 110. Adam had the cassoulet so he was able to make a direct comparison b/t the one at Bisto 110 and the one at Browntrout. Since this was the 2nd time cassoulet showed up on menus in 1 week, I thought I better figure out exactly what the dish entails. According to Wikipedia, a cassoulet is a "rich, slow-cooked bean stew or casserole originating in the south of France, containing meat (typically pork sausages, pork, goose, duck and sometimes, mutton) and white beans". So the common theme in cassoulets is the white beans. There can be varying (to no) types of meat- but both of the 2 we had this week had duck and lamb. Adam actually liked the Bistro 110 cassoulet better- he said the one at Browntrout was a little spicier than he would prefer, but still good.

As much as I planned to NOT have dessert, we ended up getting the apple caramel crisp w/ brown butter ice cream. Very tasty.

I would recommend Browntrout as a great, comfortable, tasty place to have dinner w/ a significant other, friends or family. They have lots of weekly specials that you can check out for yourself on their webpage. Enjoy!

(Side Note: Adam thought my Bistro 110 review was maybe too harsh. I want to clarify that it is not a bad place. If you are downtown and need a place to eat, by all means go there! I just think there are better places in the same price range in Chicago. That's all. Not bad, just not extraordinary!)

1 comment:

  1. I've been eyeing Browntrout as well ~ thanks for sharing your review :)