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  • Paris Club

    Post #1 - February 7th, 2011, 7:31 pm
    Post #1 - February 7th, 2011, 7:31 pm Post #1 - February 7th, 2011, 7:31 pm
    Full disclosure, I got invited to a pre opening dinner for Paris Club through my blog(grubseeker), so the entire meal & drinks were comped. I had a free Saturday, and decided it would be worth the trip into the city. For me LEYE restaurants are hit and miss, I love Joe's, think Shaw's is ok, but am not a fan of their other spots. I also had never been to Braserie Jo.

    Paris Club kind of reminded me of Sunda, hip, loud, bustling, the young attractive folks of the city on this Saturday. Space was modern, bar area and dining room different, dining area had that subway tile which made it a loud room, that and the dj spinning records it was loud. Quickly seated, then forgotten about for a couple minutes, after that service was great. Me and my buddy Derek started with a fabulous, strong, Buffalo Trace Manhattan, really a great drink.

    After that we went for 6 dishes:
    - duck cracklins with spicy vinaigrette
    - foie gras & short rib presse
    - frisee
    - sea scallops
    - short rib bourguignonne
    - roquefort crusted filet

    Duck cracklins were ok, kind of heavy and greasy vs light and airy.
    Foie gras & short rib presse served with some toasted french bread was one of the surprises of the night, a really nice and flavorfull spread of these flavorfull proteins.
    Frisee salad topped with an egg, this dish was a sum of its parts, the frisee, the bacon lardons, and the citrusy dressing. You had to get a bite with all componants for it to work. Thye should be using a quail egg imho.
    Sea scallops, lime buerre blanc, basic scallop dish with a creamy broth. Scallops were perfectly cooked, but overall an average dish.
    The short rib bourguignonne.... fabulous, over the top dish flavorwise, comfort food at its best, fork tender short rib, rich dark sauce, tender potatoes, and carrots, and a smear of horseradish sauce. Took me back to pot roasts of my childhood.
    Roqufort crusted filet, great cut of beef, perfectly cooked. The roquefort was pungent, and powerfull. Overall a solid steak.

    Overall the food was good, good flavors, etc. But having ordered similar items at restaurants elsewhere during the past month Paris Clubs versions seemed pedestrian.

    We liked Paris Club, but i told my buddy i dont see myself going back, Im not their demographic imho. Im not a single, young, hip, city dweller with $$$ to burn. I appreciated the invitation and chance to eat here.

    duck cracklins:

    Image

    scallops:

    Image

    Frisee:

    Image

    Short rib dish:

    Image

    roqufort filet:

    Image

    Paris Club
    59 W. Hubbard
    Chicago, IL.

    http://www.parisclubchicago.com
    Last edited by jimswside on March 16th, 2011, 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #2 - February 7th, 2011, 8:32 pm
    Post #2 - February 7th, 2011, 8:32 pm Post #2 - February 7th, 2011, 8:32 pm
    Thanks for the write-up Jim.

    You better watch out, this type of balanced review of a "preview" dinner might get you banned from future events. :wink:
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #3 - February 7th, 2011, 8:37 pm
    Post #3 - February 7th, 2011, 8:37 pm Post #3 - February 7th, 2011, 8:37 pm
    jesteinf wrote:Thanks for the write-up Jim.

    You better watch out, this type of balanced review of a "preview" dinner might get you banned from future events. :wink:


    :lol:

    hopefully being fair and honest keeps me in the loop for any future considerations.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #4 - February 7th, 2011, 8:49 pm
    Post #4 - February 7th, 2011, 8:49 pm Post #4 - February 7th, 2011, 8:49 pm
    Nice review and kudos on the invite. Indeed, the duck rinds look woefully greasy, and I think the scallops could use a harder sear.

    For some reason I am kinda excited about this place, if only because the concept makes me think of a French version of Quartino (probably more expensive). I'll be checking it out soon.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #5 - February 7th, 2011, 8:55 pm
    Post #5 - February 7th, 2011, 8:55 pm Post #5 - February 7th, 2011, 8:55 pm
    Habibi wrote:Nice review and kudos on the invite. Indeed, the duck rinds look woefully greasy, and I think the scallops could use a harder sear.

    For some reason I am kinda excited about this place, if only because the concept makes me think of a French version of Quartino (probably more expensive). I'll be checking it out soon.


    I agree about the scallops, I was happy that they were tender inside(an area where some places struggle). The short rib dish was really nice as well as the foie spread. The manhattans were also really good(and strong).

    It was a cool space with alot of energy, and we just scratched the surface of the menu, which has some intersting sounding items.

    I forgot to post this on the original post, the 6 dishes and 4 drinks off the cocktail menu came in @ $136(they gave us the bill even though it was comped to probably give and idea what it would cost and how to figure out our tip). So not an inexpensive meal.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #6 - February 8th, 2011, 8:43 am
    Post #6 - February 8th, 2011, 8:43 am Post #6 - February 8th, 2011, 8:43 am
    Paris Club? Don't you mean Hub 51-West? :)

    I walked past the new spot last week and snapped a picture. Yes, the French national flag is covering the sign of an Adult Book Store next door. Just like France! :roll:
    Image

    They claim they want to "reintroduce French food to a new generation of diners." So I guess that means serve greasy food with French names...because that's what your photos look like they are serving.
    Last edited by P. Channon on February 8th, 2011, 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #7 - February 8th, 2011, 9:12 am
    Post #7 - February 8th, 2011, 9:12 am Post #7 - February 8th, 2011, 9:12 am
    P. Channon wrote:Pari So I guess that means serve greesy food with French names...because that's what your photos look like they are serving.



    only one dish was "greesy". :wink:
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #8 - February 8th, 2011, 10:22 am
    Post #8 - February 8th, 2011, 10:22 am Post #8 - February 8th, 2011, 10:22 am
    jimswside wrote:
    P. Channon wrote:Pari So I guess that means serve greasy food with French names...because that's what your photos look like they are serving.



    only one dish was "greesy". :wink:


    Ha - my bad. I meant greasy, obviously. :)
  • Post #9 - February 14th, 2011, 6:20 pm
    Post #9 - February 14th, 2011, 6:20 pm Post #9 - February 14th, 2011, 6:20 pm
    I dined at Paris Club last night with a few friends. Overall, the consensus was generally positive. A few notes:

    * Prices look reasonable on the menu, but note that portions are small. For example, we got a beet terrine (not on their posted menu, so no price available, but I'd guess it was $6 or 7) that included 2 layers of beet & 2 layers of goat cheese with total approximate dimensions of 3" x 4" x .75" + a tiny handful of salad. Little noticeable aspic, so the dish really came across as two small strips of roast beet & two small strips of cheese. Big profit margin there. The jar of roast eggplant & olives ($4.95) looked to be about a quarter cup plus a few pieces of bread.

    * The short rib was excellent, though I would have appreciated a few more veggies. We also had the salmon (didn't try any, but my dining companion cleaned her plate) and paper bag snapper (also seemed to be well-liked).

    * Some nice sides. We tried the brussels sprouts and Alsace spaetzle, and I enjoyed both. I'm used to soft spaetzle in a buttery sauce but these were dry and pan-roasted (I assume...toasty brown on at least one side). Maybe that's what make them Alsace style?

    * The room was packed at 7 pm on a Sunday. People are obviously coming to check it out. I hadn't been in there since Bastille Day 2009, but would not have recognized the space as the former Brasserie Jo.

    * Enjoyable beer list. I think a beer list is so often an afterthought at many restaurants, so I was pleasantly surprised.

    * I didn't notice them, but several Melmans were apparently on the job. One friend said he saw Rich & at least one of his sons in the dining room.
  • Post #10 - February 14th, 2011, 8:27 pm
    Post #10 - February 14th, 2011, 8:27 pm Post #10 - February 14th, 2011, 8:27 pm
    I have fallen in love with Paris Club. I've been there three times now, am going back tonight and Friday night. I love the pork trotter bon bons, toast with drippings, charcuterie (my friend says they make all in house except the sausage), and the oysters which they get flown in every day.
  • Post #11 - February 14th, 2011, 8:59 pm
    Post #11 - February 14th, 2011, 8:59 pm Post #11 - February 14th, 2011, 8:59 pm
    We also were there on Sunday. We liked it and my mom LOVED It. It was bustling and you could hear the music (no DJ) but you could still talk normally. Tasty dishes - we really liked the smoked whitefish and the steak frites was particularly good as well, though they fries could have been hotter (and this was right out of the kitchen). Some service gaffes, our food was given to the table next to us, and then they had one of the dishes wrong anyway (comped us dessert without us saying a word about it). Crowd seemed made up of mixed ages, not just the young trendy folks. If anything it maybe skewed a bit to adults and their parents. I liked that the portions weren't overwhelming in size, and I didn't feel cheated in price.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
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  • Post #12 - March 12th, 2011, 3:47 pm
    Post #12 - March 12th, 2011, 3:47 pm Post #12 - March 12th, 2011, 3:47 pm
    I had a really late dinner at Paris Club last night (11pm) so I experienced the late night atmosphere - blasting music, perhaps more of a club scene, but overall enjoyable and excellent service.

    For appetizers, we had the lamb meatballs in harissa tomato sauce. They featured really good lamb flavor, a very flavorful sauce, with my only complaint being that the meatballs were a little too densely packed. We also shared the pig's feet bonbons. They were served piping hot, slightly crispy yet beautifully creamy in the middle. I liked them, but I found myself struggling a bit to really get the full pork flavor I expected here.

    For entrees, the duck confit was very flavorful but dried out . . . maybe just a casualty last night. The snapper served in a paper bag with fennel and lemon is one of my favorite flavor combinations and this version did not disappoint at all. Perfectly cooked snapper, flavorful accompaniments and not over-thought. We also shared the spaetzle as a side, and it was my favorite item of the night. Pan roasting was obvious from the partially crisp exteriors and tasty charred spots.

    Dessert of chocolate mousse was okay, but a little sweet and not dark enough chocolate flavor for me. A bigger problem was that it was a bit grainy. But overall, I very much enjoyed hanging out among the pretty folk that dominated Paris Club late last night and I wouldn't mind doing it again.
  • Post #13 - March 15th, 2011, 12:25 am
    Post #13 - March 15th, 2011, 12:25 am Post #13 - March 15th, 2011, 12:25 am
    I recently had a very disappointing meal here. It started in the bar with a glass of oxidized Pinot Noir on tap. Thankfully, the bartender agreed and poured me a glass of something better. If you're going to have wine on tap, pick something more resilient than PN. I started with pig's feet bonbons that were crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside but had little discernible flavor. The country pate suffered from too high a fat ratio, under seasoning and stringy meat. The frisee salad was quite good although the poached egg was slightly overcooked. The coq au vin consisted of a braised chicken leg, and a roasted chicken breast. The breast was under seasoned and overcooked.

    I enjoyed Brasserie Jo, I love the food at Everest and I am amazed that Chef Joho is associated with this project. On the bright side, the service was excellent.
  • Post #14 - March 15th, 2011, 1:15 pm
    Post #14 - March 15th, 2011, 1:15 pm Post #14 - March 15th, 2011, 1:15 pm
    IMHO they took a good restaurant (Brasserie Jo) and turned it into something icky. Even the entrance way was painted black very unwelcoming and hard to find the door! Another woman was also looking for the door. We were there Sunday night with another couple and not much was right:

    The service was abominable. We had to ask for: Bread, (never did get any butter and our server told us "she put the order in"-for bread), utensils, ice for water, plates, sat with dirty dishes until we gathered them up and handed them to the bus person (there were only 2 on the entire floor and they tended to walk around together) Our server was inattentive.

    The food was equally disappointing. We ordered several appetizers so we could sample a cross section:

    Tuna tartare-tasteless and served with potato chips to put it on
    Duck cracklings-Were ok
    Steak tartare-probably for me the best thing I ate all evening
    Frisee salad-tasteless, could have used a stronger vinagrette
    Skate-the 2 men at the table ordered the skate and it arrived with not a potato, vegetable, nada. Who serves a naked plate? At these prices?
    Steak/frite-tasteless and cooked wrong, had to be sent back-I sent mine back for a cheeseburger which was so overly garnished, I scraped everything off and ate the patty only. As for the frites, they were cold and were sent back. Then I remembered what the steaks reminded me of: Steakums! If frites is their signature potato, perhaps they need to serve them HOT.
    Pate with fois-this pate was crumbly and dry, the fois almost non
    existent.
    Dessert-we ordered an apple strudel and a pistachio pot de creme. The apple strudel was tasteless with the apples in
    chunks. The pot de creme tasted artificial and akin to a jello 100 calorie cup.

    All in all, it was pretty bad.
    "With enough butter, anything is good."-Julia Child
  • Post #15 - March 15th, 2011, 6:41 pm
    Post #15 - March 15th, 2011, 6:41 pm Post #15 - March 15th, 2011, 6:41 pm
    I continue to love PC. Ate there again last night. My new fav salad is the Cesar--great with the lardons (yes I know--not a classic Cesar). Pig feet bon bons very tasty. Got the grilled lobster frites. Frites were good but the lobster grilled a bit too long. Cracklings were good. All in all I continue to make this my go to place for a casual (if hip) meal.
  • Post #16 - March 16th, 2011, 10:27 am
    Post #16 - March 16th, 2011, 10:27 am Post #16 - March 16th, 2011, 10:27 am
    For those that have been, have any of you noticed the odor that Sula describes here?

    "It smells like a barn in here."
    ...
    In the meantime, I began to hear the rumors circulating among industry folks: the miasma, they said, arose from the floor, salvaged from an old French barn the Melmans purchased, deconstructed, and installed, which failed to disperse after repeated cleanings and refinishings.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #17 - March 16th, 2011, 10:38 am
    Post #17 - March 16th, 2011, 10:38 am Post #17 - March 16th, 2011, 10:38 am
    jesteinf wrote:For those that have been, have any of you noticed the odor that Sula describes here?

    "It smells like a barn in here."
    ...
    In the meantime, I began to hear the rumors circulating among industry folks: the miasma, they said, arose from the floor, salvaged from an old French barn the Melmans purchased, deconstructed, and installed, which failed to disperse after repeated cleanings and refinishings.


    i did notice that, but thought I was imagining it.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #18 - March 16th, 2011, 10:41 am
    Post #18 - March 16th, 2011, 10:41 am Post #18 - March 16th, 2011, 10:41 am
    jimswside wrote:i did notice that, but thought I was imagining it.


    What were you ingesting in the '70's? :?
  • Post #19 - March 16th, 2011, 10:56 am
    Post #19 - March 16th, 2011, 10:56 am Post #19 - March 16th, 2011, 10:56 am
    jesteinf wrote:For those that have been, have any of you noticed the odor that Sula describes here?

    "It smells like a barn in here."
    ...
    In the meantime, I began to hear the rumors circulating among industry folks: the miasma, they said, arose from the floor, salvaged from an old French barn the Melmans purchased, deconstructed, and installed, which failed to disperse after repeated cleanings and refinishings.

    Most definitely. It was unmistakable and strong. I'm guessing there was also a concerted effort to mask the aroma because even as much as a half hour after I left the restaurant, there was a heavy, unpleasant floral scent in my mouth and throat...almost like I'd eaten some potpourri instead of my dinner.

    Foodwise, I'm sorry to say that the place just didn't do it for me. The highlights were a few items on a generously portioned but commensurately-priced charcuterie board.

    =R=
    If I asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said faster horses --Henry Ford

    Without wood, barbecue wouldn’t be barbecue -- Aaron Franklin

    Freedom demands that those in power allow others to think for themselves.

    I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider
  • Post #20 - March 16th, 2011, 10:58 am
    Post #20 - March 16th, 2011, 10:58 am Post #20 - March 16th, 2011, 10:58 am
    mhill95149 wrote:
    jimswside wrote:i did notice that, but thought I was imagining it.


    What were you ingesting in the '70's? :?


    lol.

    more like the early 90's... LSD is a hell of a drug. :)
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #21 - March 16th, 2011, 11:07 am
    Post #21 - March 16th, 2011, 11:07 am Post #21 - March 16th, 2011, 11:07 am
    Sula's article will create even more buzz than all of the pre-opening free dinners. This place has sounded utterly uninteresting to me from the start, but now I'm planning to rush over there to check it out as soon as possible. I predict massive crowds in the next few weeks.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #22 - March 16th, 2011, 11:12 am
    Post #22 - March 16th, 2011, 11:12 am Post #22 - March 16th, 2011, 11:12 am
    You could almost say the place is going to turn into a zoo.

    Sorry.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #23 - March 16th, 2011, 11:20 am
    Post #23 - March 16th, 2011, 11:20 am Post #23 - March 16th, 2011, 11:20 am
    Kennyz wrote:Sula's article will create even more buzz than all of the pre-opening free dinners. This place has sounded utterly uninteresting to me from the start, but now I'm planning to rush over there to check it out as soon as possible. I predict massive crowds in the next few weeks.

    Like flies to . . . :roll:

    Even more sorry.

    =R=
    If I asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said faster horses --Henry Ford

    Without wood, barbecue wouldn’t be barbecue -- Aaron Franklin

    Freedom demands that those in power allow others to think for themselves.

    I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider
  • Post #24 - March 16th, 2011, 1:43 pm
    Post #24 - March 16th, 2011, 1:43 pm Post #24 - March 16th, 2011, 1:43 pm
    To me, its about expectations. Its near us and for a relaxed meal, we enjoy it and have gotten to know the front of the house staff so it feels comfortable. But if I read about it as a major culinary s no and I went, I'd be sorely disappointed because it doesn't aim for that kind of thing.

    My partner has noticed the "smell" though I haven't, but another friend found it so bothersome at the bar he left after one round. I was told they're going to do some construction to attempt to address it next week, so maybe that will help.

    Anyway, all about expectations. Sort of like when I went to Frontera Grill for the first time. I thought "Why in the world would people fuss about this place?" But if I had gone without advance 'press,' I probably would have enjoyed it more.

    Alinea is a culinary destination. PC is just a place to relax and have fun--if their vibe is your thing. For many, of course, its not.
  • Post #25 - March 16th, 2011, 3:11 pm
    Post #25 - March 16th, 2011, 3:11 pm Post #25 - March 16th, 2011, 3:11 pm
    DutchMuse wrote:My partner has noticed the "smell" though I haven't, but another friend found it so bothersome at the bar he left after one round.


    I had a meal there last Sunday and was completely underwhelmed. The Lovely Donna described it upthread, so I won't go into the gory details other than to say that in addition to poorly prepared food, the bar committed an unforgivable sin (in my book). I ordered a ginger ale and was served 7-up. When I called the bartender on it, she claimed that I was wrong and that the clear lemon/lime tasting liquid in my glass was ginger ale. I know it doesn't sound like such a big deal to most alcohol drinking readers, but to put it in perspective imagine if you ordered a bourbon and they brought you a shot of vodka and then claimed it was indeed bourbon.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #26 - March 16th, 2011, 3:15 pm
    Post #26 - March 16th, 2011, 3:15 pm Post #26 - March 16th, 2011, 3:15 pm
    Yeah, but how did the place smell?
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #27 - March 16th, 2011, 3:39 pm
    Post #27 - March 16th, 2011, 3:39 pm Post #27 - March 16th, 2011, 3:39 pm
    jesteinf wrote:Yeah, but how did the place smell?



    Banner Quote!
    For what we choose is what we are. He should not miss this second opportunity to re-create himself with food. Jim Crace "The Devil's Larder"
  • Post #28 - March 16th, 2011, 3:58 pm
    Post #28 - March 16th, 2011, 3:58 pm Post #28 - March 16th, 2011, 3:58 pm
    stevez wrote:I had a meal there last Sunday and was completely underwhelmed. The Lovely Donna described it upthread, so I won't go into the gory details other than to say that in addition to poorly prepared food, the bar committed an unforgivable sin (in my book). I ordered a ginger ale and was served 7-up. When I called the bartender on it, she claimed that I was wrong and that the clear lemon/lime tasting liquid in my glass was ginger ale. I know it doesn't sound like such a big deal to most alcohol drinking readers, but to put it in perspective imagine if you ordered a bourbon and they brought you a shot of vodka and then claimed it was indeed bourbon.

    That's definitely unfortunate -- not the error itself but the defiance about it. Would it have been such a big deal for her to simply have shot you another .05 of pop from the gun? I'll bet it would have taken her less time than telling you that you were wrong did.

    =R=
    If I asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said faster horses --Henry Ford

    Without wood, barbecue wouldn’t be barbecue -- Aaron Franklin

    Freedom demands that those in power allow others to think for themselves.

    I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider
  • Post #29 - March 16th, 2011, 5:07 pm
    Post #29 - March 16th, 2011, 5:07 pm Post #29 - March 16th, 2011, 5:07 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:That's definitely unfortunate -- not the error itself but the defiance about it. Would it have been such a big deal for her to simply have shot you another .05 of pop from the gun? I'll bet it would have taken her less time than telling you that you were wrong did.

    =R=


    Or maybe even telling me that they didn't have ginger ale and asking if substituting 7-up was OK instead of thinking I wouldn't notice that I didn't get what I ordered.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #30 - March 16th, 2011, 5:33 pm
    Post #30 - March 16th, 2011, 5:33 pm Post #30 - March 16th, 2011, 5:33 pm
    I have to stop in tonight.
    “We all have to stand before the kitchen gods.” Chef Jacob Sahaya Kumar Aruni

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