No Chicago trip is complete for me without a stop at the always charming, consistently delicious Bistrot Zinc. After a stroll up Oak Street to build up your appetite, wander just a bit to the side of the “Viagra triangle” for some of the best simple French food in the city. Two items in particular should always be ordered, no matter what else you get. To start the escargot are divine. Plump and fatty and garlicky, unless you’re some freak who hates garlic and pernod and snails, you just can’t go wrong. Also, they don’t stick them in those annoying shells so you don’t have to work for your dose of buttery goodness.
To finish you have to order the Millas de Bordeaux a custard and cherry filled pastry, that’s just sweet enough and uber flaky. The only bad thing about this dish is that I’ve never seen any rendition of it elsewhere. Pair it with a glass of Muscat de Beaumes de Venise and then call to thank me.
Round out your meal with a lamb sandwich or well executed steak frites while basking in the one un-French thing about this restaurant – the attentive and polite service! (Just kidding, I’ve actually always encountered lovely service on my trips to France, but the joke was there so I had to make it).